Tag Archives: london

To Another Place and Time

On a recent rainy day I found myself waiting for the F train on the Lexington Avenue line at 63rd Street.

The combination of the rainy day and the deep into the ground subway line reminded me of London.

I think it was the Covent Garden station in London that was so far down into the ground. I took the steps once, but they had these huge cargo elevators to shuttle people from the depths of the earth to street level.

At the 63rd Street station there may be elevators, but what’s iconic are the escalators, and more escalators, just when you think you made it!

Kenny Chesney sings a song called ‘I Go Back’ – it’s about how something in your present ‘takes us to another place and time.’ 

I have plenty of those triggers but the rainy day and the 63rd Street F station was definitely the most recent.

What takes YOU to ‘another place and time’…share in the comments below!

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Love affair #indie30

Love affair is the 21st prompt of the month-long BootsnAll indie writing project.

When we travel, our senses are heightened. We feel more alive and we’re more free to do things we might not at home. We can be who we want. There’s an air of urgency to everything we do – we know our time here, in this place, and with these people, is limited. If we want to do something, we have to do it now. It’s no wonder then that many travelers have relationships on the road. Tell us about a “special someone” you met while traveling. 

My love affair on the road is with the city of London.

It was my first time crossing the pond, and I was moving there. For six months. As soon as I arrived, I had fallen in love.

I knew my time was limited and I wanted to experience as much as I could. So I did.

I loved everything about the city. I loved Trafalgar Square, I loved trying to figure out the A to Zed maps, I loved seeing the little schoolgirls walk two by two in their school uniforms on their way to school in the morning, I loved the history. I loved the accents. I loved the pizza place on the corner of my street that would invite me in, pour me wine while I waited for an order I hadn’t even placed. I loved the Crunchy candy that you could find in the vending machines in the tube stations. I loved walking in the spitting rain. I loved going to pubs and I loved eating crisps in lieu of dinner. I loved jacket potatoes (remember, I was broke). 

I loved the National Portrait Gallery. I loved the Tate Modern. I loved crossing the Thames every day from my flat in Battersea. I loved buying a monthly pass because it meant that I lived there. I loved Covent Garden. I loved peeping into the open windows of beautiful flats in Notting Hill on my way to work in Holland Park. I loved walking on Oxford Street pretending to be able to afford the clothes inside the shops.

I loved the proximity to the continent. I loved riding in black cabs. I loved meeting new people and making new friends. I loved that I learned to bartend and I love that I was unemployed. I loved that I handed out flyers on the street (now I loved that, not so much when I had to do it) and I loved that I found a job with wonderful people who helped me explore the city I loved. I loved London.

Now that I’m a worn-down exhausted city-dweller, I wonder if I would still love London. Me thinks yes.

“No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” — Samuel Johnson


Leave to enter until 19 April 2001

While most of my friends concentrated on getting jobs right after school, somehow I convinced my parents, and got them to agree, that moving to London, sight unseen, was the best route for me. Turns out, six months and a work visa WAS the best route for me. I should point out, short of family vacations to Toronto and Niagara Falls, spring break in Cancun and a couple of trips to the Caribbean, I never even had a passport. Back then, a birth certificate was good enough.

As it turned out, my first passport stamp EVER was permission to enter AND work in a country I had never been to, and aside from Mary Poppins, funny accents and a famous bridge, it was a place I knew little about. But I knew I’d love it. Eleven years later I have never been more right about anything in my life.

While living abroad, I learned that what I did is what most of the world calls a gap year.  I can’t really call the time I spent abroad, a ‘career break’ since I hadn’t even started my career yet. To most, it looked like career postponement!

As I found out earlier this week at the NYC Meet Plan Go event, extended travel, however you do it, is in the back, and front, of a lot of travelers minds! Check out this article from the New York Times.