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The first time driving on the right-hand side.
I had coaxed her into giving it a try. I tempted her with promises of scenes of pastoral landscape, a coastline filled with history, and the best food one can find in the country. She would acquiesce. I don’t blame her for being somewhat reluctant. We are in the United Kingdom and she had never driven on the right-hand side of an automobile. Above this fact, she is infrequently behind the wheel of the car having lived most of her life in New York City.
Outside one’s comfort zone
One of the facets of travel is being pushed out of one’s comfort zone, and in most cases, the process leads to something positive. Upon agreeing, we made a call to Auto Europe Car Rentals, who were expeditious in finding a car near where we were and found one that fitted our needs for our road trip.
Auto Europe Car Rentals
In London , at the Marble Arch neighborhood, we entered the best looking Hertz office we have ever seen, With the help of a young gentleman, and with everything having been prepared by Auto Europe, within minutes, we were off to see the landscape that England had to offer.
Nissan Juke from AutoEurope Car Rentals
Initially, both Brenda and I started walking toward the wrong side of the car, and fixed ourselves midway, almost bumping into each other. Feeling odd at first, she started the ignition on our Nissan Juke and we started our trip with a short drive through London before hitting the main road.
A very good friend
To help facilitate things, our good friend Shobha, from Just Go Places, and an American ex-pat now living in England, led the way in her car for us to follow. This gave Brenda some extra confidence.
We passed Chiswick where the famous Fullers Brewery is located. Which brought back memories of when I took a taxi to Stansted Airport many years ago on this same road, and had the driver pull over for 10 minutes so I can have a pint. Beyond that, we passed the home of English Rugby, Twickenham, which is in Richmond; a lovely town, where from our window seemed to have a riverside thoroughfare that we would like to venture into at some point.
Listening to the radio on BBC 1
These memories and new discoveries are events that would not have been possible without my wife taking it upon herself to find the courage to drive on the other side of the automobile. For that matter, most of England and its vast countryside could not have been appreciated without her new skill. Within an hour into our drive, Brenda was comfortable behind the wheel and we were able to turn the radio on to BBC 1 and listen to the popular songs that the younger generation riding in the back seemed to have favored.
I noticed during the ride, that within the time we had left London, the landscape changed drastically and it started to look like what I had pictured the setting to be in every classic English novel I had ever read. “The Hounds of the Baskervilles” by Arthur Conan Doyle, of Sherlock Holmes fame came to mind, when the midday shadows started to hover over the green hills.
Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen Novels
There are, of course, livestock; mostly sheep grazing along the road. Which brought to mind many Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen novels that I hated reading as a child and now happy that I had. It also made for good storytelling to my daughter and her friends in the back that were more than happy to pretend to listen to my literary dissertation while singing the latest hit by, Sia, playing on the radio
An experience to remember
The ride was starting to be one of those experiences that will be remembered. There were the kids in the back enjoying themselves; me, thinking of the past and what I need to see in the future; and my wife at the present, finding confidence in her new skill. These are moments that can only be attained through road tripping and travel in general. I cannot wait to see what we have in store in the next few days, as Brenda gets more comfortable behind the wheel, and the English countryside starts to unfold.
Written in partnership with Auto Europe Car Rentals. Some Links are affiliate links, which means we would receive a small commission when you book but prices, as always, remain the same for you.
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