Walking into the gate, saying goodbye to your family doesn’t get any easier as you travel more. As I grow older I realize how valueable and important my family is in my life. I understand the sacrifices they make for me to travel. I know it worries my mother when I leave, but her understanding and compassion are demonstrated far greater. During the brief moments before traveling I have such mixed emotions but once the wheels on the plane start turning and I’m off in the air, I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and all I can think about is the new oppoortunities I will encounter that will allow me to see more of the world and grow.
I packed one backpack (Osphrey Kyte 36) which I chose because it could be used for day/overnight hiking, be brought on the plane as carry on, overall lightweight, and doesn’t make me stick out as a tourist with too much luggage. Packing is an art! And I think packing is fun! You probably hear that few and far between but I enjoy the “challenge” of continually having to decide what you need and asking myself over and over ‘do I need this, do I really need this?’
When I was checking in at the gate I realized I was standing in front of one of my floormates from residence in first year of university. What a small world! Safe and happy travels Spencer!
The great thing (in theory) about taking an overnight flight is that you wake up and you’re at your destination. In reality, “sleep” looks a lot like rolling around figuring out where to put your head (being careful not to rest your head on your neighbour, although I’m sure she’s a nice lady and won’t mind, we really don’t know each other that well), and where to put your leg (that’s the only thing in your body that keeps falling asleep). But earplugs and an eye mask help, so I managed to get about 5 hours of “sleep” before arriving in London Heathrow the next morning.
First thing I did was purchase an oyster card for the Tube. I’m impressed with the public transit; however it still pales in comparison to Tokyo or Hong Kong, but it’s quite good and straightforard to naviagte which really makes traveling easier.
I started London by seeing the infamous Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and House of Parliament. You can see pictures and pictures of sites like these, but when you have the chance to see it for yourself – experience it for yourself, the effect is completely different. I’ll be up to more “touristy” and not-so-touristy things over the next several days in London. Stay tuned!