London, England – December 2nd to December 7th 2013
Initial Thoughts: I’d been to London before, but in an ever-evolving city like London, no two visits are the same. This time I stayed in Camden as on a previous visit I’d loved the off-beat vibe. Discovering unique and individual communities within big cities is one of my favourite parts of travel. Camden Market today is really just a hyped-up, tourist trap, but I still loved the variety of foods and the intertwining stalls selling all the ticky-tacky-nicky-nacky things your heart could desire. Camden Town is filled with dark pubs where I drank pints of English beer and finally caught up on some writing. The busy streets were filled with the cultural diversity I had been craving and I took full advantage of the food – Thai for lunch and Indian for dinner, not a fish and chips in sight! My only regret was that I didn’t partake in the nightlife which that can only be described as horrible and amazing- maybe I will next time I’m in London. Another visit, another adventure.
Best Moment: On a cold, overcast day I grabbed a cappuccino and took the underground to the Victoria & Albert Museum. As I walked out if the tube and onto the busy streets, I felt like a real Londoner – the type of Londoner I would be. I would take advantage of the free museums, I see an endless stream of plays, sample the diversity of restaurants and embrace the infinitely-renewed culture London has on display. While at the V&A, the exhibits about Fashion, Theatre, and Stained Glass caught my attention. It was a different, more modern take on museum curation and it struck a cord. Later in the trip I would see a WestEnd show and the subtleties of costume and set design had even greater meaning. Across the street from the V&A is the Natural Sciences Museum which I would have loved to have visited but I didn’t have the time. Yet another thing to look forward to next time I am in London!
Take Away: London was my last stop before heading home for the holidays. My last stop after 10 months in Europe. My last stop after 3 months of solo travel. My last stop on this trip. I am not sure how this experience has changed me, but I’m sure it has in a myriad of ways. I know I’m more independent. I know I’m more eager to travel. I know I won’t be happy until I explore the world beyond my comfort zone. And I know that this is just the beginning. And for now, maybe that’s enough.