Well, with nine days spent in London, and five days in Prague, I’ve officially wrapped up my trip to Europe. It was a phenomenal trip full of adventure, food, friends, and good people.
I really enjoyed London. It’s a city that has constant energy. It’s clean, well kept, efficient, and easy to travel. It’s also a city that appreciates its history and has a consideration for the arts. I attribute this much to London’s splendour, as it explains why every street you walk on is impeccably beautiful.
But one of my favourite parts about London was finally seeing first hand what I had learned about in school, throughout my degree, or had seen through media and popular culture. It was quite surreal at times.
I’ve decided to compile a list of my likes and “dislikes” of London/my trip:
- London is a city that appreciates the arts.
You hear a lot about different cities or schools having budget cuts for their art programs, and every time I hear this come up again, I roll my eyes and think of what a big mistake it is. London has never once been unappreciative of the arts. Think way back to Shakespeare in the 1600s, to the vibrant musical theatre community it has today. When you invest time and money into creativity, great things happen. You could see this very clearly in London.
While I’ll be the first to admit that I have an irrational fear of public transportation (yes, I’m completely aware of how ludicrous that sounds), London is a very easy city to travel.
Everything is clearly labelled, clearly announced, and if those don’t help, there are people to help you around every corner. It’s also very reliable. This made it perfect for someone like me to figure out how to do it (aside from the fact that Jasmine had to explain it all to me).
Be warned – it will cost you. Those tube rides will add up, and train rides do as well – but the efficiency of the whole system makes it very unproblematic.
- Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour
While this list is in no specific order, if it was, Harry Potter would be at the top. My brain is still processing my reality that was BEING on the set just a few days ago. I cried. For any Harry Potter fan this is a must do because you will not regret it. I cried, more than once. Words are hard right now to describe it. Just go.
London is sneaky. The first thing anyone tells you about travelling to London is that it’s one of the most expensive cities in the world. So you think you’re ready and prepared because people have told you that. But you’re not. Everything is so expensive. Everything. Except maybe Primark (go to Primark!).
The biggest piece of advice I have for anyone going to London is to make sure your budgeting skills are TOP LEVEL STUFF. Mine were not, and continue to suck. This is now going to be a personal goal of mine. I might even write a post on it to help me out more than anything and get my thoughts in order. Oh, and also – food places will most likely charge you more if you eat in opposed to taking your food to go. Be warned.
- Travelling Alone
For a while now, I really wanted to try travelling alone. I’ve read so many travel blogs about doing this and I thought a few days in London, before meeting up with Jasmine, would be a good place to start.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the trip, and I’m SO glad I travelled alone for a few days, but what I didn’t like about it was that it was kind of boring. I saw all these huge landmarks and went to really cool places, but I didn’t really have a travel partner to share it with – and I’ve realized now, that is one of my favourite things about travel.
I love being able to have a conversation with a friend about what we’re seeing or doing. I love to reflect and dive deeper into new things I have learned. I need this in my travel experiences to truly feel like I am getting something out of the experience. This is the one thing that travelling alone does not allow you to do.
As well, it’s not as exciting! When I randomly saw David Beckham in Notting Hill, I couldn’t tell anyone about it for three hours; I didn’t have any wifi!
I still loved the trip, and I’m glad I learned this about myself because it will make my future travel experiences more enriching.
All in all, a wonderful trip to London.
I made good memories, ate great food, and got to catch up with a great friend. And as I flew home on Tuesday, I shed a little tear – not because my plane was delayed for two hours, but because I was thinking about my new credit card bill, and how much London had taken a bit of my soul and my bank account with it as well.