Monday, 25 January 2016

Livin' it Up in London

Big Ben and Parliament
London is a phenomenal city for many reasons, including the fact that it offers something for everyone. East End has attractions that will appeal to your fun, artsy side. For people interested in history and architecture, the city is crawling with buildings that are as old as and even older than our very own U.S. of A itself. And if you’re a crazy, fan-girl with an obsession for BBC’s Sherlock, London is home to many of the TV show’s frequent film locations, giving you hopeful opportunities to glimpse the amazing Benedict Cumberbatch in action. (No such luck yet.) Visiting the city gives confident credibility to Samuel Johnson’s statement, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."

With such a variety of options, it’s easy then to understand traveling alone in London. When first arriving Thursday night for the school trip, I had no intentions of traveling by myself. I did, however, have a list of places I wanted to go, and it didn’t take me long to realize that school excursions and different priorities would prevent me from completing my list if I tried to stay with friends all day. So, I set off Friday morning by myself in what I hoped was the right direction to the Euston tube station. And…everything worked out great! After hearing horror stories of trips gone wrong and receiving countless warnings from my parents not to go off by myself (sorry Mom and Dad) I expected AT LEAST one traumatic event to befall me. During my solo travels, nothing went wrong with the exception of a couple of minor, easily fixable situations on Saturday afternoon/night (Lumiere London, beautiful as it was, inconvenienced more than a few people). I had a wonderful time and got to experience areas of London that I’d only dreamed of going to. Nevertheless, traveling alone anywhere in Europe can be a dangerous and sticky situation.

The Sherlock Holmes Museum
Overall, I’d advise to mix it up. Traveling in groups is fantastic! Despite the fact that I toured the Sherlock Holmes Museum (and got to take a selfie in the great Sherlock’s bedroom) the second day spent traveling by myself in London got a little lonely. From a more practical view, when you’re lost in a large, foreign-speaking city for the first time it’s not quite as nerve racking being clueless when you’ve got three other people to help you solve the problem  (Two heads are better than one!) Be independent and travel by yourself too, but do it safely. Make sure you prepare and don’t jump so far out of your comfort zone that you’re too scared to leave your hostel.

Lastly, I’d like to advise EVERYONE at Harlaxton of this one thing: buy a selfie-stick. Prior to Harlaxton, I thought they were tacky and tasteless, but then I realized just how hard it was to get all of Big Ben and myself into the frame without any help.

Written by: Remington Grenier

No comments:

Post a Comment