I had a relaxing day today as I walked down into city centre to do a few errands. The first stop was the bank to make a deposit. Did you know that you do not even have to sign the back of the cheque to endorse it here in England as you have to do in the USA. All you have to do is fill in a deposit slip and place them both in the ATM machine, and you get a receipt with a copy of the check on it for your records.
Then off to Marks & Spencer, a well known department store that has been around for over 125 years, to shop for some new clothes. In fact, my mum shopped there when she was growing up in England and still mentions shopping there to this day, even though she has been an American citizen for over 60 years (and very proud of it!).
A quick look into a few more shops – just window shopping, really! – then a tough walk back up Steep Hill to enjoy a cappuccino at one of my favourite cafes, One Castle Hill Patisserie. It is situated on a corner of the town square located between Lincoln Castle and Lincoln Cathedral. Castle square hosts a monthly outdoor market as well as many other events throughout the year. Being a lovely summer day in Lincoln, with warm weather and loads of sunshine, I chose a table outside of the café facing the castle.
Fans of Downton Abbey may recognise Castle Square. Part of one of the episodes was filmed here. Don’t remember which one? Let me know and I’ll help you find it.
As I was enjoying my cappuccino and watching all of the tourists walk by – many with an ice cream in hand and shopping bags from the unique shops that line the streets surrounding the square, the lady at the table next to me had two little doggies – dachshunds. One looked just like our little long-haired dachshund Sofia Maria, who is no longer with us. They came over to be petted, and I started a conversation with the lady taking care of the dogs.
She heard my American accent and was excited to know that I am from Southern California. She told me that her daughter (who later joined us) had been to Orange County, California to visit some friends that live there. I introduced myself and learned that her name is Rita, and that she is retired. She and her family all lived in London until her daughter’s husband’s job transferred them up to Lincoln. Both of her daughters and their husbands asked her to also move with them. She reluctantly agreed as she was used to life in London, which is very different from life in Lincoln, especially 16 years ago.
All she could do was tell me how much she missed London even though she did finally settle down in Lincoln with her family. I asked her if she had ever visited the USA and she said no, even though her daughter invited her to go with them to California, Las Vegas and New York.
I put on my “American Hat” which gave me the excuse to give her some unsolicited inspiration. I suggested that she was still young enough to enjoy travelling and to see the world. She instantly agreed and told her daughter who just arrived at the table after a bit of shopping, that she would be joining her on her next trip to the States.
Rita and her daughter gathered up the little doggies and began to leave. I gave them my business card and said that they should call me next time they want to meet for coffee in the Castle Square.
Even though an hour ago we were complete strangers, we became friends and Rita bent over and hugged and kissed me and told me that I had got her so excited about the USA, that I inspired her to go with her daughter on her next visit there, and that she realised that she wasn’t too old after all to travel and enjoy herself again.
I believe that people are brought into our lives for a reason and mine was to wake up her spirit and remind her that there is a world out there for her to discover and to live her life to the fullest now.
It made my day. One of my passions and missions in life is to encourage people to live their life to the fullest and do what that want to do and travel where they want to go NOW, not to wait. There is an urgency here as time waits for no one and it seems to fly by so quickly. Say yes to the opportunities that come your way today (and everyday) as no one is promised tomorrow.
What do you want to do? Where do you want to travel to? So as Nike says “Just Do It”.