The reason I love London so much is that it has a never-ending amount of things to do. You know that saying by Samuel Johnson where he says, “Tired of London, tired of life”? I have to admit, I kind of agree with it. Despite living in London for over three years (going on four, actually, I can’t believe it… it’s the longest I’ve ever lived somewhere in my adult life), I honestly never run out of things to do. The list of things I still want to do in this city grows ever longer.
One of those things, and something that topped the list for quite some time, was a silent disco at The Shard.
The cobalt sea stretched out ahead of me. In every direction, islands of the archipelago jutted up from the calm Mediterranean waters, some covered in the pale brown of a rock face, others overflowing with swathes of green forest. The sun shone bright in the blue sky above. Our big white boat carried us across the water with ease, the smooth journey bringing us just the right amount of warm wind, a sweet smell in the air blowing in from the pine-forested island shores. I realised I hadn’t even heard of this place until the day before – blasphemy, it seemed, as I experienced this paradise unfolding before me.
This was the beautiful, the quiet, the utopian region of the Göcek Islands of Turkey.
I’ve always dreamed of planning a surprise trip for someone. I can’t imagine anything more fun than secretly booking a holiday, planning the flights, hotels, and activities all while the other person has zero clue what’s going on or where we’re going. I’ve always thought that the absolute coolest thing I could do for someone is to say, “I have our weekend planned. Pack a small bag, and bring your passport. Meet me at Heathrow at 5pm this Friday”… all mysterious like I’m James Bond or something (how James Bond always looks so stylish when he travels on a whim, I will never know. Does he take a travel-sized iron with him? Get dry cleaning at the hotel? I’m rambling, I’ll move on).
On the flip side, if someone ever did this for me… oh my. I would take that person straight to the chapel and marry them, because, as mentioned before, it is THE ABSOLUTE COOLEST THING. A spontaneous holiday? Not knowing where you’re going until you get to the airport?! For me, someone who loves spontaneity and adventure, I can’t imagine something more fun.
And then, as if they could read my thoughts, along came Surprise Trips. Because Surprise Trips does exactly that.
Over the past year or so, as I’ve enjoyed Instagram more and more (and simultaneously less and less with the new algorithms, if I’m honest), there have been some photos that have actually inspired me to travel somewhere new, or to explore a different part of a place I’ve already been. I fell in love with Cinque Terre through Instagram, for example, which inspired not one but two trips there this year.
In doing research for my recent trip to Paris, I noticed that a particular photo kept popping up – the “sinking house” or “tilting house”. Although I’d been to the French capital a few times before, this seemed like a fun and unusual spot to visit, and so I decided to try to find out just how exactly to find the sinking house of Paris.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a “Best of London” post – in fact, looking back through this blog’s archives, I rarely write about things to do in London, despite having lived here for three years now. That’s a bit odd, considering I feel like I’m always doing cool stuff in the city; anyone who has been to London knows there is seemingly no shortage of museums, markets, neighbourhoods, restaurants, and bars to sample.
Last night, however, I did something new and wanted to share it: I went to my first rooftop cinema in London.
I’ve been lucky this summer, because it’s been a summer of near constant travel, more-so than usual for me. If we count May, I’ve visited Italy twice (Bologna and Cinque Terre), Spain (to Mallorca, where I stayed in a villa with my mum for a week), Sweden (for a travel blogging conference), and Prague (for a weekend holiday with a friend). I also have a weekend in Brighton coming up, as well as a few days in Paris at the end of the month. It’s been a spectacular string of travels, and I’ve loved every minute.
And, oh yeah, I also fell in love with a drink.