A New Philosophy

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October 16th 2011
Published: October 16th 2011
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Congratulations, you have the honor of being personally acquainted with one of those rare gems in the world who knows how to botch a vacation.

When I set out on my little adventure, I had some high-flying ideal that I was going to spend four months soaking in the culture, learning everything that school never taught me, and growing as a person in the mean time.


I like sunshine and beaches. I like chocolate and ice cream. I like having my own bathroom. I like spending money. I like relaxing. When I’m on vacation, I want to sit on the beach in the sunshine eating chocolate and ice cream until I go home to my own bathroom, tired after a long day of spending money and ready to relax. I do not want to fry my brain cramming it with 5,000 years of important events, rich people, and their beautiful houses. It is not fun, and it’s no longer what I’m going to be doing on vacation.

Say good-bye to Dublin with its violent history and the museums documenting it.

Say hello to Wales, where I skipped the capital and went straight to the national park resort Betws-y-coed, where I got lost in some breath-taking mountains thick with firs and dripping with waterfalls.

Say hello to Liverpool, where I did not go to their new and renown museum or on a Beatles tour. I listened to speakers on journalism and radical bookselling, studied paintings in an art show, and laughed at the Welsh Opera performing The Barber of Seville. I missed out on everything Liverpool has to offer to foreigners, and I had a ball.

Say hello to Battle, the site of William the Conqueror’s great victory of 1066 and the beautiful abbey he built to commemorate it and to honor the lives lost there. Um, I think the abbey might be made of stone, but I don’t really know, I didn’t really look at it. I paid to get in and spent the rest of the afternoon partying it up with the Vikings, a group dedicated to reliving the medieval ages and reenacting ancient wars. It turns out that I had arrived in Battle on the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, and the Vikings were teaching everyone about the lives of the Normans and Saxons and then reenacting the Battle at the end of the day. It was like the Renaissance Festival except without the inappropriate jokes and swearing. It was a local festival where families brought their kids to learn about their history. What fun!

Cheers to Brighton, where you’re supposed to come to gape at the Royal Pavilion and go dancing at night. I lay on the rocky beach for an hour and ate some fish.

I am not a tourist. I am a college graduate who is taking four months to have FUN and to enjoy herself before she gets chained to desk at work. If I go to museums, they will be so few and far between that each one will be a treat, and if I take a tour, the tour guide had better have a sense of humor. I will go to plays and dance performances and restaurants. I will have a daily dose of chocolate. When I come home, I will not be smarter or wiser, but I will be happy, and that is all that matters.

P.S. I would greatly appreciate your assistance in encouraging my dad to financially support my very educational European tour.


19th October 2011

A little older, a little wiser
Anne, you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing. If you did not take advantage of this 4 months, you would never know that you what you truly enjoy out of life is the present. The past is the pastm the future is yet to come, but we all have today and you have seized it! Gregg, send the girl some money sho she can continue living in the moment....the chain and desk and uber responsibility will come soon enough. Continue eating chocolate, soaking up the sunshine and doing what makes you happy! Continue being safe! Ellen

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