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There is something about traveling that affects me profoundly.  I come back inspired, excited a little bit jet-lagged, confident, posh (I’m not sure what posh even means but I definitely feel posh right about now). London, with all its unassuming grace, has sparked a note within me (a big reason why I am writing a post on this blog I have disregarded for the past 4 months).  But what is it about London, or traveling in general that affects us in such ways? Maybe it is the lack of structure within each day, even within each moment.  The inability to expect what the day will bring.  Maybe it is the lack of familiarity that forces us to find closeness and a sense of peace in other things, or people, such as the ones you are traveling with, or the people you meet on your trip.

And maybe that is what is so revolutionary.  When you realize that friendship, peace and familiarity are not places or faces, but rather emotions, of love, true joy, trust and respect.  My two friends and I, who I travelled through London with, have been friends since we were kids. Traveling with them and experiencing these emotions, rekindling our trust, respect and overall friendship has reshaped and strengthened our relationship.

The moments of turbulence on the plane, finding lost cats, meeting Scottish boys, spilling red wine and waking up to puppy kisses, all seem to be more than just moments, but connections.  Connections to places and feelings of joy or fear, which open you up to others in the most honest way.  

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But enough lovey-dovey talk, let me tell (and show) you the London I experienced this past week.

So first stop, of course, Big Ben.  How could we not.

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Westminister Palace.  This is where Andy and that Englishman fly remote control airplanes on Parks and Rec. Season 6 episode 1. Check it.

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And, no surprise, the first day we end up on Oxford Street, a huge shopping area.  We were later told that Oxford Street is a tourist trap…what can we say.

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We passes St. Paul’s Cathedral four times this day.  Only once was it intentional.

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Borough Market, which was mostly closed, sadly, but this gem was still open for business.

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Twinnings Tea Shop. Doesn’t get much more British than this.

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Covent Garden Market.

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The Coliseum (pronounced colosseum for us Americans).  English National Ballet (now lead by Tamara Rojo) performs there!

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Afternoon Tea at the National Portrait Gallery.  Super delicious and amazing view of London.  Pricy for sure, save up for this treat.

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Abbey Road.

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Camden Market. This is the best place ever! Unfortunately I went on the last day, when I had no money left, but don’t pull a me and save up for this place.  The best thrift shops I have ever experienced.

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Last but not least, Kensington Palace.  Stunning, I am sure it would be even more stunning in the spring when everything in blooming.  Also it is a great place to run or bike if you are into that!

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I don’t know why, but I always feel I have to end my posts by telling people to do something, so here goes. Go out and explore, get out of your comfort zone and find comfort, gain confidence and friends.  Cheers!

 

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