Hill Forts and Memories

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October 13th 2013
Published: October 14th 2013
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As I sat atop a stone age hill fort with two of my very close friends here in Lampeter, David, and Rae, the words that Dave said struck me. "I wonder how fast my time here will go by. I will be looking back at this moment three years from now as if it were today again. Time is odd like that." There is something about the hill fort, something about the way that the scenery makes you feel. It is almost as if time has stopped. You are neither in the present or the past but somewhere in between. Therefore all you are left to do is wonder about your future. I love Wales, it is so beautiful and it has so many hidden secrets tucked away in the hills. When I first arrived at Lampeter I was enamored by this beautiful little town. I was so concerned with making hundreds of friends and with trying every thing and with attending every event. The truth is that Lampeter has a way of finding you. I started here thinking that I could be friends with everyone. I thought I would party every night. I also thought that I would study every day. Essentially I was looking at this experience as a perfect one. The experience thus far has been perfect but not flawless. I have lost some acquaintances and made some new ones in places that I would never have expected. I ditched fresher events for local pub crawls. I have left the campus not to meet friends at the pub or the shops but to explore the wilderness with a fellow American and outdoorsman, Scott, and have found that I enjoy that much more than forcing myself to be overly social. I already knew this about myself but have been glad to test the best of both worlds. I have led my two best friends to a secret Garden and have helped them discover an ancient fortress. I have been lost on victorian farmland and have wandered into different counties. I have heard Irish music played in a 1712 tavern in Carmarthenshire, Wales on a night that I had planned on staying on campus to go to a student union event. I didn't dance to rap music but I met so many people, had so many conversations and tried so many things that are not taught in any textbook or manual and which are not found on any campus anywhere in the world. I have learned more than anything else, that time will go by very fast. I will be looking back at these moments three months from now wondering where all of that time went. My body will be back in the beautiful Sunny South of the USA but my mind might be trapped on that stone-age hill fort laughing as David mocks the sheep and as Rae giggles and runs after him. I will be the one taking the pictures because time is so much shorter for me here. Of course I am not losing my life or anything, I always have more time...but for the first time in my life, time seems so precious and delicate. The two best friends that I have managed to find here are so dear to me, in a way that I am not sure that I have ever known before outside of my family and possibly my best friends Steven, Audrey and Katelyn at home in the states. Rae has my same values, and David understands and admires my passions. The three of us want nothing more than to hike to some strange location just to say we did it or to try some disgusting smelling drink or food just to say that we have tried it. I have been slightly homesick lately so David, Rae and I have been planning a hiking trip. Not in the UK, but in the US. We plan to hike from NC to TN. I have no idea if this will ever occur, but what a nice thought...the notion of making more memories. It is such a beautiful thing to think about when you are missing somewhere. Three months from now I will be homesick for Lampeter. I won't be missing Mom and Dad, sweet tea, cowboy boots or the blue ridge. I won't be missing the smell of yankee candles, Cracker Barrel or bonfires outside in the fall night air. I will be missing the dogs at King's Head pub, Dave hiding chocolate bars in my room, and Rae saying "heyyy mann!! This ain't cool..." in a fake american accent when she has had just a tad too much to drink for the first time in her life. I will be missing conversations about british history with the fiery and overly intelligent but a tad drunken Londoner, Gavin, as he makes his morning tea and has me turn down a cigarette for the hundredth time. I will miss the sheep and the dark horses that I find at every corner of the land which all remind me of a time that I thought had gone by hundreds of years ago. I will miss the way that passing travelers talk to me as if they can read my soul in just a few words or the way that people are enamored with the way that I talk just because I am different in this tiny little place. I will miss the American vs. "The Motherland" banter and the English and Welsh friends copying my accent. I have had so many first impressions and have tried to leave some good ones, but as the honeymoon period of "Freshers" begins to fade, we all as students begin to make Lampeter our home. We start to fall out with people that we thought we could count on in order to strengthen ourself with the people that we can. As in any culture we begin to find ourselves because it is University and University is designed for the student to discover his/her passions. I sometimes forget that I am at school or that this place is a learning experience for everyone...not just the ones of us who are from another country. I am so blessed to have this opportunity. "You can take the girl from the country but you can't take the country from the girl." I found the down-home country that is Lampeter, Wales and it surrounding localities. I am just as proud to say that I have traveled these woods as I am to say that I once backpacked for a week in the Blue Ridge. There is no difference really when it comes down to it in saying where you are from. I am an American and I am proud to say that I was born and raised in a certain culture but I am just as proud to say to those of you at home that I once lived in Wales and I am proud to pick up on a bit of this culture here. I am proud to leave footprints through the farmland trails in Ceredigion. Tonight I am off to read about the French Revolution and to start a few essays just as are many other students here and at other Universities and tomorrow I will go to class and attend my lecture. What happens at night or the next day on my weekly hike, I do not know. I do know however that three years from now David, Rae and I and whoever else we befriend will be sitting around thinking about the memories that we will have made tomorrow evening or the next day wondering how on earth that time could have slipped away so quickly. What a precious way to view the near future. Goodnight all!!! Goodnight Lampeter.

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11th November 2013

A lovely blog
I really enjoyed reading your thoughts. Thank you for sharing.
19th November 2013

Makes me homesick....
Hey, I stumbled upon this entry when searching for pictures of the Hill Fort to show some friends. I just graduated from Lampeter this summer and I just wanted to say that, having read your entire entry,you couldn't have summed up my own feelings on what makes Lampeter such a special place to me. I know it's cheesey, but I just wanted to say thanks for sharing it and wish you the best of luck with your studies. Best wishes, Craig
26th November 2013

To Craig!
Thank you for reading my blog, I am so glad that other people love Lampeter as much as I do...now that I will be leaving soon, I know that I will become homesick for a place that I have only called home for three months. <3

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