I’m not a particularly well traveled person. I grew up poor and by the time I was making enough of my own money to do so, it was never a priority for what I spent my money on, nor do I have much time when most of my vacation is spent visiting the relatives I live so far away from. When I was in college, a British classmate of mine made a comment about how Americans never leave America to travel, and how sad that was. It infuriated me because traveling is expensive (I’m going to be eating that ticket price for a while!) and not all of us are lucky enough to go to places like Europe, or even get the vacation time to do so. But people look down on you for not having crossed the pond, like you’re missing out on an experience necessary for growing and aging. Anabela and I talked about this a lot on our trip, and I was happy to find someone who saw it the way I did. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to go to London, but it didn’t change my life and I will never utter the words “Oh you haven’t been to London? Oh you muuuusttt go!” Don’t even get me started on the Francophilia mania of the blog world… Ahem. I guess I wanted to self consciously get that out there, put it on the table, that just because you haven’t been able to go all around the world doesn’t make you less of a person in my book. I’ve been to three other countries now and I’m done with being embarrassed about that. The internet has this way of making us jealous of ridiculous things. But you knew that already.
Anyway, I realized that spending time with people who live in London changed my traveling experience – took it up a notch. When I went to Costa Rica a few years ago, I didn’t spend a minute with anyone who actually lived there, I spent it among other tourists, so I learned very little about the day to day culture. But spending time with Vic and meeting bloggers who lived in London, I learned all these little things I may have never picked up otherwise. It was pretty great. I don’t know how to replicate that experience in the future except perhaps finding bloggers in any city I visit. Note to self.
London, I miss you already.