First Stop, London!

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Remember when I posted this New Years resolution post and mentioned how I wanted to travel a lot more this year.   Well here we are, now 8 months later. 8 months ago I booked my flight to London slightly on a whim, unsure of exactly where I wanted to travel to.  Over the next 7 months I researched and narrowed it down to which countries, and cities I wanted to see and how much time I would like in each location.  I’m one of those people that loves to plan trips so it was honestly a ton of fun for me to be able to do so!  I ended up going to 5 countries and 8 cities. I will have a recap of every city I visited for the next couple weeks and all the fun I had there!

First, stop London. Backpacking around London England- Travel

I always knew I wanted to take a backpack because pulling a suitcase a mile on cobblestones just did not seem ideal.  It was definitely a good choice on my part.  I decided on a 40L backpack (as seen above) from REI.  Not only was this the perfect size for traveling (just fit the budget airlines cary on luggage size) but it also opened all the way across so everything in there was easily accessible. Note: I did do laundry half way, as I was gone for a bit over 3 weeks.  This bag could easily fit 2 weeks of clothes (summer clothes)  inside, despite how small it looks.   Anyway, here is a picture right before I left for the airport! Wearing the comfiest clothes of course! Leggings: Old Navy, T-Shirt: Boohoo, Crop Top: Forever 21.

First stop, London. Backpacking around London England- TravelLet’s talk about that flight!  I flew Virgin Atlantic because it was the cheapest at the time that I booked. A plus that they are partners with Delta, so I can use those miles combined.  Here is the pasta dish I got.  Awesome that they served it with a salad, fruit and whole grain roll! I had a direct flight from Los Angeles to Heathrow, which was incredibly nice.  It was about 10 hours which wasn’t bad at all.  I watched a few movies, and the first season of Little Big Lies. And before I knew it we were there!

First stop, London. Backpacking around London England- TravelPrepare yourself, I took a lot of pictures of all my food.  Most of it is not healthy in the slightest, but I didn’t care.  To me, food is part of the culture and part of the entire experience. I hopped off the plane, got on the tube, and checked into my hostel.  I stayed in SoHostel while I was in London.  It was the absolute perfect location.  It was close to most major tourist attractions and a great area to experience the nightlife.   Anyway, I arrived to the hostel around dinner time, ate some fish n chips and then passed out!

First stop, London. Backpacking around London England- Travel

First stop, London. Backpacking around London England- TravelSomehow completely avoided jet lag both ways on my trip, so not complaining.  The key for international flying, don’t sleep on the plane so you’re tired enough to fall asleep at an early local time.  Next morning woke up and had this amazing “English Breakfast.”  My oh my was it good.  It’s a lot more than what I’m used to for breakfast so I pretty was stuffed for the majority of the day.

First stop, London. Backpacking around London England- TravelAfter that, I went to go watch the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace.  I’d recommend getting there by 9:30/10 in the high season, or else you won’t be able to see much.

Buckingham Palace London England, TravelOne of the things that stinks about traveling alone is that you have to ask people to take your photo all the time if you want something more than a selfie.  Luckily at Buckingham palace theres a little wall, where you could easily prop your phone up and set the timer!

First stop, London. Backpacking around London England- TravelKensington Palace

First stop, London. Backpacking around London England- TravelThis house curry from Cinnamon Soho was insanely delicious.  So creamy and not too spicy!

First stop, London. Backpacking around London England- TravelDid I ever mention how much I love gin, and how I now love the people of London for loving gin so much! Found cute signs all over London about gin.First stop, London. Backpacking around London England- TravelSpeaking of gin, a delicious gin cocktail from Rumpus Room. Quite the pricey cocktail, but worth it with the beautiful view of London!

First stop, London. Backpacking around London England- TravelTower Bridge!

First stop, London. Backpacking around London England- TravelBig Ben & House of Parliament.  The amount of detail of the entire building blew me away.  So incredibly beautiful!

First stop, London. Backpacking around London England- TravelNot a “typical” London tourist attraction, but it was something I couldn’t resist seeing while I was here.  The Harry Potter Studio Tour! You were able to see costumes, accessories, props,  actual real sets like the great hall, and how they were able to create the films using special effects.  I was like a kid on Christmas with so much excitement!

First stop, London. Backpacking around London England- TravelBangers n Mash from Mother Mash. Such a comforting meal after a very long day of walking around.  Most cities I visited I walked pretty much every where.  I always find that is the best way to explore a city.  That way I am able to walk down random streets, and find things I would have never seen otherwise.

First stop, London. Backpacking around London England- TravelOne of the coolest things I didn’t even realize was occurring until that day, London Pride.  It was incredible to see how many people came out in support!  All the streets near my hostel were closed to traffic and people were out and about drinking and having an amazing time.  London certainly knows how to have fun!

First stop, London. Backpacking around London England- TravelLondon Eye! I didn’t end up going in it for a few reasons.  It was pricey, there was an insanely long line and I heard from everyone that it just wasn’t worth it. However it was certainly cool to see!

First stop, London. Backpacking around London England- TravelCovent Gardens

First stop, London. Backpacking around London England- TravelOne afternoon, I tried afternoon tea.  Quite delicious!

First stop, London. Backpacking around London England- TravelI figured it was necessary I tried a pint of cider in a pub on the final night in London. Delicious! One of my favorite parts of London is after work so many people go out to the pubs for a drink. Not only that, but in London and the parts of Europe I was in, you could drink on the streets and in parks. I often saw people at a park enjoying a nice cheese board and a bottle of wine!

London ended up being one of my favorite cities.  So much so I would definitely consider moving there one day!

Have you been to London?

Have you done any traveling this summer?