You can't go back.
It has always been one of our leading mottos in life, well we do usually try to go with the more positive version of always go forward, but it's basically the same idea. I guess it's because we are not the most nostalgic of people, and looking back will usually involves more of the "remember how hard it was" than the "remember how great it was", and yet there are some places that we just can't stop coming back to.
London is at the top of that very very short list.
Mostly because ever since the first time we visited London, for our honeymoon, way back in December of '03 (yes I had to look up the date) it has always been our chosen place.
But also because the kids (well, Yon) said it has to be the first place we go to after the pandemic, we had Ron's 17 birthday and my (almost 17) birthday to celebrate, and there's this "London in the Spring" song that has been making me teary-eyed every time I hear it, so it all spells one thing - 2 days in London.
Every time we come to London it is a different experience.
Some people go on a trek in the Himalayas, or an ashram or a spiritual retreat to find or connect to themselves, and to get clarity & answers.
We go to a Premier Inn in London.
Our last Premier Inn
This time around London was full of people, and sunshine, and noise. It was completely different to the last few times we visited, and so we embraced it. We even stayed at a different Premier Inn (!) and did mostly touristy things (it's amazing how you can always find more touristy things to do in London) - we crossed tower bridge, went up to see the view from the Shard, visited a new Harry Potter exhibition at the film museum, ate Japanese cakes, bought stuff in the Covent Garden Market, and did a Sherlock Holmes outdoor adventure.
And ended up walking quite a bit through the centre of town. We haven't done that in years, and to be honest it was glorious.
All our touristy activities in one photo
But what was most interesting to me, was that while walking around the streets of London, we found out that after all these years of wandering, each of us feels closer to a different place and culture - Yon leans towards the British side, Ron towards the German side, Hidai leans to the Irish side, and I lean into my passport & suitcase.
But seriously, it was so amazing walking around in a London that felt so... Alive. It reminded me of the first time we were there - how big and colourful and full of opportunities it all looked.
I love opportunities. It's the moment of unknown before the jump, where everything is possible, it is all positive, and there is nothing but freedom.
And coming to London this time, after the pandemic, a rough start to 2022, a child on the way to university, and a lot of uncertainty, was exactly what we needed - the reminder that we can travel again, our business is growing, our child will love us even from university, and all that uncertainty is actually also a big, noisy, colourful opportunity.
If we just book a room at a Premier Inn.
Because is it really a post without a photo of a Japanese cake?