I've seen very little of the country itself outside of London. We've been a lot better about this since we've gotten a car, but that's 4 years we could have been road tripping around. I've seen Brighton and Liverpool and loved them both. And if we ever do decide to move back, more than likely we'd like to live outside of London. I've been to Ireland, but still haven't seen Scotland. How is that possible?
Which leads me to my huge Euro-regret. I have been here over 5 years and haven't seen nearly enough of Europe. I've seen Paris and loved it. We loved it so much that we toyed with the idea of learning French and moving there. That obviously didn't happen, but it is a beautiful city. We aimlessly walked the streets not knowing what we would find and I thought "No wonder Parisians think the rest of the world is ugly, by comparison it is."
One summer we went to a resort in a teeny tiny town in Sicily and we did nothing but lounge around on the beach and read. Between the 2 of us we read 10 books in that week. We spent our anniversary out on a terrace overlooking the ocean, drinking a bottle of champagne playing the card game War. It was there that we decided to to elope to Vegas rather than deal with the headache of wedding planning. The only touristy thing we did was make the trip up to Mount Etna, and it was fabulous. But we vacationed like normal people do. Sat on the beach doing not a lot. It wasn't that urgency of "I HAVE TO SEE EVERYTHING". We got home feeling rested.
And that's it. I've been to Amsterdam, but that was when I was dating Griff and, to be honest, I hated it. It stank and the hostel was the most disgusting place I've ever seen. I actually slept in my clothes (not PJs, my clothes), on top of the sheets, my head rested on my backpack, because the bed smelt of mold. It was disgusting. So we left. I did enjoy the Sex Museum tho. And I would have loved to have gone back with just Griff for a weekend (to the city, not just the Sex Museum)...but it never happened.
Neither did Barcelona.
Or St. Petersburg.
There's a whole list, but I'll stop there. At the moment I am overwhelmed with guilt and frustration that I did not take proper advantage of what was just at my doorstep. Instead, thinking that I was going to live out the rest of my years in the UK, we spent a large portion of vacations going back to the States to visit my family. Because I love my family and I have missed them and it seemed the appropriate and right thing to do. I didn't know things would change. That I would change. That I would want to move back.
I am blessed that I have seen more than some people have in a lifetime. I know that and I need to keep that perspective. Griff and I also talk about "when the kids are older" and maybe that's when we'll spend our time trekking around Europe. I just know I have to let this guilt go. I can't change the past and I have so many things I am looking forward to about our future as a family.
Thing I'll miss about England....being close to Europe.