I’m sitting in the back seat of our awesome little rental car.

The Vauxhaul Astra, made by GM, driven by us in the UK.

The view out the window is totally different than anything I’ve seen in the western half of the US.

For one example, the small storefronts are SO close to the road! For another, we are driving on the opposite sides of roads than I am accustomed to and I’m grateful that we have a good driver.

People are walking around with their umbrellas as it is drizzling today. Some people are having coffee at an outdoor covered seating area in a coffee shop that I notice has red-painted frames on the window panes.

As we drive around, I also notice that the police station has blooming flowers in front of its’ brick building. As we round the corner of said building, I notice a blue garage-style door that I imagine 100 years ago the old-style police vehicles came out of on emergencies, kind of like in the movies when I’ve seen black and white movies. That’s what flashes in my mind, at any rate.

Oh yes, did I forget to mention?

We are “lost”.

We are trying to find an English Heritage Site. We punched the address into the GPS. But to no avail are we finding it.

I hear the two men I’m traveling with trying to figure out how to get there. We have two different maps and a GPS, but we can’t seem to arrive at our destination.

I am practicing acquiescing my position. Today is a good day to try it. After all, we are on vacation.

The only thing that makes a difference is how we spend our time, right? So, in order not to get frustrated about the fact that they don’t want to merely ask for directions at any of the numerous places we’ve passed [twice, now] I decide to put on my headphones and tune it out. The view from here is much more interesting when I’m not listening.

This is fun for you guys?” I ask, before I tune out.

Yes.” They both agree. “It’s kind of like a puzzle to figure out”.

And I finally get it.

It’s like the modern man’s hunt. It’s like the search for, the pursuing, and the arrival is akin to the catch. They look at the map, work together, and try again. It’s something they like to do. Okay, I hear that.

But it’s difficult for me, so I listen to my music and just enjoy the ride. After all, we have to return the rental car tomorrow. I may as well enjoy these views that we will not have later on. It will be different, at the very least. Plus, as we agreed, no matter where we go, it will all be NEW. So that’s that.

As we continue driving around in circles-we’ve circled around the downtown area twice now- I am still wondering why it’s fun for them to figure out how to get where we are going. I can’t help but think about how it’s taking time away from our actual “total time-spent” sightseeing. And I worry that as it takes longer and longer to find our destination that they will get more and more frustrated. But this isn’t my deal anymore. Just because it’s not the way I would do it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Right? And really, I saw the Heritage Site in the photo blurb that we read in the Heritage Site book. Why do we need to see it in person?

Turns out it was a good thing I wasn’t uber interested in seeing this particular site. After sitting on the side of a lovely country road in front of a lovely quintessential English home, I noticed they punched in a new destination to the GPS.

Ah well, on to the next hunt. Looks like this one got away.


One thought on “The English Countryside: A Sort of Hunt

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