While I am certainly not as well traveled as most on CC campus, I have discovered over the past year that I absolutely hate feeling like a tourist. The idea of sitting on a tour bus, or merely shuffling around a city, a country looking at all the “places you have to go” seems so inexplicably undesirable.
I feel as if every city has a personality, something that you cannot understand by merely doing all the things that tourists are supposed to do. It’s as if the whole city pulses, lives and breathes, and it’s only something you can pick up on if you slow down a bit. While I have three and half weeks here in lovely London, I have re calibrated my goals to be more than just seeing as many destinations as possible. More than seeing Big Ben, the London Eye, Abbey Road or the other must sees in London, I have found that I internalize more in the little moments. Gusts of wind as we bustle in and out of the tube, sipping a latte walking through random streets with cobblestone roads, the way that people say “Cheers” here as a way to say thank you; it’s so evident that language is inadequate to describe experience.
I don’t think I have quite pinned down the personality of London yet, but one of the things that I have loved so far is how much historicity everything has. In the US, things are breathtaking, but in a different way because buildings are so modern, we’ve only been around as a country for so long. In London, it seems that everywhere you go, there’s some sort of back story, all the streets are covered in charming; it’s like all the buildings here have a soul.