London Adventures

I’m sitting in a cute little bed and breakfast in London right now struggling to write when I should be working. It’s so hard to focus on work when you are supposed to be on vacation so I guess I have no choice but to procrastinate tonight. I’ve been in London for 3 days now and I’ve been telling myself to document my trip every night but I come back to the hotel and pass out right away because I’m so exhausted from all the walking. Isn’t it ironic that vacations are so draining because you want to see and do as much as you can?

London

Rainy London.

My flight to London went by quickly because of the late flight (zzzzzz) and my seat buddy (hi Kelly!), although frustrating because of my damn backpack. First day into my 7-week trip and I already faced the biggest fail: my decision to bring a backpack. A backpack is convenient and I was able to carry it on the plane with me, but it is horribly comfortable and gets really heavy overtime, especially when you have to pack all these electronics and extra fitness gear. I didn’t want to check in bags either and heaving it around the airport felt like my demise. The backpack was properly fitted and I swear, I packed light with my clothing because I was planning to buy things along the way! My shoulders were also sore from a workout before I left so I guess I didn’t give the backpack a fair chance but I’m going to listen to my gut. I cannot imagine using one when the weather gets hotter as I head further down south— I don’t mind sweating in workout gear but not walking around town in everyday clothing.

I went out to buy a high quality suitcase yesterday and I’m much happier… plus I can fit way more in it! I’m sending the backpack to France to use as check-in luggage for shopping splurges at the end of my trip. Does that make me a good problem solver? Harhar.

On the first day, I arrived later than planned while struggling to stay awake at the airport and on the tube, but finally at 5pm, I headed out to explore the neighbourhood. I wandered onto Oxford Street, quite surprised because I did not know it was a couple blocks away. How dangerous. I lack willpower. I took some random turns and got lost but I loved how there are maps and random wifi all over the place.

London: Victoria & Albert Museum

I need an entrance like this to my home.

The next day, I was up at 5am, ready to wing my day: Buckingham Palace where I took a picture and left since it was not opened to the public… just to say I did it. You don’t need much time gazing at the exterior of a building. I was trying to make it the Museum of Natural History but saw the line and went next door to the Victoria & Albert Museum instead. Headed back up to Camden Town to explore and have lunch. Some woman tried to distract me, hoping I wouldn’t notice her not giving me my change back after I bargained and bought some spa products from her. Sneaky! Went back to Oxford Street for more shopping (no sneaky salespeople). Then spent a couple hours at the British Museum after dropping my bags off at the hotel. My legs began to scream in pain so I sadly did not make it through the exhibits. Grabbed take out on the way home and passed out cold thinking: must work… must blog.. must work…

London: Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace.

Today I achieved my London goal of visiting Hampton Court Palace (so amazing), then I explored Piccadilly Circle, Leicester SquareChinatown + area, napped and then had dinner at a nice Italian restaurant (which cost way too much for what it was worth).

London: Hampton Court Palace

The haunted hallway where Katherine Howard once ran down screaming to plead with Henry VIII before she was caught and dragged back to her room. She was later beheaded.

Tomorrow is my last day in London and I plan to relax and either go running along the Thames or gym-hunting. Most likely the lather because I hate running (damn you, Tough Mudder) and I feel like my muscles are deteriorating with all this walking. Must. Lift. I may try to hit up the Tate Modern before it closes but I don’t mind saving it for my next trip to London.

This sums up my trip so far: winging everything and hoping I don’t get lost (thank god for wifi and Google maps), running on too many Americano’s and expending excessive amounts of energy to resist shopping. I’m only on day 4 of 49…

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    Shangri-La is on a Bicycle

    Cycling takes us to places we would never otherwise see.

    There is really no better way to explore the world other than on a simple bicycle. In a car, you move too fast to be able to soak in your surroundings, get a whiff of the fragrant, flowering meadows and feel the connection of being so rooted to the earth, when your sensory is fully brimming from all the elements. On foot, you move too slow, incapable of exploring miles and miles of roads, countrysides and vistas in one go. On a bicycle, you simply are able to cover epic distances, fueled by mental strength and calories and only limited by your fitness ability. But once you’ve been on a bike and have been captivated by the perpetual sensations of freedom, you may just find yourself not being able to stop.

    I just added a new item to my bucket list: cycling in China. I’ve always wanted to go back to the motherland and visit the Chinese countryside and I think the only way to make the most out of that experience is to travel by bicycle. Now all I need to do is befriend a Mandarin-speaking cyclist so he can be my tour guide. Any takers?

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