It takes years to know a place. To settle in, to explore the forgotten corners, to take the roads less traveled. Most of us know our hometowns well and most upperclassmen would probably say they know Norman. Sheffield is entirely new to me. I have spent two months here and all my afternoon excursions and weekend explorations have only revealed a fraction of the city’s charm.
This morning, I took a bus into the Peak District, a nearby national park, and found out that I could purchase a student day pass for trips through the area for only £3. The expansive and gorgeous wilderness of Yorkshire was much more accessible than I had realized. This afternoon, I visited a new coffee shop and found out that the student who sits across from me in my literature discussion section works there. I savored my americano and worked through homework under artfully shaded Edison bulbs that I had never before noticed. I had often walked the bustling high street running out front but never stopped to sip a coffee on their plush teal couches. Last night, I was walking to a convenience store and stumbled upon a cafe connected to an indie cinema. It was only a short distance from the main train station and a mere block from the music venue I had visited the night before.
Although I have settled into a routine, attending the same classes, shopping at the same grocery stores, and the like, it is incredibly easy to try something new. I have an informal list of places I want to visit before I leave and despite my best efforts, I feel like the list is growing faster than I can check it off. Even though I am sure I will not be able to visit everything, I am glad that I will have seen so much of the Sheffield that is never included in visitor guides or on lists of must-see destinations.