Jet lagged and exhausted. Eyes trying to stay wide awake, I sipped my English breakfast tea at Pret in London Heathrow while looking at Airbnb listings. I was heading to Prague but 3 days later I would be in Budapest, and had no idea where I was going to stay. Most people know I’m a planner. I operate with to do lists, itineraries and project plans. This trip: spontaneity. Because, why not book a trip to Europe 2 weeks ago and just go?! 10:10 am. “Gate is posted,” I thought to myself. I took my Box backpack and found out the gate: #9. Heading there, I checked in and sat back down. “About to board…gotta book something.” But in reality I still had another day or two to do so. “This place looks nice. Instant book!”
I had messaged Meg and Joe 2 weeks back that I was planning to go to Prague. “If you’re passing thru London, stay with us!” I took their offer.
The past couple of days have been packed. I finished work mid Thursday (my last day at Box and what an amazing 3 years it’s been), got my suitcase and went to the airport. Flying overnight from SF to London is a bit tough – no connections, thank God…but when you have 4 hours of sleep on the plane sitting in a middle seat, land and know you have a limited time in the city you once called home (still do), you want to do as much as you can, within reason. I hadn’t seen my friends here for 5 years so was pretty excited.
I got to Meg and Joe’s flat, then headed out to explore Big Ben, Westminster, and Covent Garden. Totally being a tourist but aw well 🙂
That night Meg, Ellie and I had dinner and caught up on the past 5 years…it’s unbelievable how those years fly by and you pick up like it’s yesterday. Rich and Joe later joined.
The next morning I was heading out to see more friends. “You want to catch the bus…” Joe went on giving directions and I started laughing out loud. “I forgot how British you sound Joe!” He’s a true Brit. Heard of Carr crackers? Yeah, one time Joe showed up with a lot of crackers to a party…you’ll see those in the grocery store. That’s Joe Carr’s family. Saw my good friends Alex (also old flat mate) and Sam at Kings Cross (where I finally saw Platform 9 3/4), and met Maia who Sam and I found out from them that as of yesterday they’re engaged!
Met up with Joy in Greenwich and caught up more on life which was finally nice to do in person versus skype call – she was the last person I saw from the LSE 3 years ago when I did Christmas in Brunei with her family.