That other random weekend in London

I spent a long weekend in January 2016 in London. I was going to meet up with two of my good friends, Stacey & Nicola who would be taking the train down from Manchester. We all had taught English in Korea at the same time. I hadn’t seen either of them for about 2.5 years so was looking forward to this little reunion of ours. 

I got to London a day before them and found a hostel near the train station at Kings Cross called Clink 78. I went to the hostel bar and started to chat with some people who quickly showed me they had no interest in making friends. So that was great. Honestly, I prefer travel in SE Asia SO MUCH MORE than Europe – but that’s another story. 

I walked around a bit, ate, had some beers, and called it an early night. I was looking forward to seeing my friends the next day and didn’t really care to be out late. 

The next morning I got a good 16 mile walk in while waiting for their arrival. I walked along the Thames, went to the British Museum, made my way to Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Parliament, and saw all the normal places that you can find on google images. 

In the evening my friends arrived! We spent the rest of the weekend enjoying the sunshine, eating Korean BBQ, doing handstands, and walking through Soho – have you ever seen a guy pee so freely? Although we only had a short amount of time together it was a great reunion. 

The more you travel, the smaller the world becomes.

Europe cures the winter blues

When I went to Europe in January 2016 I was broke. I was working two part-time jobs while also paying the bare minimum on my student loans. I didn’t have much leftover to really go outside of Seattle. So I bought some yarn and I saved up about $1,500 by selling crocheted items during the two months before my trip. I told myself I would have 100% of that money go to my “travel fund” and it worked!

So I took two (unpaid) weeks off in January & planned a trip to visit some friends and family who lived abroad. I am very fortunate to have connections in other countries and a place to stay when needed.

Did you know there are CHEAP flights to Sweden? Through Norwegian Air I could get a one way ticket from Oakland to Stockholm for $240. I would spend a weekend there & continue on to Germany, Ukraine, & England. Random, right? My credit card company thought so as well and stopped processing my flights as I was booking them.

Thanks to my dad and his love for planning travel itineraries I could make it work. After multiple phone calls to my bank, talking to my dad on the phone for two hours to get it all sorted, basically breaking my laptop while opening tab after tab after tab, and a LOT of patience it was set:

  • Flight 1: Seattle to Oakland for a quick layover – $90
  • Flight 2: Oakland to Arlanda (Stockholm) – $240
  • Flight 3: Arlanda to Frankfurt – $130
  • Flight 4: Frankfurt to Kiev – $120
  • Flight 5: Kiev to London – $75
  • Flight 6: London to LAX – $330
  • Flight 7: LAX to Seattle – $110
  • Total price: $1,095

So why this trip? I had a place to sleep everywhere I went. During those two weeks I stayed in a hostel ONCE in Ukraine, TWICE in Germany, and ONCE in London. I KNOW that this is not something everyone can do so I am very thankful for the family and friends that took me in. Thanks to Anna, Jim, Babsy, Colin, Stacey, & Nicola.

**More stories shown under the Sweden, Germany, Ukraine, & England tabs. 

A private tour of the Queen’s backyard

I took the train from Paris to London for a weekend in 2011 with a few friends. We had a few free days in our study abroad itinerary and wanted to explore a new city. When we arrived we walked around the city doing our touristy thing. We went to Buckingham Palace, Parliament, and walked all over the river Thames. My friend Julie actually had a connection to stay on the grounds of Windsor Palace so we stayed there for two nights. St. George’s Chapel was one of my favorite sites because it’s the burial site of King Henry VIII who I had just read a lot about and a lot of other famous royalties. We had our own private tour during sunset and it was such a unique experience. We weren’t allowed to take photos because it was private property.

What’s so cool about Windsor???

  • Founded by King Edward III in 1348
  • It is the other church of the order of the garter
  • From 1475-1528 there was major redevelopment by Henry VII & Henry VIII
  • In 1642 it was destroyed during the English Civil War and repaired during the restoration of the monarchy 
  • The tower of William the Conqueror was built in 1066
  • Those are the only notes from my journal! For more info check out google Image result for smile emoji