The City Un-Guide to London

on February 22, 2017

I wanted to tell you all about my trip to London this past weekend – but I didn’t know how. After all, it’s not like it was my first trip to London (see here, here, here, here etc…) so how do I put a spin on it? (That’s what you’re supposed to do on a blog, right?). But here’s what I do have… My city UN-GUIDE to London. 

The city un-guide to London: for anyone who gets overwhelmed planning travel to a big city, the un-guide to London is my story of freedom in a big city!
When I sat down to write this post, I thought about making an anecdote about my experience on the sleeper train to London… On which I accidentally didn’t book a bed so spent the entire night slumped over a table. #classy

I also thought about writing about how I walked about 12 miles in 24 hours…6 of those before 9am on my first day (Oof). I’ve been dragging out the same Oyster card for months and didn’t want this to be the trip I used it up.

The city un-guide to London: for anyone who gets overwhelmed planning travel to a big city, the un-guide to London is my story of freedom in a big city!
The walking led to exploring some diverse neighborhoods… Some of which I hadn’t been to for ages (as I usually congregate to my beloved Southbank). So I played with doing a neighborhood guide, or maybe contrasting edgy Shoreditch with posh Kensington.

The city un-guide to London: for anyone who gets overwhelmed planning travel to a big city, the un-guide to London is my story of freedom in a big city!
I also played with the idea of a “how to be a basic bitch in London” post (pardon my language). I felt myself rocket to basic level 9,000 as I instagrammed the pastel houses in Notting Hill and drank my rose latté at Farm Girl. Whilst I waited in line for a table, a lady asked a couple girls in front of me (who were clearly regulars) if the food was good, to which they replied “it’s okay but we come here for the #aesthetic” (# added by yours truly).

The city un-guide to London: for anyone who gets overwhelmed planning travel to a big city, the un-guide to London is my story of freedom in a big city!
On that note (and AS PER) I could offer you a play by play of my eating exploits in London, including but not limited to aforementioned Instagram paradise Farm Girl (gluten free pancakes!), Indian buffet, and sushi with the ex-housemate turned Londoner.

The city un-guide to London: for anyone who gets overwhelmed planning travel to a big city, the un-guide to London is my story of freedom in a big city!
Or, of course, there’s the whole reason I went to London in the first place, the Refugee Week Conference at Amnesty International. As a not super network-y person this was a bit intimidating but nevertheless inspiring. It deserves (and probs will get) its very own post.

Why (and How) Travelers Should Support Refugees

 

The city un-guide to London: for anyone who gets overwhelmed planning travel to a big city, the un-guide to London is my story of freedom in a big city!
Ultimately, though, my trip boiled down to this: I forced myself to do a cool thing and I have 0 regrets. When it comes to visiting a city, there is no better guidance I could possibly give. I am not the expert on London neighborhoods or eateries or fashion or transport or what have you. All I have to offer is my own experience, which is that in the midst of essays, dissertation, research, work, and a cold, I went to London because I felt like it. And it was great.

In the end, I’ll remember sushi with George in Soho, meeting up for drinks in the pub with a tree in its basement, sunny Hyde park, bumpy bus rides, and the colorful street art in shoreditch as I made my way to a conference on a topic I am so so passionate about. I won’t remember the days spent grueling over my desk or hunched up in the library.

Here’s to more of doing what you want. When you want. Facing your fears.

Sarah xx

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The city un-guide to London: for anyone who gets overwhelmed planning travel to a big city, the un-guide to London is my story of freedom in a big city!

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