Today an old acquaintance from my days as an English teacher in Japan put up some pictures of Packwood House in Warwickshire, England. One great thing about teaching in Japan is I made a lot of friends; the English teachers came from many English speaking countries and many Japanese staff members married them. From this short couple of years in Japan they then spread out across the globe and I now get to see many wonderful and interesting pictures arriving on my news feed.
The Packwood house interested me as I love history, especially English Tudor history and so I looked it up on Wikipedia. I learned that it was just an old farmhouse until around 1906 and then created into one of Tudor character. Ok, so it is not an ancient house which does temper my interest slightly but even so, this is my dream house, especially the office. I’d make a few adjustments such as a large, ancient and wooden desk at the end of the room but pulled out from the wall so that my back was to the window and I could see the fireplace while working on my left. I think I’d have to remove the cupboard as well. I imagine a scene a few days before Christmas, snowing outside with a fire blazing. I’d be sitting at my desk drinking a bit of sherry while having a pleasant discussion with a neighbor about ancient Christmases in the town and the customs involved.
It would be nice if my family could trade houses for three months or so; they could come live here on the coast of California and we could go live in Newcastle upon Tyne with weekly short excursions around the United Kingdom.
Like all Wikipedia pages, the Packwood House page had numerous links that lead me to more interesting discoveries. The next was Baddesly Clinton, a truly ancient manor house complete with hidden passageways and medieval stories such as the killing of a priest, perhaps within the manor walls. And then finally another link that lead me to the Forest of Arden which reading its description conjures images of a large, dreadful forest, the type that Robin Hood would inhabit. The description tells me that the Romans made no roads through it and the spot still exists where travelers would gather and pray for safe journey before they entered.
Reading history excites my imagination and I begin motivated to set a goal. Once the kids are older and able to appreciate these historical places I’d like to go visit. This is a bit of a gamble because although I’m absolutely fascinated, the family might not be and could be more of a hinderance, non-stop complaining or wanting to leave a place before it has been thoroughly explored and so on. Therefore, perhaps I will ask and take only those that are interested and able to appreciate history. The others could hang out in Japan, maybe go to Tokyo Disneyland or something.
In either case, I’ll need to make more money in order to be able to afford the upcoming trips. This is why 2017 is going to be focused on career advancement and earning more money. It is learning about places like these that excites me, rekindles my love for international travel and exploration and gets me motivated to make something happen. It is time for a change.