Tourism and Back Alley Stuff

Hello again!

So today we ended up with a relatively late start. It’s been nice to have the freedom to go about on our own but I think it’s also made us all move a bit slower too.

A group of us decided to go to the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace.

The crowd there was intense and not exactly my favorite thing in the world. We got pretty close to the fence but were still too far away to see anything clearly. In all honesty, unless you’re going to get there early (and by early I mean¬†early¬†because we got there by 10:30 and it was already packed… for those who don’t know, the ceremony starts at 11) I don’t really recommend this as something to do during your trip to London.

I mean it is kind of cool to be able to say “I saw the changing of the guards” but I have to admit I didn’t really see the ceremony much at all. I had to watch most of it through the phone screens of other people. I didn’t take many pictures at all because I just wanted to enjoy the moment and I figure everyone else at the ceremony has pictures enough for the entire world.

After the changing of the guard, DyAnna and I went off to explore on our own. We decided to go to the Benjamin Franklin house which was quite cool!

Here’s a little bit about the house from the brochure we got:
“The Historical Experience uses the historic spaces where so much took place as a stage- blending live performance, leading edge sound, lighting, and visual projection- to tell the rich story of Franklin in London in his own words.”

It was a really interesting experience and since we are students we got to see it all for the discounted price of six pounds. I would highly recommend this.

After that we stumbled upon the Victoria Embankment Gardens.

They had a koi pond and ping pong tables here!

Then we finished up the day at the British Museum.

I think from my experiences today I would have to say that I would highly recommend finding more back alley experiences (like the Benjamin Franklin House). The touristy stuff is cool too, don’t get me wrong, but I think that experiencing unique things adds to trip more than crowds do. It’s fun to get out of the way and see things that no one else will.

Anyways, I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Traveling Is For Extroverts

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When I signed up for this trip to London I was all gung ho and ready to go but my enthusiasm quickly turned to gut wrenching anxiety as the weeks went by leading up to the trip. This would be my first time out of the country and my first time flying by myself. I felt completely unprepared and honestly still feel that way.

I’m originally from Woodbury, Minnesota which is a suburb of St. Paul and since I was flying out of Minneapolis I got to go home and spend a few days with my very sick siblings before leaving (to all my travelmates, they were no longer contagious by the time I got home so I hope and pray I didn’t bring any germs with me).

So on to the real nitty gritty stuff that you all want to hear about… Anxiety!

Actually I’m sure no one wants to hear about people talking about anxiety but it’s something that needs to be talked about, especially because traveling causes a LOT of anxiety.

So I’m pretty good at coping with anxiety, mostly by just pushing it aside which isn’t that great but it’s whatever. Anyways, I woke up in a panic on the 14 convinced that I had gone to London without packing any underwear. It took me ten minutes to calm myself down and reassure myself that I had indeed packed underwear and that it had in fact been the first thing that I packed.

Then I went about my normal day and ran some errands with my sister and celebrated Mother’s Day with my mom. By the time early afternoon rolled around I had nothing to distract me any further and was officially in panic mode.

This leads me to what this post is all about. Traveling is not for introverts and traveling is not for people with anxiety. Asking questions, talking to people, figuring out directions, etc. It’s not easy for me to ask questions or include myself in things or “force” myself to be extroverted. I mean I can to an extent but that’s a whole other thing.

All in all I think that the world needs to be kinder to travelers, more directions would be lovely and I would really appreciate the security people to be less intimidating too (but I understand why they are).

So from a very anxious introvert, hello from London. I hope I can encourage some other people who are terrified of traveling to actually travel. I think it’ll be worth it.