I'm a 33-year old Seattle girl that left her heart in London, England, eight years ago. Now I'm not sure which city feels more like home.
This blog follows my attempts to visit London as often as possible, while venturing out to other spots in the world, as well.
Follow me as I try to balance "real life" with exploring the world, all while trying to conquer a wickedly ironic case of homesickness.
Since starting this blog in 2007, I've also become a part-time writer for an online travel publication.


Done with domestics

If you'll just pardon me briefly, I need to vent.  You see, tomorrow, I'm flying on a major US domestic carrier for the first time in nearly a decade.  I've spent the past nine years flying on international carriers and a smaller airline based in the Seattle area. My preferred airlines include British Airways, Alaska Airlines, Virgin, and Qantas. These have been very deliberate choices based on personal experience.

Nine years ago, Delta ran out of food on a 5-hour flight.  I was seated about halfway back in the economy cabin, yet they'd simply "run out" of anything edible by the time the cart got to my row. There were still easily over one-hundred people behind me waiting to discover they were simply going to remain hungry, as well. To my logical mind, this is a plane with a fixed number of seats and passengers, so unless the people in the rows in front of us were permitted to order hundreds of extra meals - which also seems very irresponsible - this wasn't a random accidental happenstance. The plane had to have left the tarmac without enough food to begin with. Why was this permitted? Did Delta take a gamble to make a guaranteed profit?

Fast forward to this morning, when I'm checking in for another cross-country flight on Delta. It leaves in 23 hours; I am not anywhere near late for checking in for this flight. In fact, check-in has only been open less than an hour. I logged in, expecting a very smooth process. And yet, at some point between no check-in last night and check-in this morning, I and the other two people I'm traveling with were randomly assigned elsewhere in the cabin instead of the carefully chosen seats we had originally picked.

This might not seem like much to some people, but it means something to me.  I'm the type of traveler who uses sites like SeatGuru to find and secure the most comfortable seat I can afford.  Furthermore, I have tight hip flexors and my travel partner has sciatica, so we make allowances for our needs to stand and stretch regularly without repeatedly inconveniencing our fellow passengers.  Finally, in an effort to secure seats together, we had carefully coordinated our separate purchases.  Needless to say, a bit of thought and effort went in to where we were very deliberately sitting, and these new seat assignments weren't satisfactory.

In an effort to solve the problem, I called Delta and requested to be moved to the seat next to my party, and barring that, any available aisle seat would be preferred to where they'd moved me.

I was told the seat next to my party is occupied, and there aren't any aisle seats open on the entire plane. End of discussion.

As a creature of logic, I'm trying to understand the reasoning behind this. First of all, I would understand if every passenger in an aisle seat had already checked in and confirmed that, yes, they did indeed want that seat. First come, first served makes sense to me.  But check-in has only been open for an hour. There is no way in hell everyone has checked in already.

Furthermore, I was one of those in possession of an aisle seat less than an hour ago. Something in the Great Seat Assignment Algorithm caused me and at least two other reservations to be shifted, which means other passengers had to be moved to make room for us.  Yet, no one else in the entire plane can be moved to accommodate my request now?  How was it that someone got our original seats?  Blood sacrifice?  Sexual favors?

It seems to me that Delta only starts to respect the details of a traveler's reservation after they've already made a mess of the whole thing, thereby trapping passengers in something they never wanted in the first place.  And the saddest part is that Delta is not the most complained-about major US domestic airline out there.

I realize that very few airlines guarantee seat assignments nowadays; I really do. However, I've done my fair share of traveling over the past decade, and I have never had this kind of blatant disregard for customer request and preference on my preferred airlines, and especially not when the request was made this early. Furthermore, I think I've been pretty patient regarding today's travel rules. I've accepted a lot of changes and restrictions for the sake of traveling as safely and affordably as I can.  I've been able to find reason behind a lot more inconveniences than many others. What I can't abide, however, is being subject to things that simply make no sense. That is the straw that breaks this camel's back.

After this weekend, I'm going back to my preferred airlines. In the meantime, I'm bringing my own food.


Travel donations?

Calling all Seattle-based travel businesses!  I am part of a group putting together a travel-related basket for a silent auction next month. It is for a local non-profit arts association here in Seattle, and this auction provides a great deal of the money we desperately need to continue sharing music with our community.

If you are able to donate any sort of travel-related item or service to our basket, please comment below.  We would greatly appreciate any donation you can give!


Vegas escape

When you live in a place known for its green,
the desert is a beautiful change of pace:

too many people think Las Vegas is reserved
solely for those looking for debauchery.

I respectfully disagree.
You just have to look a little closer.


My perfect year

January - April:
Sydney, NSW, Australia

May - September:
London, England

September - December:
New York City, USA


Regent Street, London

One of the first European architectural gems I ever encountered firsthand was Regent Street in London. My naive 24-year old self rode an urban subway for the very first time, alighted at Piccadilly Circus, and emerged underneath the most grand, breathtaking curve of street I'd ever seen in my life.

I've since been introduced to many other architectural wonders around the world, but Regent Street will always hold a special place in my heart.

Regent Street from Sam Scott-Hunter on Vimeo.


Expedia's Find Yours

I think real travelers must have created the new Expedia ad campaign,
because it's perfect.

For the passion of travelers everywhere:


Shouting love

I realize the cheese factor of this post might be immense,
and that I have some British readers that might have different views.

But there is little doubt around the world that 2012 belongs to Great Britain,
and the entire Commonwealth should be proud of the Jubilee song, "Sing".

The lyrics are awesome, but the collaboration is even better.

Some words they can’t be spoken, only sung
So hear a thousand voices shouting love

There’s a place, there’s a time
In this life when you sing what you are feeling
Find your feet, stand your ground
Don’t you see
Right now the world is listening to what we say

Sing it louder, sing it clearer
Knowing everyone will hear you
Make some noise, find your voice tonight
Sing it stronger, sing together
Make this moment last forever
Old and young
Shouting love tonight

To sing we’ve had a lifetime to wait
And see a thousand faces celebrate

You brought hope, you brought light
Conquered fear, it wasn’t always easy
Stood your ground, kept your faith
Don’t you see
Right now the world is listening to what we say

Sing it louder, sing it clearer
Knowing everyone will hear you
Make some noise, find your voice tonight
Sing it stronger, sing together
Make this moment last forever
Old and young
Shouting love tonight

Some words they can’t be spoken only sung
To hear a thousand voices shouting love
And light and hope

Just sing
Come all and sing

Sing it louder, sing it clearer
Knowing everyone will hear you
Make some noise, find your voice tonight
Sing it stronger, sing together
Make this moment last forever
Old and young
Shouting love tonight

Hear a thousand voices shouting love
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