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city trips

Getting ready for London

Tomorrow I’m leaving for a short trip to London (and Brighton).

Over the past four years, London has become a town I never grow tired of visiting. I usually plan at least one trip every year. Sometimes I meet up with friends who live in and around London. Sometimes I simply go on my own. Because the city is so huge there’s always some places I haven’t been before. Needless to say: each trip requires a bit of planning so I do not end up trying to see too many things at once. (Didn’t do that in May and it ruined my trip a bit because I constantly felt I had done too much and not taken the time to simply relax and enjoy.)

For this particular trip – I am travelling with a friend – we have created a pinterest board where we pinned every place, restaurant, sight, shop we would like to visit. Since both of us have been to London several times, we ignore the big sights completely this time. But somehow our pinterest board ended up being overloaded with a lot of ideas! And there is no chance we will actually tick off every single item on our list. So here is what I did to organise this journey. First: a good cup of tea!

cup of tea
Planning a journey works best when you have a cup of tea or coffee ready.

Then I went through my London guide books to see if there was more information about the places we had on our pinterest board. Or if there were sights nearby that we overlooked and could easily add to our list without having to travel all the way across town. Then I tried to categorise the masses of pins we had added to our board and ended up with three categories:

  • shopping
  • photo ops
  • food

But there were still too many things on that list and we only stay for three days (and then I continue my journey and go all the way down to Brighton to meet some friends for a couple of days). So my next stop was google maps and it turned out that a lot of the places we would like to see are actually in the same area.

Making a little guidebook.

Instead of losing precious time by being on the tube all day, I planned two walks and made a little guide book that leaves me lots of room for diary entries and drawings. One of our walks will lead us through parts of Fitzrovia and Marylebone. And the other one starts at Canary Wharf and takes us to Bermondsey (by public transport of course). Along the way we will probably run across other nice places to visit and although it took some time and effort to plan all of this, nothing on our list is mandatory. Because the first rule of travel is: Enjoy yourself and relax.

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