I think we often take this life for granted, which is why I woke up one morning and told myself I was leaving the country. At first I was planning on just really going for it, and by that I mean doing the trip solo, but as time went on I figured it would be more fun to share the trip with a friend. I must’ve only had thirty bucks in my apron at the time, but I remember looking over and seeing Jake, as I wiped down the tables to the diner I worked at. He sat alone near the windows as he waited for his food, so I approached him and before long we agreed to travel to London over Thanksgiving Break. We gave ourselves a month to plan the trip, which for me is pretty last minute, and in doing so we were able to snag round trip tickets for $318 each from WOW Air. Part of what made our plane tickets so cheap was having to flying from Canada to Iceland to the U.K., which in my opinion, made the trip more fun. After buying my ticket I was working a lot to fund my trip. There were often times where I sacrificed my sleep to make money, but it was well worth it. The whole experience really opened me up to a life I knew existed, but living through it helped give me a different perspective.
Contrary to everything I was told it didn’t rain a whole lot when we were in London, but it was really foggy. These pictures were taken from the Westminster Bridge. During the time, Big Ben was under construction.
These were taken at the London Aquarium, which is pretty close to the previous location. I can’t remember the exact number, but I learned that many more sharks are killed by humans per year, than humans killed by sharks per year.
“The tubes” are probably the most affordable and practical when traveling through London. We used their underground system daily, so it was definitely interesting to make small talk with everyday folks who were just getting a ride to work. Talking to people in the city may have affected the responses, but for the most part many people were against the U.K. leaving the European Union, otherwise known as Brexit.
Oxford Street was flooded with shoppers from around the world for Black Friday. In comparison to the U.S., I was kind of shocked to see that Black Friday was equally as serious. I tried to purchase a British jacket while I was out and about, but many of the stores were big names from America, so I settled for a denim jacket from GAP.
When we started to get comfortable at the hostel we were staying at, St. Chistopher’s Inn, we began to make friends. One night Jake and I were using the WiFi in the downstairs lobby until some nice Brits introduced themselves and invited us to come see the South London Soul Train with them. The music was awesome, and it was really nice to know that we were welcome to explore the city with hospitable and like-minded people.
This was one of my all-time favorite restaurants. “Portena” sold Argentinian street food, which really came in handy when we needed to grab a quick bite. It was located near London Bridge and the Borough Market, so business was always moving. I can still remember the satisfying warmth of their freshly cooked empanadas. They were delicious. Behind me is Jake, ordering food hungrily.
The British Museum was definitely worth seeing. I found myself lost a couple of times, but that didn’t really bother me. It was nice to sort of just let go and move with the exhibits.
This was taken at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. It was a German amusement park and Christmas extravaganza that covered 350 acres of land.
Overall, my experience in the U.K. was positive. To those interested in traveling: I encourage you to go for it. It’s a great way to let your mind breathe. Also, as human beings our time on earth is limited, so we may as well get to know each other.