Confessions of a Tourist in London
Yes, I’m a traveller and a tourist. I don’t mind wandering the streets with running shoes or thong sandals, a day pack and my camera in hand. I’m not trying to fit in, I’m not a Londoner, I’m not trying to be chic, I’m not trying to be anything but honest. I’ve travelled abroad to see the sights, sounds and experience new countries. I didn’t come here to be anything but who I am. These are the confessions of a tourist in London.
Im tired of reading blog posts that say you “should” wear this and not that to fit in while travelling, and don’t do this as you’ll look like a tourist. But why? Aren’t we all tourists when we travel to see and experience a new country?
One thing I’ve noticed while in London during this visit is while wearing my running shoes and carrying my camera in hand I’ve not felt out of place nor looked strangely upon by locals. If anything I’ve merely felt as I usually do, a global citizen in search of the wonder this world of ours has to offer.
While I may not be at my most chic while travelling, as I’m more concerned with comfort and packing light, I can’t help but notice what the latest trends seem to be here in London as I do my favourite travelling pass time – people watch. It seems the ladies have handed in their heels for flats and ankle books and trousers for skirts with dark nylons. Yes, I’m sure nylons will be headed back in style in North America soon.
During my few day trips into London this week I’ve done some “touristy” things like stand in Piccadilly Circus among the masses to take it all in and photograph the beloved Eros statue at its centre, wander through Covent Garden and of course ride an iconic red double decker bus. And of these and others I am unasshamed.
I’ve also delved deeper into London this trip to explore my London as only one can do while travelling solo. What do I love? I love architecture, history, bookshops, parks and green spaces and these are the things I’ve been searching for this trip to London. I’ve stumbled upon some amazing bookshops from antique dealers where I needed to ring the buzzer to get in and out, to the oldest in London and probably most Bristish – Hatchard’s. I’ve photographed quaint brownstones behind Westmister, the massive pillars of the British Museum and the stunning details that can be found on so many of London’s historic buildings. I’ve strolled through tidy square green spaces that can be found throughout the bustling metropolis like Paddington Street Gardens and enjoyed the peace and tranquility of Kensington Gardens as well as shuffled through one of my favourite parks – St. James Park, home to plenty of bird life and amazing trees. One thing I’ve enjoyed this visit is learning London’s history at the Natural History Museum and Kensington Palace, but at my own pace.
Travel affords us the opportunity to learn and experience the world through new cultures and traveling solo allows us to see the world with new eyes and learn a greater appreciation of where we are now and where we’ve come from. Why must we try and put labels on how we do it, we are all just tourists at heart.