This summer I came to the realization that after a long four years of studying and working, I have become tired, unimpressed, and seriously bored. Shortly after acknowledging this shift in mood, I took matters into my own hands and firmly decided that I needed a change in perspective (a.k.a. vacation). I grabbed a friend, packed my bags, and travelled through London, England for a week.
This was, thus far, the greatest week of my life.
I haven’t travelled much in my twenty two years and, alone for the first time, I got the chance to clear my mind, learn the city’s and country’s rich and interesting history, see some beautiful gothic architecture, and even see some beautiful nature well hidden in the incredible urban jungle of London and Westminster Cities.
Upon arriving at our hotel located right on Trafalgar Square, we quickly settled and eagerly rushed out to seize what was left of our day to explore our surroundings.
We took advantage of the five full days we spent in the beautiful city by taking early morning walking tours and indulging in the different cultures and cuisines, well complimented by the incredible scenery and architecture. We learned about the Buckingham palace and the queen, King Henry VIII, and the Crimean war. We toured the Tower of London, St. Paul’s cathedral, and Kensington Gardens. We walked through Notting Hill, Borough market, and Shoreditch. We learned about the majestic Westminster Abbey, the British parliament, trafalgar square, and even got a little taste of London’s ecological history through the stunning park of St. James.
Fun fact: St. James’s Park was once the site of a lepers hospital for women but was later taken over by monarchy. Henry VIII bought the land and transformed it into his personal deer-hunting/duck-shooting grounds. After him, King James I introduced even more biodiversity by bringing exotic animals to the park in the 1600s such as crocodiles, elephants and camels. However, the animals eventually died and the park was landscaped, after which it was finally opened to the public. It’s very beautiful, green, and very much alive with people and other local animals, and one of my all-time favourite places.
This trip was incredibly fulfilling and exactly the pick-me-up I needed. Although it was a short and physically very tiring five day adventure, I returned home re-energized and ready to embark on the new endeavours that the new year would bring. I not only learned about the incredible country, but also quite a bit about myself. I learned that travel is incredible, eye-opening, and something I should and will definitely be doing more often. This trip has made summer 2016 the best one yet, and I cannot wait to explore more of the world.