Today marks 40 days of blogging! I’m so thankful for the WordPress community, for being able to share experiences and thoughts and making new friends. WordPress became my happy place. THANK YOU!
I wrote the post that inspired this blog on my last layover in London. I didn’t know at the time that that would be my last trip for goodness knows how long! But I knew that this may be the perfect opportunity for me to start a blog, and I’m so happy that I did! So I thought I’d celebrate my first 40 days of blogging by re-posting the post that brought me here 🙂
I’m counting the seconds as the digital clock in my hotel room flashes to 21:53, London time.
I move my gaze to the refreshment station. I can name the contents with eyes closed: one bottle of water (I’m supposed to get two but hey, who’s counting?), a small overused kettle, two unused mugs, milk portions without expiry dates, three sachets of English Breakfast (priorities) and two instant coffees of which one is decaffeinated (ugh). It’s missing the paper cups, which used to come in handy back when I could still go out on layovers…
After a long flight of sharpening my vocabulary with phrases like “chockablock” and “what’s for tea?” (tea meaning supper), I’d reach London at the crack of dawn, close my eyes for a couple hours while the city wakes up and then catch a red bus to the Underground, wrapped up in layers plus a paper cup. Oh, those were the days!
I look at the time again. 22:01. I’ve already slept six hours, caught up on Netflix and eaten my weight in curly fries, what more is one to do? I decide to carry on reminiscing layover life as I used to know it…
With London being my most visited destination, one would think that being trapped in my room for once is not the end of the world. Besides, it’s always cold, takes you forever to get into the city and spending a day in Pound Sterling tends to leave a hole in ones pocket. But the thing is, going places is not about the weather or the infrastructure or whether or not you have the luxury to enjoy a Sunday roast at an overpriced pub overlooking a famous bridge.
Going places is about what happens to you on the inside when you step onto a historic street for the first time, when you lay eyes on landmarks that have been captured from a million angles or when a stranger mistakes you for a local and says something you can’t make out and you smile with a frown and nod.
Going places is about collecting souvenirs that can’t be lost or stolen or taken away. It’s about leaving the sun behind somewhere, not knowing what weather to expect. It’s about always being prepared for grey skies and downpours, but to never stop hoping for a sunny day.
22:46. I’m finally starting to feel less bloated and like I’d be able to catch a few more hours of sleep – I guess there are some benefits to self-isolation.
It is not the end of the world, but it is the end of an era.
I’m lucky that I’ve never been dealt a rainy day in London, however today, there was no sun. Maybe it escaped through the hole in my pocket. Maybe it will be back tomorrow.