Two (Paved) Roads Diverged

It seems I so often stumble upon the less-traveled road—from my family’s experience homeschooling, to being an English major in a sea of Honors STEM students, to pushing off a possible Master’s degree in order to study in Oxford, England.

Thus, upon arriving in Oxford two weeks ago, I took it upon myself to find the hidden, less-traveled places too—the places tourists don’t necessarily visit. Perhaps an idyllic field in which to read my course books and write poetry?

You can imagine my disappointment when I arrived at our apartment at Venneit Close (where half of our group lives) only to see this sight from our front window:

Oxford construction

Along with some considerable hiccups in terms of the quality of our apartment (wifi, anyone?), I was feeling fairly disheartened.

The next day though, with the plan of taking a shortcut that ended up not being a shortcut, we found a half-hidden nearby walking path. Upon further exploring it, I discovered the Thames River in our very own backyard!

Oxford path.jpg

Nearby is the Oxford Canal, where if you’re lucky, you might find some friendly neighborhood cats stretched out on the roofs of riverboats. The canal was built in the late 1700s and at the time mainly transported coal.

Oxford canal.jpg

People who know me as a library buff may be surprised to hear I’m spending more time here by the river than in the buildings of book-filled wonder. Sitting on a bench by the river, I feel the urge to write about the apple blossom petals scattered on the ground as if they were little paper hearts. The bits of cotton that parachute down to the river and are whisked off, carried ever-forward in the flow.

This is the perfect place to write a story, because you can see the little stories playing out in front of you. So, coming from a girl with a heavy reliance on Google Maps, go off and get lost a little!


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