“Hey…Remember that time I went to England?”

I have to admit. Every year around this time, I get a fit of nostalgia (or, a dull pain in my heart, to be more accurate.)  That’s because I went to London in November of 2006. I’m sure most most people who hear me reminisce about it think I must have been there for a year or some other extended amount of time in the Motherland. It really was just a eleven days. But those were among the most important eleven days of my whole life.

Why am I talking about all this now? It was five years ago, and I wanted to commemorate the anniversary for myself by revisiting the photos from the trip and the blog I wrote once I’d returned. The written portion of Shoot with Personality didn’t exist until 2009, so I registered a WordPress url and officially had my first blog. It was my first official blogging experience.

Things to know about me and England:

  • I have felt an affinity with England since my fourth grade class studied the country. This also began my career as a baker, because I made “tea cakes” for my class’s British-themed party.
  • I bought myself a ticket to England as a birthday present to myself in 2006. Some people thought it was a sudden decision. It wasn’t. I had started saving for such a journey, I thought I should check plane ticket prices so I’d  know what number I was saving towards, and I found some insane deal: a round-trip ticket for a little over $500. I had $500. I picked travel dates in a way that only just qualified as being “non-arbitrary.”  I bought the tickets.
  • I quit my job a week and a half before I left for England. This made people think I was making a rash decision. I wasn’t. I had been wanting to leave this job for awhile so I could move to Memphis. Once I got my plane ticket, I decided I had better work up until nearly time to leave, so I could have money to navigate “Old Blighty.” It was my exit strategy.
  • If it wasn’t clear up until this point: I went to England alone. One of my friends thought it would be so boring to travel on one’s own. I explained that I actually enjoy my own company. I knew I wouldn’t mind hanging out with myself exclusively for most of my stay in Great Britain. It didn’t occur to me until after I left for England and returned that it was sort of crazy that I went so far away on my own. I came back in once piece though, so I guess it my decision wasn’t that bad!
  • My main activity in England was photographing my journey. That’s probably a given, considering that it’s me, Amanda, who’s writing this. What did I pack in my camera bag for this transatlantic photo journey: some film and a few 35mm cameras. I had a good digital SLR, I just didn’t want to do digital photography in my “favourite country I’ve never been before.” Even though, as tends to happen when over 4,000 miles from home, I ran into some problems with one of my cameras, but I still wouldn’t have changed a thing. Film all the way!
  • On the subject of photography: One upside to traveling alone was that I was able to spend as much time as I needed at any given point of photographic interest in order to get the photos I wanted. If I travel with others, I do my best to be considerate of those other people with whom I’m traveling. It was good to know that I wasn’t being selfish by spending so much time photographing whatever I wanted.

Five years ago today, the 22nd of November, was a pretty good one in London. It was rainy, but I got to do some great things.

I lunched with a very nice African lady I’d met at a church I visited that week.

I visited the National Gallery for a second time. It’s free, so why not??

I walked to Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey and produced some of my favorite images of London.

I ended my day by going ice skating with an American ex-pat, on an outdoor rink at the historic Somerset House. I felt like it was a once in a lifetime experience for a girl from the Mid-South in the U. S. of A.. Even if I am horrible at ice skating (or anything that involves skills of coordination!)


I’m hoping sharing this fit of nostalgia (slash dull pain in my heart) with all of you will help me get over it more quickly. It’s still my next goal in life to return to England in the next year. I continue to pour coins into my bluebird of happiness bank, so I can exchange those US coins for some British pounds sterling one day. I even held on to a five pound note from last time. I thought I could buy a cup of soup and baguette with it upon my return to the Motherland.

And, hey, maybe next time, I’ll bring someone along with me.

If happen to be interested in such things, I don’t mind if you take a look at my little “Amanda Goes to England” blog from 2006.

2 Thoughts on ““Hey…Remember that time I went to England?”

  1. Your photos from England were the first photos I discovered from you on Flickr. I loved them.

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