So as some of you may know, every year I have a few resolutions that I try to keep. Not anything super unrealistic like workout everyday or stop drinking (seriously, do people say those as a joke?), I try to set some possible ones (often a reach, but possible)! This particular year, I had a couple. One being that I never wanted to work for another company (As of today, with one month left to go, I have stuck to that!), another one of my resolutions was to cross an ocean. Yes, yes, I know that last year I got my first few passport stamps, and that was awesome! But this time I wanted to step it up and go further. It being November and all, and me not having a steady income, I must admit this years resolutions were looking pretty darn bleak! However, I did not give up hope. By some uncanny force of nature about 2 weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to come to... England baby! Of course I dropped everything and decided that I must go! Someone asked me in a Facebook message a few days ago how it was that I got to travel so much, and besides those uncanny forces (and my best friend being a flight attendant), I would have to say that travel has to do a lot with flexibility. That’s right people, most of my trips are random and spur of the moment. The most I’ll ever plan in advance is maybe a month, and even THAT is rare. I mean, if you have a real life planning is fine. But as with anything in life, the more particular and specific you are, the harder it will be to find. Spontaneity! Also, I usually don’t really plan particular places. I just go with the flow! Especially if it’s a place I’ve never been before. It could be a place I've never even heard of or even thought about going, but if an opportunity arises, I will definitely jump on it. Anywho, without further ado, I will now share the experiences of my first ever Euro trip!
My first stop in Europe was a layover in Dublin, Ireland. This is where I first realized, I have a super Irish sounding name! I’ve actually always wanted to go to Ireland because it looked so green. In real life, it was so freakin green! The flight attendants were in all green, the airport was green, all of the advertisements seemed like they were green. Just green! I also realized that Ireland is a part of the UK (they don’t teach us silly Americans much about global geography), so they only stamped my passport in Ireland even though my final destination was England. On the plane to England, I had a window seat (yay!) so I got to look outside at the beautiful countryside. There was even MORE greenness! I was thinking to myself, who the heck is mowing all this grass?? But seriously, it was beautiful. I flew into Newcastle, which is in the Northern part (Northumberland to be exact). Lots of English countryside action going on. Lot’s of sheep! Also, there are a lot of super old buildings and such. American is such a new country in the grand scheme of things. I went to hear an orchestra and choir at a cathedral built in 400 A.D. (which I wasn’t supposed to take photos in, but I had to document)! Some of the architecture here has been around for well over a thousand years. The oldest man made thing in America is only a couple hundred years.
Besides the aesthetics, the people here are so darn proper! It’s so interesting how it’s technically the same language, but sounds so different coming from an American bloke like me. I feel like I have to step my proper English game up (which is hard because I obviously LOVE slang)! Apart from the actual accent, the things people say are just a little bit more elegant in a way. It’s so fancy! And people drink so much tea it’s not even funny. And I don’t even really like tea! But when in Rome... (Speaking of tea, there is a whole street named after Earl Grey in Newcastle... complete with an Earl Grey statue).
Also while near Newcastle in a town called Durham, I just so happened to stumble upon a lovely little karaoke pub! Every knows I LOVE karaoke! The people in there were so nice! (If you ever happen to find yourself in Durham, go to a place called the Woodsman Inn...so fun!) The next day, I headed off to London on the train! The train is probably the best way to travel around Europe. All the countries are more or less close together, so if I was staying longer, I’d for sure be train hopping and filling up this passport to my hearts content. I feel as though it’s the equivalent (distance wise), traveling from state to state in America (that is if every state had it’s own culture, history, and language).
Getting to London on the train, naturally I wanted to first head to platform 13 1/2 to pretend I was headed off to Hogwarts (yes, I’m a nerd). However, I couldn’t find it! The train station was beautiful nonetheless. Getting out of the train station, I realized, London kinda looks like New York! What the heck?? I felt like I was in a classier Union Square! There buses are DEFINITELY cooler than ours though, and the cabs too actually (they remind me of Rolls Royces). There is even a subway they call “tubes” (which I will be riding in a few minutes). Overall though, looks kinda like NYC (but fancier). Things are just slightly a bit different here. Driving on the opposite side of the road is obviously a big one. The street signs are super hard to find. England doesn’t use the Euro, so I have to use pounds. Also, you don’t tip at bars! Just a few little things really, but it’s still cool how it’s different! There is probably so much more to write about, but I’m actually still in London, so I gotta get off of this laptop and go explore more! I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write my first international blog! I’m just so excited that I actually got to come here. It’s still kind of a blur. Maybe this travel blogging thing is working out after all huh? Keep doing what you love and I PROMISE everything will align to work in your favor. Stay tuned for the video peeps! Oh! I almost forgot, the biggest tip I have for Euro travel...bring a charger converter!
p.s. The craziest thing about this trip has for SURE has been the jet lag. I mean, my word! How do celebrities do this all the time?? I missed my whole first day because I feel asleep. I wake up at like 5am over here and I’m wide awake. I’m writing this blog at 10am, but I’m not gonna publish it until later because it’s still 5am in NYC. I’m so confused! Ahhhhhh!
p.p.s. I’ve also heard before I came here that England isn’t particularly sunny. Besides the fact that I’m freezing my balls off, the sun has been shining for most of my time here! Beautiful!
p.p.p.s. My last resolution for the year is cheesy, but I really want a big white fluffy comforter and bed sheet set!