I used to travel alone for a few years. So when my parents tell this to their friends, I always received such weird gazes; full of respect, like I am a real survivor. Well, behind my back they were probably thinking I am crazy.
I have never thought that I will see the UK one day, in real life, not in my dreams. And there were reasons of my doubts:
- All my friends, who never were abroad told me it was too expensive,
- England is not even on my continent; well, technically it is – but still for my fear it was not,
- I did not have any companion to travel with me,
- I did not have any chances to receive visa, as there are too many strict rules, and I am not an owner of any property, I am not married, and not so tied to Ukraine.
And of course, I did not believe in myself either. Even my travel agent did not believe in me 🙂
Still, I am a cross-stitcher. I made 150 cm long picture during 9 months, I am very stubborn, and so I decided to try.
A few months later I was sitting in the Regent’s Park, showing my face to the sun and giving my last sandwich to a very scary and fat squirrel that wanted to jump on my knees.
Yep, I did it. I received a visa for a half of the year, and had a pretty nice company of a Sherlock-fan on the plane.
If you think that London totally consists from the fog and rain – you are wrong… they also had red double-deckers there 🙂 I’m just kidding. During my 10 days in London, I saw a small rain only once. It was such a beautiful moment. Seems like all people in this city were incredibly happy with the rain. Maybe because they all bought too expensive umbrellas. I walked in this warm rain and smiled back to other people.
During my trip I used the underground only two times. One because of my curiosity – they have amazing thick free newspapers there, and very polite people who will always will apologize even it was my foot on their feet.
Another trip was made with my new friends – a couple from Ukraine that decided to take care of me after they understood that I was alone here. Which was not true. I made friends in the street, talking to police people, cleaners, shop assistants, random grannies in the parks, even with old ladies in theaters.
And yep, I was in theater. I decided to see a beautiful Ibsen’s play “Dollhouse”… it was an amazing experience — not just because the main actor looked like a Colin Firth and was extremely hot, but because they play with so much love to this play, I can’t stop applauding.
I think you already understood how nerdy I am. So, my favorite type of activity was to go to museums. Even if you are not interested in art, history, geography, literature, music, cosmos, robots – in everything, be sure to go to museums in London. They are not just completely free – which is a good bonus in this city, they are something you will never forget.
You can play there, watch movies, and roll on the floor under Van Gogh’s paintings. You can go to the shop, and buy souvenirs with offensively beautiful pictures to make all your friends jealous.
Don’t even have doubts – I visited British museums two days and was there till the last visitor.
I will never confess in this, but I think I even licked some monument while no one saw it.
I walked in every royal park in London. I love walking, and I walk a lot, but even for me it was a hard task. All of them are so beautiful, full of flowers, trees, animals, and interesting people. It is also free entertainment.
I listened to the street singers, and they were good with Beatles songs… maybe because of their accents… Maybe all English can perfectly sing like Beatles, I have never checked it.
Oh, and by the way, as a former historian in reality, but never in my heart, I have found the Temple. Of course, I troubled few very pleasant people, but they showed me a quick way across the yards and streets, and I visited the last home for real knights of Temple.
To be honest with you I did not like the local fish and chips, and black sausages for breakfast so I ate cereal, chocolate, Japanese and fast food, vegan burritos, healthy sandwiches with corn, and tuna and plums, strawberries, bananas or grapes every day. Thank you, Indian 24-hours open shops.
Of course, I can’t live without coffee so I had 3 cups every day in different cafes. Few times in Starbucks but mostly in Costa.
As every girl, I like to buy clothes. So I spent one day in Marks and Spencer, H&M, and many more chip places on Oxford Street. It was a sunny day and birds were singing in my ears to buy more and more amazing things.
I spend nearly $700 USD on everything, including flight, hotel, food, clothes, souvenirs…etc.
My advice to you – if you are alone, go to London, you will never have this feeling there. It seems like London is your soul mate that hugs you whenever you go, whatever you do. It is too polite to tell you that enough is enough and you will definitely come back there again.
Philosopher, writer, hitchhicker