Adventuring in the UK

I learned a new word today: sonder.

And up until today I though fernweh [a German word meaning a yearning for far-off places] was my very favorite word. But now I am in love with sonder. This word makes me so happy! I don’t think I’ll be able to people-watch without thinking about this word from now on.

sonder (n) the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own- populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness- an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might only appear once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

My story for today is my trip to England (London) and Scotland (Edinburgh and Glasgow) back in March of this year. I visited a friend in London who was doing some post-grad work at a fashion institute.

My only wish is that I had more time to explore these cities, particularly London. I saw many of the big tourist things- Big Ben, Parliament, Neil’s Yard.. but only spent a small amount of time at each. My trip was short, cluttered by my friend’s responsibilities of school, and we also jetted off to Scotland while I was there.

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Scotland was beautiful. My favorite adventure was hiking Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh (top). It was a moderately difficult hike, with a fantastic view of Edinburgh at the top. We also visited the village of Luss (bottom) on the western shore of Loch Lomond. It is a picturesque village that dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. It was remarkably calm in contrast to the busy streets of London, and we found a coffee shop and relaxed for a little while before adventuring through the village.

We also ventured off to Glasgow and saw the University of Glasgow (think Harry Potter). I was never obsessed with the series, but the University was beautiful.

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Lessons Learned:

Well. I always learn lessons on a trip. Always. Usually expensive ones. Actually I learn expensive lessons probably once a month no matter where I am. I’m impulsive, so I do things quickly without thinking them fully through. SO:

Lesson #1-

Solidify your travel plans/ don’t get overexcited to book your flight. Wait; watch prices for a few days. Traveling is so exciting, especially somewhere you’ve never been, BUT Finalize your plans FIRST;;;;

I booked a one-way to London, thinking we would book a one-way to Iceland from London, and a one-way from Iceland home.

Then realized that was out of the budget. Found a ROUND-TRIP cheaper than buying two one-ways to and from London.

Expedia lets you cancel for free. USUALLY YOUR AIRLINE DOES NOT. Aka, I should have read the fine print. But you see, I get overly excited.

Anyway. Its probably $200 more than I would have spent. But like I said, I learn a lot of expensive lessons, and FORTUNATELY, I am able to budget for it and it’ll be OK this time around (I am kicking myself, though).

I would definitely love to go back to London when given an extended amount of time to explore the city. ‘Til next time….

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