I see London…
London will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first bit of international soil that I ever stepped foot on, immediately realising that I could do this for the rest of my life.
It seems like such a silly thing to sensationalize, but it is so pivotal that even though it is personal, I can’t not mention it for whatever reason. Flashback to August of 2008: my 14-year old self landed at Heathrow Airport with my aunt and uncle on a typical overcast English day with a bag half her size and no clue as to what this type of travel entailed. Six years later, at 20 years old, I arrived to King’s Cross St. Pancras with my family on an overcast English day with that same bag (still half my size) and much more travel experience and knowledge.
But London is much, much more than the “first international city I stepped foot in to.”
London is my favourite city in the world, and that isn’t an overstatement. After having traveled to more European cities than I have fingers and toes, I can honestly say that out of those, I can only see myself living and working in London. It is the most perfect example of old and new coming together to create a world of its own. It’s the one place where I will continue to walk to the next tube station .6 miles away just to see what is around the corner, despite my feet begging otherwise. It is the exact atmosphere that I just want to completely immerse and lose myself in. London is the city that I will always come back to.
Some people think that London is overrated. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. I just know that I love it, and it’s the reason why I purposely chose to stay an extra 4 days on my own after 6 days with my family.
We arrived Monday afternoon to an overcast London, but after the humidity of Venice and the overbearing (dare I say it) sun of Paris, being able to wear a leather jacket to go see my friend Ben and have dinner at a pub just felt right.
During our stay in London, we made all the touristy stops like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and the Tower of London; ate all the British foods like an English breakfast, fish n chips, Nandos (YUM); mastered the London Underground; traveled to Hogwarts and Windsor castle – where we saw the Queen herself; straddled the Prime Meridian in Greenwich; and we even braved the Oxford Street Primark.
It was a jam-packed week, but I loved every bit of it.
Except the bit when I had to say goodbye to my family and Ben, of course. I will be back home as soon as you know it, Mom and Dad!
For the past 4 days I had left in London, I was able to really explore the city by walking around the parks and going to the markets that I had the energy to do so.
With solo travel, you’re on your own time, can do exactly what you want to do, and pretend that you’re a local. It did feel weird having a Nandos for one, though. Not sure I enjoyed that very much, but hey, I’d do it again for Nandos.
I even made it out to Cambridge to see the town and university. It really made me want to be an Erasmus again. The exchange students stay in Queens College, aka the prettiest college of Cambridge University. I would have loved that.
I will come back to you, London! Mark my words.
*see other posts for Warner Bros Studios, Windsor Castle and Cambridge shenanigans ;) xx