As the year draws to a close and we prepare to leave for South America in January, it’s time to take a look at our 2017 travel roundup. I feel incredibly blessed to have enjoyed yet another year full of new experiences, adventures and travel. In 2017, we managed to live in Thailand, trek to Everest Base Camp, explore Sri Lanka and road-trip around Europe. We got married, went vegan, continued to earn a living remotely and, of course, blogged about it all.
I’ve been in love with London for as long as I can remember. Living and working in the city for four years didn’t dull my love for the Big Smoke and neither has travelling the world. Despite visiting and even living in some epic cities like Melbourne, Prague, Hanoi and Chiang Mai, London remains my favourite. With that in mind, let me share 10 of my top things to do when visiting London.
Since we left the UK in 2013, Andrew and I have stayed in hundreds of hostels, hotels, guesthouses, apartments and Airbnb places. While some have been incredible, like our five-star honeymoon suite in Thailand, we’ve also stayed in some real dives and battled with bedbugs more than once. Here’s a look at five of the most unusual travel stays we’ve experienced to date, from a longhouse in Malaysia to a lavish London pig sit.
It’s six am and a cat is prodding me. Now, I can hear the dogs rucking around downstairs followed by the insistent snorting of pigs in the garden. Yes, pigs. Welcome to our first London house sit of the summer! We’ve taken up temporary residence in a beautiful, leafy part of west London that we’d never in a million years be able to afford to really live in. Have I mentioned how much we love house sitting?
Time has been moving at a frightening speed of late, especially since we landed in London and slipped straight back into the frantic pace of life here. This last week has been one furious blur of sightseeing, pounding the glorious streets of the capital and catching up with people. We’ve also seen a different side of the city by exploring with a child in tow and house and cat sitting in an unfamiliar area.
London may be, in my opinion, the best city in the world but it’s certainly not the cheapest. When we decided to go back there this summer we knew we were going to have to battle to keep our costs down, that’s why we decided to house sit and we’re so glad we did.
We’ve been back in the UK for over a month now and after an incredible homecoming we’ve settled back into life here more easily than I ever imagined we would. As I write this we’re sat at the kitchen table in someone else’s beautiful South-London home while their cute five-month-old miniature schnauzer mills around our feet. We’re house and pet sitting for the first time in our favourite city and even though it’s raining outside, life in London is undeniably great.
“What, is that,” said Andrew, pointing to the bed where we’d just settled down to catch-up on some episodes of The Walking Dead. I peered closer, my breath catching in my throat as I recognised the small, flat insect scuttling across the sheet.
“A bedbug,” I replied in horror, my mind spiralling backwards in time to my last horrifying encounter with these disgusting beasts.
It’s finally arrived, my last evening in London. As I type this I’m surrounded by a flat full of stuff that needs to be sorted and packed but all I really want to do is absorb everything. For a few weeks now I’ve had the sensation that everything’s out of my control, like we’re hurtling full speed towards our departure date and I’m most certainly not the person in the driving seat. We may have finished work and said our goodbyes, but I still feel like I’ve yet to come to terms with leaving my city.
Guess what? It’s snowing!
One of the things we’re looking forward to when we travel is escaping the dreary British weather; we’ll definitely be glad to see the back of all the lukewarm summers and soggy grey winters. There is, however, one type of weather we love: Snow.