When Spontaneity Leads the Way

Posted By: Nyasha Sarju
Posted On: January 17th, 2017
Attending: Ulster University

Life is full of little decisions. Will I go to the gym before work or after? Do I want to eat out because my friends are or should I just cook the food I have at home? Should I wake up early and finish this assignment or stay up late and pound it out? For every action there is a reaction. Do you take advantage of opportunities that spontaneously occur or do you cautiously tip toe around every rule set in your path? I would qualify myself as an ambitious person, someone willing to take risks when I feel that the reward is potentially worth it. However during my time on this journey here in Northern Ireland I have found myself playing the safe bet more often than not. At my fingertips is a vast array of experience and yet I often find myself saying “No, thats too difficult” or “Next time” or “I’m just going to stay home”. However, upon returning from my travels and exploration over Christmas Break, I’ve realized how much happier I am when I am doing rather than thinking about doing. Before the break, I could spend whole days aimlessly surfing the web, not setting foot outside, keeping to myself instead of engaging in community, choosing to not go to the gym because I just didn’t feel like it. And yet it is in doing these things that the desire to do them is stirred up. The more we explore the more we desire to explore. The more we spend time in community the more we see the fruits of developing deep relationships with others. Etc. So when my basketball game got cancelled a few days before it was to be played, I felt like I could either sit on my bum and let the weekend pass me by, or I seize the day and travel on a cheap flight to London for a day. The boys had planned a trip with their girlfriends and so I had somewhere to stay. I reached out to a cousin whom I had never met and she invited me to have dinner with her. Going to London on a whim was one of the best experiences I have had all year.

We arrived in the center of London around ten in the morning after being up all night and began our mad dash to see as much as we could in 24 hours. Though running on a few hours of sleep, our adrenaline and excitement propelled us to Buckingham Palace, where we watched the guards march back and forth between their posts, saw a team of horses with men in full armor atop them trotting together into the palace grounds. We then made our way by foot to visit Big Ben, the largest and most accurate four-faced striking and chiming clock in the world (completed in 1859). Next we purchased an all day bus/ train/ tube ticket that would allow us to go all over London for an entire day. We traveled to the London Bridge, which despite our thinking that it was some marvelous beauty, was actually just an average looking bridge. The renowned bridge of London, is actually the Tower Bridge, and we could see this from the London Bridge. We took a bus to an area with a lot of Vietnamese restaurants and ate PHO, something we both absolutely love miss from being in the U.S. We went to SOHO and got coffee on Carnaby Street with a friend who is studying in London for the year. We traveled to SouthEast London to meet my cousin, whom I was also meeting for the first time and we had a lovely evening eating dinner and in fellowship with her family. Meeting family for the first time as an adult is a strange idea. I was reluctant at first to reach out because I had never spoken to her and I felt like I was cold calling a stranger in a way. However, when I entered my cousins arms, though we had just met, our earnest conversation and the familial feeling made me feel as if we had known each other for a while. It was quite a beautiful experience and perhaps the best part of my entire trip to London. I am so thankful that I had the chance to meet my cousin and to know that now I always have family in London, and she will always have family wherever I am. The idea of family is so interesting – how close friends can become like family, how relationships and the joining of partners births new bonds of families. But also in my life family is interesting because I know that I have so much family whom I share great grandparents with that I have never even seen or met simply because they are all over the globe. And yet the experience of meeting family is so much different than even gaining friends, it is like this tie you have by blood to a person creates an immediate bond that feels strong regardless of how much time you have even spent with that person. Its a pretty cool experience and I hope to connect with more family and learn about their lives, vastly different than mine but linked by a common origin that roots my own existence in history.

Our trip in London continued with meeting up with the guys at their Airbnb, exploring the nightlife, and traveling by night-bus to return to our residence for the night. The next day we set out for Platform 9 and 3/4 in route to Hogwarts. Then we spent the morning walking around Kings Cross area and stumbled upon a Church with an art gallery exhibit going on in the Crypt below it. So yea we walked on some dead peoples bodies, contemplated the idea of memory and destruction, saw tombstones from the 1800s, and thankfully came out all in once piece.

Life is full of little decisions. Sometimes when you look at one of them you don’t recognize the magnitude of its impact on your life. We made the spontaneous decision to embark on a short journey to London, and I am happy to say its one of the best decisions I’ve made all year.

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