As if life wasn’t crazy busy enough, with starting my job in at the beginning of Feb, then moving house in the middle of Feb… To add to that, D and I are off to London for 3 weeks at the start of April!
Admittedly it was a trip that has been planned for some time (back in October when I was first offered a job, we found amazingly cheap tickets and snatched them up then and there. Talk about counting your chickens before they are hatched! In future I would recommend not booking any major expensive travel until after you receive at least 1 paycheck. Alas, live and learn). But the realization that in 2 weeks we will be in London is finally settling in!
We are going for several reasons. Firstly, my sister and her family have been living there for 3 years now and will be leaving shortly, so the opportunity to visit my family in London will soon be gone! And let’s just be honest, it would be silly for me not to visit them while they are there. D hasn’t done a major overseas holiday ever and I haven’t done one in several years (although admittedly I live overseas and we make pretty regular trips to Oz but honestly for kiwis, going to Oz is the equivalent of going to Canada). D was supposed to be finished with his thesis by now, and heck April is my birthday month so really – there weren’t any reasons not to go (except D and I are both still poor like church mice and also he’s not finished with his thesis yet. Oops).
Admittedly, this will be my 3rd time to London. I spent some time there back in 2003 when I did a semester of study abroad at Leeds University in Leeds. So for your viewing (laughing) pleasure, I dug up this old photo of my last trip. [Yes, I was much fatter at 20 than I am now].
So planning this whole London adventure has been sucking a bit of my time lately. I know that our 3 weeks will absolutely fly by, but I have made an excel spreadsheet for us scheduling in our flights and anything that we’ve pre-booked. We’re planning a few day trips – we’re sticking in the south of England for now due to finances and we’ll save Scotland, Ireland and mainland Europe for other future trips. We made it a priority to book in a couple of comedy shows, and my sister is shouting us tickets to the Book of Mormon for my birthday. We’re trying to keep the rest of the days largely spontaneous, but have made a list of ideas of things to do so that we don’t waste time trying to come up with places to go. D and I are pretty nerdy and are mostly planning on museums, museums and more museums. We may actually OD on museums (is that possible?). The thing is, nearly all the museums in London are FREE (on a budget, remember?), and we don’t have anything remotely close to the sheer quality of the UK museums. In fact, like many countries in the world, the UK is probably holding many of NZ’s precious and important historical artifacts. D is particularly excited about the Kew Bridge Steam Museum and did you know there is a London Sewing Machine Museum (did I mention that we were nerds)? I’m pretty stoked about visiting the V & A again, as well. Their costume collection… Divine.
Let’s not forget the fact that I haven’t seen my family since 2012 so am pretty excited to spend some time with them. Admittedly, one niece and nephew are both teenagers now and probably won’t want to talk to, much less be seen with their weird old nerdy auntie, but I can hope. Also, I do believe there is a lot of [board/card] game playing to catch up on (aka, entertain the kiddos so they don’t drive my sister mad!).
Oh. There is also the shopping! OMG the shopping (it is London, after all!)! I’m not actually sure how much I’ll be able to do (pesky budget!) but I’ve been researching the best op shops, vintage stores and fabric stores in London, so hopefully I’ll be able to nab a few interesting things as mementos (I’m going to leave an entire half of a suitcase empty. Not even joking. Total minimalist packing, for real this time. I will even take photos to prove it!). I also may or may not be planning to drag D to H&M despite his declaration that he has too many clothes already and needs nothing…
Yay London! I’m pretty stoked (apart from the crazy long flights to get there. 27 hours in the air. Roughly 9 hours of layovers… that’s a good solid 36 hours from here to the UK). So I hope you don’t mind travel posts, because they will be forth coming over the next few weeks.