So, I'm finally headed to London. And maybe that's not such a BIG big deal since I have friends that bounce around the globe at whim and are in the UK as often as I am in Cali... And maybe it's all relative considering I that I meet people who are in awe that I go to LA so often, sometimes just for the weekend. I always explain that it's really simple... just book a ticket and go, as there are ALWAYS deals and ways to make it to Cali. But then again, I never have to worry about accomodations... which is probably why people just don't up and go to LA, and why I'm just getting around to making plans to go to London.
But, the point is, I'm going! I booked a ticket, using a voucher I acquired for giving up my seat the last time I was traveling from Cali back to NYC on an overbooked flight. So my flight to LDN will come to a total of $300 and some cents. Lower than what it is to fly cross country! And I'm really very excited. My friend Chaney is there. We've been friends since freshman year. We have been confidantes and supporters of one another, and have gotten to spend time in DC, LA and NYC. So he's been insisting for years that I come and visit him there. Plus, my younger 2nd cousin? Ben is there. His grandfather is my grandmother's younger brother, Uncle Cleo. And when I moved to NYC, I developed a relationship with him and his father, Cousin Clint, in New Jersey. Ben and I both lived in the city and would kick it from time to time, even though he was very busy with work as an investment banker and sometimes worked 90hrs a week as a recent college grad. The UK called with opportunities for career advancement with the Barclays bank, and thus, he's been living there for the past two or three years. He also has extended the invitation for me to come and visit anytime, and is looking forward to hosting me when I arrive.
So, I'm thinking of how to make the most of this first trip to Europe. I think since I'll be there for five days, I'll take at least two of those days and head to Amsterdam. It looks like the train ride is 2 hours, though I'm not sure what the cost is yet.. That'll take some converting of number my brain doesn't feel like sorting out right now... But I'm loving how easy and simple it's seeming to be able to start the continent hopping stage of my life!! 2011 is my year!! I am going to London, I plan to parlay that into Holland... I'd like to also visit Paris and West Africa. Right now fares to Paris are around $730. Very affordable!!
My mom called me to ask if I'd been watching the news and was aware that Americans are being advised against travel in Europe... well, no. I don't watch network news. I do, every few days, read the Google News aggregate to see what's going on in the country and world according to headlines... but perhaps I'll look into the BBC and Al Jazeerah to see what they think of Americans visit hotspots throughout the continent of Europe. Anyway, even if it's not the best time, I don't particularly know that there will be an increasingly GREAT time to visit different parts of the world... I wish I'd done so already and was able to already reflect on my world wide travels at this point in my life... but, I have to believe, NOW is a great a time to get started as ever!!!! (Well, in four months, anyway!!)