From September 8th, 2016 until September 10th, 2016, I celebrated my 30th Birthday with a short trip to London. Here is my account of day one. My account of day two can be read over here.
September 8th, 2016
6am: The smell of coffee surrounds me like a halo as I witness the silence to evaporate step by step as more people arrive at the rail track.
10am: My flight is cancelled. Panic? No, a bit frustrated, but surprisingly calm. British Airways booked me on a new flight departing two hours later than my original one. More coffee as a wait for those two hours to creep by. Whenever I travel, coffee becomes the familiar friend, giving the illusion of stability, in moments of uncertainty and in unknown places.
2pm: Hello London, have you missed me? Thought so, but I missed you. By god, I’m not a London expert, but the smell, the streets, the sea of people, everything feels familiar. Several times throughout my trip, I get asked for directions as I appear to know my way around. I do not. The London map in my pocket is my guidance. Go, go, go. Do this, get that. Don’t waste time. No time to relax. London’s busy soul has infected me.
5:30pm: Five book stores later, I return to my hostel. Earlier this year, I promised myself to not buy any books in an attempt to save money. Yet, here I am, three hours after arriving in London, loaded with four books. Thankfully, I’m travelling with hand luggage only, otherwise it would’ve been more.
7pm: After changing into my evening outfit, I rush back to Charing Cross Road to the Garrick Theatre. I picked up my ticket for The Entertainer, starring Kenneth Branagh. I should be excited, but I’m not, my mind is still elsewhere. Deadline after deadline haunted me throughout 2016. So even though I’m no longer chasing deadlines, I still allow myself only to function. Don’t overthink. No time to feel. Just do it.
7:30pm: As I sit in the theatre, slowly, dance step by dance step, the stage is illuminated by Kenneth Branagh as Archie Rice. I have nothing to do but to think and feel. Finally, I allow myself to live. Happy 30 th birthday, I say to myself.
10pm: The play is over and I cry. Cry of joy, cry of exhaustion, cry of disbelief as I realize where I am and what I’m experiencing. Time to go to bed. Tomorrow is another adventure and coffee filled day.
*Author’s Note: Do you like my writing experiment? Do you want me to go back to normal travel blogging for my second day in London, or do you want me to keep doing it this way? Leave a comment down below or like this post!