Annnnnd we're back. It's been a couple of weeks. I find the distractions at home an all too easy excuse for procrastinating to finish the last few blog posts of my Healthy & Happy Abroad series. Due to my tardiness in getting this post to you all and in an attempt to catch up, I will give you a quick (but fun) synopsis of my time spent in London by answering a few essential questions about my stay...
How would I describe London in 5 words?
- Big (too big to do in 2.5 days really)
- Expensive (good thing it was towards the end of our trip)
Where did I stay?
At a London native's apartment in the Battersea neighborhood. Battersea is southwest of the city center, across the River Thames from Chelsea. It was a perfect location for Hyunjae and I, only about a 20 minute bus ride from the center.
What are my top 5 favorite things that I did in London?
1. The British Museum
2. Going to a live gypsy jazz venue . If you don't know what type of music that is, listen to Django Reinhardt.
3. Exploring the Soho neighborhood and finding the COOLEST healthy food cafe called Mojo. If I ever have my own cafe, this would be it. Oh, and buying an awesome skirt at a vintage clothing store.
4. Going to see the West End show Billy Elliot
5. Meeting up with my friend Carina from my Italian program!
What did I do to stay happy and healthy in London?
1. Walked... a ton, of course
2. Woke up early in the mornings to go to the nearby Battersea park to do some body weight exercises and yoga (I did get some strange looks, but who cares?). The last morning we went for a nice walk in the park.
3. Checked out 2 restaurants that I read about in one of the health blogs I follow, Deliciously Ella . One was a smoothie/juice bar called Juicebaby and the other was a super trendy vegan/healthy lunch buffet place called Ethos.
What was the most memorable thing that happened to me while in London?
Wellllp, there was a Tube strike and it was completely shut down the last two days we were in London. Yep, probably not the most positive, but definitely the most memorable. The day we left for Dublin, the traffic was just ridiculous because everyone who normally uses the Tube were either driving or using the buses. Anyways, at the bus station they told us it would take us THREE HOURS to get to the airport (You can imagine I was about to have a panic attack). Luckily, it did not take us three hours to get there, however once we were in the airport we had trouble with dropping our luggage (thanks Ryanair) and THEN just to top it off, Hyunjae and I got separated while going through security. I ended up running to my gate because it was about to close and the worst part was I didn't know if Hyunjae was going to be there or not. The whole time I was rushing through the airport, I was praying like a maniac, asking that Hyunjae would please please PLEASE be there. When I got to the gate everyone was lined up to board the plane. And much to my relief, Hyunjae came rushing towards me- praise the Lord. We got on the plane safely and we were off to Dublin.
After that little scare, I had a moment where I realized that I am not in control. God is in control and He is the one who keeps me safe and takes care of me- not me or anyone else. I felt so fatigued and emotionally exhausted from traveling and all the stress I had been through in the past two and a half months. I was happy and so grateful to be where I was and doing the things I was doing, but I knew it was about time to go home. And with that being said, Dublin was the last stop before being homeward bound which couldn't have sounded any better to me. Goodbye London, next post- Dublin!