Unless you watch my Instagram stories, you didn’t know I was even thinking about it, but I was.
A couple weeks ago, around the Ides of March, I was thinking a lot about Rome and said to my friend, “I can’t believe I’m not going to to go Rome.”
The other day I was looking at old Europe pictures, and there was Rome. All Romey and glorious. I made the mistake of looking up how much it would cost to visit if I flew there from Paris when we were done and then flew back to London. It was not much. At all. I checked my favorite hotel in Rome (it’s the only one I’ve stayed at but I love it) and it was not even expensive.
So I was seriously thinking about it. If I stayed two or three nights I could easily spend time in all my favorite places. Rome is so magic you guys, I was dreaming.
Most of my friends encouraged me to just go for it. Of course they did, they’re my friends. I understand and love their support for living life hard. I could go, and I would see some of my most favorite places, but I don't think it is the best choice. I think I would end up wearing myself to the point my ability to enjoy the rest of the trip might suffer.
The smart part of my brain keeps reminding me of a few things I promised myself after my last trip to the UK -- I wanted to stay longer in fewer places, and I swore I’d stick to one country.
I’m trying to pay attention to that part of my brain.
Because listen to all the things I’m doing:
I fly into Philly, where I will visit historic places, including a Hamilton Tour (beause of course). I'll spend 2 nights in an airb&b that looks incredible.
Then my friend Eben and his family will drive into Philly to fetch me. We might do stuff in the city or we might go back to their house. I’m hanging out with them for a couple days. I don’t really care if we do anything, it’s just visiting time.
I’ll leave Eben’s for NYC to spend the weekend visiting people, doing another self guided Hamilton tour, and as many NYC things as I can squeeze in before I leave for London.
A few days after I get to London, we’ll see Hamilton, and if I manage to live through that we’re spending the weekend in Paris.
Yeah, I know.
After that I’m going to head north with a friend from high school. She teaches Latin to British children and offered to go to Hadrian’s Wall with me. I feel wildly lucky to not only have a friend to go with, but a friend who knows way more about Roman Britain than I do.
I’m going to the Lake District after that. I am a hard core Dorothy Wordsworth fan. I like her brother William a lot too, and I want to see their house and more importantly - walk around some of the places they walked around. I have a theory that there’s something in that part of the planet that creates incredible writers. I’m going to test it.
After that I am going to bravely rent a car and drive around Salisbury (and Somerset?) to see ancient sacred places like Silbury Hill and West Kennet Long Barrow and Stonehenge. I think I want to visit Bath again but if I have to cut something out, that will go first. I’m planning to stay in Glastonbury though for sure because I love it.
Another friend from high school lives in Devon, and that’s where I’ll head next. I’m not exactly sure what we’ll do there yet, but we both have some ideas. I’ve never been to that area of England before so I’m excited to see that.
On my way back to London, I’ll stop by Chichester, where my sweet friend Jen used to live. I’m not sure how long I’ll stay or if I’ll get to visit her family or not, but that stop is truly a must do.
Oh and I didn’t even mention all the things there are to do in London.
See what I mean about busy?
It’s a lot of really great stuff.
And it’s 6 weeks.
6 and a half if you're counting.
I think Rome will wait until next time.
(I live by Rick Steve’s advice to always assume you’ll be back.)
It’s 36 days until I leave.