It is pretty crazy to think that this week represents a pretty major anniversary for me. 5 years ago today, I witnessed probably one of the greatest concerts of my life (Muse at Wembley Stadium, obviously). More importantly, 5 years ago today my first trip to London was coming to an end.
I’m fairly confident that I’ve told this story before. In a bout of more or less teenage angst, I hatched this daring plan to go see Muse play at Wembley Stadium -gasp- I was originally only going to go for the weekend (how silly of me), but after much humming and hawing, I opted to spend a few days exploring London before the shows. Despite the overly ridiculous nature of this plan of mine, it is probably one of the best silly ideas I’ve ever had.
London will probably always be my favourite place on this beautiful planet of ours and that love can be blamed on this trip. While I was crazy enough to be willing to fly across the world for a concert, the idea of travelling internationally was well outside of 19-year-old-me’s comfort zone. London very quickly broke me of that with its friendly, comforting, but still foreign nature.
My first full day in London was quite magical. As there was a Tube strike going on that day, my friend and I opted to do a bit of a walking tour through some of the major sites, since everything seemed so close together. The major highlights were the Marble Arch, Buckingham Palace, Westminister Abbey, Houses of Parliament/Big Ben, London Eye, Millennium Bridge AND Hyde Park while walking both the north and south bank of the Thames. We walked SO FAR that day. By the time we were nearly back to our flat I could barely stand. Looking back, I definitely would not have changed a thing. It was truly the best way to be introduced to London.
Thankfully by the time our second day rolled around, the Tube was operational and we were able to see much more of the city. The history nut in me took over and nerded out BIG TIME. Cue the Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe and St. Paul’s Cathedral. We were also incredibly lucky to have the sense to book tickets to a show that evening, and I was able to catch my first Phantom of the Opera performance (which was phenomenal!).
Finally, our last day exploring London was spent taking in the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square and Camden. Yay shopping!!! The last two days of our trip were spent queuing outside of Wembley Stadium and taking in my first big concerts. It was truly phenomenal.
London is the city that has truly stolen my heart. It is nearly impossible to articulate exactly why that is. It’s an old city and a bit dirty at that, if I am being honest. The people are truly British and have no time or patience for tourists. The crowds of people are unreal and overwhelming at times. But there is just something about it that I absolutely adore.
London was the first city that I explored outside of my home. It is a place where I feel completely and totally safe. London is my first wanderlust love and is the place where I fully embraced my inner-wanderlust. In its own way, it prompted all of this. It is just so comforting. Every time I step off the plane in London it feels like I am coming home.