From how fast and loud my heart was beating, I swear my airplane seatmate thought I was about to have a heart attack. This was the first European city I’d ever been to and I was doing it solo. Needless to say, I was scared shitless, but it was do or die and I love a good challenge.
I stayed at the Phoenix Hostel for 3 nights, it was located near the Underground and within 20 minute walking distance to the main attractions. Location and price wise, I would say it was pretty decent but facilities wise, it was pretty run down and dirty.
So when I first arrived at the hostel, I realized that I actually had to make friends…with strangers… oh gawd, what was my pitch? How did I look? Clearly I was still in my Vancouver mindset and needed to calm the fuck down. Hostel life took time to get used to but I eventually got a routine down. Meeting people became easier when I finally let my guards down, said ‘yes’ more often, and learned to just go with the flow. Most of the folk you meet at hostels come from really cool backgrounds and are happy to share their crazy travel stories and tips. In my opinion, the hostel you choose can really make or break your experience. If you’re in a crappy location or there’s no social atmosphere, be prepared to spend a lot of time by yourself – which is perfectly fine and I’ve really learned to love and value from this whole trip.
And a crazy thing happened on the first day I went exploring, I ran into an old Starbucks co-worker who had moved there 2 years ago on one of the busiest streets of London, Oxford Street. We totally had a slow stare-down, ‘brains process reality’ moments before we threw out hands in the air and jumped at each other. Seriously, what are the chances?!
K, enough text, let me show you my British adventure!