» I’m in Barca?
  • I’m in Barca?

    Apr 13th • Posted in personal, travel

    I’m sorry I haven’t blogged. There’s been a lot surrounding my absence/travels. I’ve been in the midst of accepting graduate school offers (and silently crying over rejections) as well as dealing with the grieving process of moving away from what I consider to be *my city.* Let me remind you that all of this is happening whilst travelling– which is the worst!

    But I’m going to Mills in the fall and I’m moving to Oakland…. so let’s move on!

    I’ve been travelling since 31st March, and I’ve already picked up a couple things and learned a lot in the meantime. I’m going to write about London right now, not Barcelona.

    1. London is huge. Overwhelmingly big. Similar to New York in that there are a lot of boroughs that make up the city, or similar to Manila in that there are a lot of cities that make up the greater area of London. (Though in comparison, Manila is MUCH bigger and kind of a monster in terms of population.) Most of the tourist attractions are in Zones 1-2, but you’re probably going to pay an arm and a leg to live in those areas. In order to enjoy the culture of London, the people who live there, and everything the city has to offer– you definitely have to stay longer than I did. My friend Erica has been living there for 3 months, and she still didn’t spend as much time there as she felt like she could have. I think I’d have to live in London in order to understand and appreciate each neighborhood.
    2. London is expensive. Um. GBP to USD is the worst conversion ever. Also, London is just fucking expensive. (So is Barcelona, even in the middle of a recession.) A hostel room for me cost around 50 dollars, where in Barcelona, it was around 30 dollars. UGH. I also maybe spent a lot of money in London because I also shelled out some money for a hotel room… whoops.
    3. I am partial to British men. So far. I’ve been in Barcelona for the past five days, and I haven’t really seen anyone that attracts me. Not checking off Spain from my checklist because of that. But yeah, British men (no matter where they’re actually from) have the ability to turn me into butter. It’s that god damn accent. (Obviously, London is on my checklist here hahaha.)
    4. Everyone stays in hostels in Europe. Maybe it’s the expense? Maybe because they have large groups? But a lot of people end up using hostels in Europe due to the cost, the convenience, and the security. Sort of wondering why we (as Americans) don’t use hostels more often.
    5. Mix up your accommodations. Admittedly, solo travelling is pretty difficult. Couchsurfing helps ease the expense of London– but in doing so, I sacrificed meeting fellow travellers and other people. However, couchsurfing is awesome and you get to stay at someone’s house for free, while meeting the locals. It sort of just depends on how you want to spin things. Also, staying with locals also means that depending on your host, you may or may not have to come back at a certain hour–meaning weekends may not be as fun. On the other side, your host can help you out with local phrases, languages, places “off the beaten path.” On the other hand, I like hostels because they force you to interact with basically everyone: especially in mixed dorms. Because you sleep in the same room, it feels more comfortable getting to know people that you’re sleeping in the same room with. However, if you’re in a hostel without a private room, you don’t get privacy at the end of the night. If you’re staying in a country for an extended period of time– I’d suggest mixing up your accommodations. That way you get the best of both worlds.
    6. No matter how hard of a day you’re having– someone’s bound to take notice and make you feel better. I was having a particularly crappy day in London, which led me to wander around the Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park for a couple hours when I ended up meeting a Filipino woman walking a dog in the park. She was older, but after I noticed her accent– we ended up talking for a lot of the time before she ended up walking me back to Paddington Station even though it was out of her way. Maybe she didn’t know Iw as having a bad day, but her kindness helped a bad day get better.

    I’ll write about Barcelona when I get to Paris– which is basically going to be a shitshow because I have basically not prepared for it. Oh well. That’s my post for now. See ya in Paris! x