I'm a 37-year old Seattle girl who was bitten by the travel bug on my first tour of Europe in 2004. This personal blog follows my attempts to visit as many countries as I can, as often as my budget will allow. Since starting this blog in 2007, I've also worked as a freelance copywriter for an online travel publication. This only served to add even more must-see locations to my already extended list.
Follow me as I try to balance "real life" with exploring the world, all while trying to conquer a wickedly ironic case of homesickness.


First Morning Abroad - London

That isn’t my ceiling. I know my ceiling pretty well, and that is not it. And these are definitely not my sheets. They’re starchy. Where am I? I feel like I’ve been asleep for years.

The sound of a toilet flushing interrupts my investigation. I turn toward the sound, only to be met by the ache of stiff muscles. A sliver of glaring light pierces my eyes, shoving its way out of the crack of the closed bathroom door.

Wait. It’s all coming back now. The plane, the passports, the luggage…suddenly these hotel sheets seem rather luxurious.

I gingerly turn my head the other direction to discover a hideous drapery covering the entire wall. A dull orange glow illuminates the floor beneath, spilling light from the street onto my open knapsack.

“Mornin’,” I hear after the bathroom door opens. I flop back toward the bathroom as Kim shuffles toward her narrow twin bed.

“Hi,” I quietly respond. Somehow, the dark calm of the early morning seems too sanctified to disrupt. “What time is it?”

"About 4:30,” she says, as she glances at the travel alarm on her bedside table.

“How’d you sleep?” I inquired, as she climbs back into her scratchy sheets.

“Like a rock. You?”

“Really well. Are you getting up now?”

“Mmmmm,” she moaned, as she snuggled deeper into her blankets. “Not this early. Besides, it’s really cold in here.”

She was right. In the twenty short hours we’d been in England, it was clear that their central heating systems were about as dependable as the weather.

Wait, again. England? I’m in England. I closed my eyes and let the realization seep in. I’m in England. A bolt of energy shot through my body, and any remnant of fatigue disappeared. The aches that had weighed so heavily on my short frame only moments ago mysteriously subsided. I sat up in my bed, only to be slapped with the crisp, cool air outside my blankets. I considered, only briefly, crawling back in my warm cocoon. No, London was waiting for me.

The orange light from behind the curtain seemed to call my name. This was no ordinary streetlamp illumination. This was London. A city so steeped in history that my forefathers admired its determination. The stories these streets could tell, the changes these walls had seen. And today, I would join the ranks and become part of London’s history.

I heard Kim’s steady breathing as she surrendered rather willingly to slumber. As quietly as I could, I crossed the dark room and tugged back the heavy fabric of the curtains. Immediately, I was filled with awe as the birth of dawn leaked hundreds of blues on the horizon. I tried to comprehend how far past that horizon home was. I took in all the details I could absorb: the distinctive street markings, the different trees, the unique cars; even the concrete seemed foreign.

I stood there for almost an hour, watching the city wake up. The street below began to murmur with the sounds of buses, joggers, commuters, and delivery men, like an orchestra warming up before a great performance. When I finally crawled back in bed, shivering from the cold of an English single-paned window, I drifted back into sweet sleep, soaked in the anticipation of what l lie ahead. Many people have known this city over many years, but today London was mine.

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