For the past seven years, my passion for traveling has amplified with the desire to see as much of the world as possible. It’s been drilled into my mind, over and over again from my wise parents: “Travel while you’re young, before you have a mortgage, kids and responsibilities!” This is one lesson well learned. I can graciously thank them for the reoccurring “travel itch” I experience at least once a year. This year, I went to London and for the first time, I traveled solo.
In my perspective, traveling is immensely grounding and inspiring. The beauty, history, people, and FOOD (I tend to eat my way through every new adventure), encompass each travel experience. Wherever I’m at in my life, seeking the opportunity to plan a new trip is not only fun and exciting, but the trip itself brings me back down to earth, motivating me to pursue new challenges and successes.
In all my international traveling (Japan, Spain, France, Australia, Italy, and Amsterdam) I have not once traveled completely alone. As a 24-year-old woman, this time was going to be a first.
My journey to London started off a bit chaotic. After many delays from the San Francisco International airport and 9.5 hours later, I arrived in London, England. A quick hop on the Tube’s (London’s underground public metro system) central line toward Loughton, I was on my way to check into my home for the next four days. Thrilled that everything started to come together, I supposedly arrived at my final destination. Well, so I thought! Thanks to good ol’ Google maps, I was walking in the direction of what I thought to be correct. Little be known, I was in fact walking further and further away. As I struggled up and down each street through London’s lunch time traffic, you might be able to guess what happens next…
“TAXI! Old Compont street, please.” The driver suggested it would be a shorter to walk. I laugh as I know he is probably correct, but my new Toms were killing me (note to self: break-in before wearing), and I was more eager than ever to get to the apartment. The cost of a 1.5 mile taxi ride = £10.00, finally arriving at my final destination, priceless! (Quick note: let’s remember £10 is equivalent to $15.21, so at all costs when visiting London: do not take overpriced taxis.)
I stood in front of two large, bright red doors surrounded by buzzing restaurants and cafes in Soho, an area of the City of Westminster and part of the West End of London. While I skimmed the three pages of instructions from the host, unlocked the security box, unlocked the door, and ran briskly up the two flights of stairs, the doors were illuminating as if I had entered a magical kingdom. I was home.