Alright, so it's been exactly one week since I set foot in jolly 'ol England and figured I would share a little bit about the last week being in a new country.
A hop from Montreal to NYC & an overnight flight to London Gatwick I found myself with my feet on the ground & the sun on my face last Thursday morning. Leaving Montreal was bitter sweet after I finally found my love for a city I had called home for 20 years of my life, but I knew that this was the right choice for me. I needed to shake up my life, to change things & get back to what makes me truly happiest; travel. A quick 10 minute drive from the train station and I was at YHA Brighton. YHA is an arm/affiliate of Hostelling International & I had heard some awesome things about the property so it only made sense to book. The building itself is impressive (like most of England I've explored so far), and the amenities are great. I was booked in for 2 nights as the weekend was full, because as I found out after a few hours the Brighton Fringe Fest was happening across the street. A quick shower to revive myself (jet lag is a bitch) I grabbed my camera & I was off to explore. The sun was out, the sky was blue & I couldn't believe how warm it actually was-I strolled along the iconic Brighton Pier taking in all the sights & sounds. Discovered the infamous Laneways as well as the Royal Pavilion.
After a full on day of exploring & my body having no bloody clue what time or day it was, I barely made it to 9pm before calling it quits - but not before AI took in my first English sunset. And even though I felt refreshed, waking up around 4am was not on my list of things to do..nevertheless it's all a part of crossing international datelines & all that jazz so on day 2 I took it easy, strolling around and soaking in some sun at the beach (aka napping in the sun) & making plans for the weekend and my trip to Liverpool!
It's funny how you can meet someone briefly but have such a connection that even 2 years after seeing one another it's like no time has passed. Which is exactly how it was with my friend Marc & my reason for visiting Liverpool. A bus ride to London, and a train up to Liverpool took a few hours but was all part of the English experience (I rode more trains in 3 days than I have my entire life). I got right into English culture straight off the train watching cricket ( the most lengthy & complicated of sports) drinking beer in the sun & being welcomed by the warmest of people. Then it was off to play tourist with my local tour guide in the city for the rest of the weekend. Home of The Beatles, some seriously impressive architecture & amazing food & drink, Liverpool definitely has a lot going on! I'm not usually one for cities, but there's enough happening here on any given day to keep you entertained. Feeling quite lucky with the weather it was only natural that the rain & wind should show up and put a damper on things, but not letting that get me down I hit up the Liverpool Museum before meeting up with another friend I met travelling (nearly 3 years ago in Costa Rica) who introduced me to the most amazing Italian deli, strolled around in the rain & basically just caught up on the last 3 years.
After a weekend away it was back to Brighton for me to take up some proper hospitality thanks to another amazing friend living over here. I'm thinking my base for the next little while will be Brighton, to finally get over this jet lag & start making some more travel plans (hello Europe!) & trying to figure out my game plan for the rest of the summer. While there isn't any insane adventures happening at the moment, I'm just enjoying the absolutely magical vibes I've found here. I'm enjoying this slow travel part of my adventure, immersing myself into a place getting to explore some off the beaten track areas & just getting into the swing of long term travel again. So while I may not have any trips booked for the next little while I'm taking every day as an adventure. If anyone has any suggestions, or plan to be in the UK/EU in the next little while let me know! I'd love to meet up! Even though it's only been 7 days, I already can't wait to see what the next 7 days, weeks, months have in store for this wanderer.