A transformation happens when you open yourself to traveling. It can feel like time traveling in to a whole different world, and when you think about it, that is exactly what it is.
My friend who is living in London invited me for a week to see the city. He also planned a trip to Paris for us to enjoy. I find it amazing how a week somewhere different can impact transformation.
A nine hour flight couldn’t keep me down. The first day I landed I wanted to see the city. Sam picked me up from the airport and took me to Chelsea where we would be staying. He works at a five star hotel in the fancy part of town and was able to get us a room for a few days. He tells me The Beatles once stayed there.
I was excited to see what London was all about for my self. It was actually better than I imagined. The streets were full of people, the sun was peaking through the clouds and there was so much to see. We walked around the city streets and made our way to dinner. Sam wanted to give me a real English dinner – potato and meat – before we made our way to see, “The Phantom of the Opera.”
I had a list of things to do that I received from a good friend who use to live in London. Since her and I are similar in taste and style, I knew she would recommend me some fun things to do in the city. Sam and I made our way to Notting Hill for breakfast and to check out the out door markets. I was in heaven when I saw the amount of small tea houses. We found this cute little place called, Charlie’s that was hidden. It made me realized how lucky I was to enjoy a cup of tea in England, something I always dreamt of.
The Portabello Markets was an adventure of its own. I loved looking at how everyone was dressed. I kept melting at the site of an English child. When shopping, I tried not to let anyone hear me talk so they wouldn’t hear my American accent and charge me more for ideas. I had Sam ask for me so I could get some good deals. Sam bought me this amazing vintage camera but to this day we don’t know how to open it.
After shopping we stopped at Hammingbird Cafe for a cupcake. The smell of the cupcakes are so amazing I tried to take a photo to capture it, but it didn’t seem to work. 🙂
Since it was Sam’s Birthday I told him we should eat our cupcake at the Buckingham Palace. We walked through the Hyde Park and made our way to the Queen’s house. After he showed me the Westminster Cathedral where Prince William got married.
The best time to see London is at night. The city lights up with all its glory.
The best part of traveling is meeting new people and making new friends. At Sam’s Birthday dinner I was taken by everyone’s story and their friendliness. Everyone seemed to be away from their families and yet here at dinner a new one was created. I loved hearing their journey and learning what brought them to this amazing city. When I was talking to one of the girls she asked me what I do for a living, I said something that stuck with me the rest of the night, “I didn’t mean to become a contract editor, sometimes life’s accidents are part of God’s greatest plans.”
Day 3 & 4: Paris Trip
Day 4: I love the fact I can travel anywhere in the world and visit my Hillsong family. Hillsong Church in London made me feel at home. It reminded me of all the amazing things God did in my life while I lived in Sydney. This trip was beginning to speak to into my life.
To never lose hope, never give up on your dream, you never know where they will take you.
After church a bunch of us walked to Chinatown for dinner. The cool thing is that everyone ordered food and shared it. The jokes filled the room and my laugh could be heard for miles.
Finally, a day to sleep in. We went back to where Sam lives, a few mile away from the city and rested. We grab a fast coffee and went to Camden Town – where the hipsters shop.
I couldn’t help but check out what everyone was wearing.
Suddenly I was more intrigued by the people than the buildings. They were far more interesting.
We made our way down to the fancy part of the city Jermyn Street and had high tea! It was great drinking our lovely drinks and talking about life, love and God. We encouraged one another and shared what God was doing in both of our lives. Sam and I went to Bible College together in 2006 and both studied TV and Media. We laughed and talked about how the next time we see each other both of us would probably be married with children.
As we made our way to meet up with another college friend, we stop by an alley full of great bookshops. When I saw my college friend Sarah, I was over joyed. I felt like we were in Sydney. I never got a chance to really hear her story because we were so busy with college life so it was great to sit down and finally get to know each other.
My last full day in London. We took it easy and visited the beautiful London Observatory. The large green lawn was so beautiful, taking a photo didn’t do it justice.You could see the full city from the top view. It was relaxing to watch the city stand still.
When we were waiting for the subway we were told that our train would be delay since someone was on the train tracks. I guess its a common thing for people to kill themselves by jumping in front of a train.
I couldn’t help but wonder who it was and why did they want to end it. This is such a great place to live, but I guess even in the greatest city in the world, we can feel lonely. We took a taxi instead.
At Soho there were record stores on every corner, cafe’s, and vintage stores. This city was made for me!
Day 7: Airport – Home.
I used every hour and minute to listen to see what this adventure was saying to me. Sam is working at a five star hotel, living in London, Sarah is working hard at her job and volunteering at church, the people I sat and talked with are in the middle of pursuing their dreams. It made me realized that no one has it all figured out. In this season of mine where I am taking a step of faith, traveling and spending time with people. I realized how blessed I am to do this.
While in the hotel we watched, “Dan in Real Life” and the ending line of the movie sum it up for me, “Don’t plan life, plan to be surprise.”