London is almost two weeks in my past, and while there are moments I’d prefer to erase from my memory there are many I am blessed to have experienced…and what’s more…I survived London alone!
The countryside, architecture and people were some of the most beautiful I’ve encountered. From place to place the atmosphere was different, but always fabulous. I have my favourite moments, and there were moments that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy, if I had one.
Most daunting for me was the first weekend, as I unsuccessfully tried to navigate my way around the city due to the international roaming on my phone failing to work.
The streets looked similar, especially as night began to set in. No one hassled me or gave me an ounce of trouble, but I can’t begin to tell you how relieved I was to stumble upon a taxi…one never seemed far away when I was in need, and for this I was grateful.
The Jack the Ripper Museum was where I encounter my first holiday angel, one of the few people who went out of their way to make my experience of London so much richer. I was in a bit of a state by the time I reached the museum, so I don’t remember her name…if I did, I’d name the angel atop my Christmas Tree after her. I was keen to utilise the London Underground, but didn’t have a clue where to begin. She gave me a tube map, directions and details on how to purchase an Oyster Card, which made travelling by public transport so much faster.
Her assistance didn’t stop there. Eager for me to experience the best of her local area, she encouraged me to have lunch by the River Thames, to walk the London Bridge and to visit the Tower of London…each suggestion a fabulous one!
Monday morning I was delighted when the mobile phone store opened, and even more so to meet James, from Tasmania. He’d not long moved to London and instantly became one of my holiday angels. I’m not exaggerating, if it weren’t for him I might still be lost! Ha ha! 😉 His job in Australia was to unlock mobile phones…see instant angel status…he installed a prepaid sim that saw me with enough data, call and text allowance to last my entire trip.
His service didn’t end there…he introduced me to a must have app…Citymapper! This app saw me living like a Londoner in no time! All I had to do was type in my destination and the app worked out the route to walk, and the bus or tube to take, as simple as that!
I encountered two more holiday angels…my Airbnb host, who checked in on me, answered any question I sent her way and invited me to join her and her husband for wine and fascinating conversations.
And, one I already knew to be an angel, Emily, who I met in the US, in 2012, and have been friends with ever since. I spent my final day with her, visiting the Cotswold Villages! The perfect way to end a most interesting holiday!
To the four people I mentioned…I am forever grateful to you and, if one day, you stumble across a book dedicated to My Holiday Angels, I hope that somehow you will know this dedication is for you!