We’re exploring London by foot! Let’s take a digital stroll for some eats, some sights and even some spectacles before we head to a Spice Girls concert, yeah?
“I’m going to London,” I said, “… to see the Spice Girls Reunion Tour!” My friend’s facial expression changed dramatically as I finished the sentence. “To what?!?” To see the Spice Girls, but obviously, to see London as well. The concert was technically in Wales, but before there were zigs and zags and ahs in Cardiff, there were empanadas, gold leaf lattes (!) and long walks saturated with sights in London.
To be fully transparent, this trip felt like a huge success because finances, indulgences, and self-employment can be a tangled web. Six years ago, I dove into working for myself with a mega push from the universe. I’m ever grateful for the path that sprang from that leap, but there were many hurdles.
The hardest part of plunging into creative work was thinking I either had to have a well-paying job I hated, or I had to be a struggling artist (myths, myths, myths!). One of the expenses I sacrificed was travel. Gradually, I was able to take some bigger trips, but when I discovered my passport had expired, I mourned. I lamented that part of my old life, when at least once a year, I would venture across an ocean and/or the equator.
Looking back, as one always does with perfect vision, there is so much I would have advised myself to do differently, but how could I have known at the time? Would I even have listened? Would I have landed in the same place, with the same milestones? I don’t think I would have.
So in January, when my best friend Lindsey called me and asked if I wanted to go to London in May, with her and our good friend Zach (my empanada model) and his friend Philip … TO SEE THE SPICE GIRLS REUNION TOUR… I had a real moment. Of course, I wanted to go! It was just the type of random trip I’d remember for years to come. It was the type of trip that would put a staccato on age 35.
But could I afford it? Could I justify returning to a city where I’d already spent significant time? Could I bank on more work coming in, or would I forfeit work offers (that freelance tide is a fickle one)? I decided, ultimately, I had to go. I had to have faith in my work, in the universe, in abundance, so I said YES!
I said yes to empanadas that reminded me of my six months living in Buenos Aires. I said yes to beautiful town homes, long walks along the Thames, comforting pub food, a soccer spectacle and an underground speakeasy with cocktails that inspired a deeper conversation amongst friends. I said yes to a laid back plan, aimless wandering and a much needed break from time passing me all too quickly.
I’m still figuring out my career (we always have to be checking in with ourselves), weighing my priorities and mostly, and most challenging, learning not to have a scarcity mindset. This trip was a hard-earned celebration of that journey. I’m grateful I had the chance to go, and I hope this might inspire you if you’re on an entrepreneur’s journey of your own. While this is by no means a guide, it is a recap, so you can have a vicarious London jaunt, or maybe check out some of these places for yourself soon!
Exploring London: Abasto
We stumbled upon the Argentine flavors of Abasto, which was a quick stroll from our Air BnB and Hyde Park.
Exploring London: Saint Aymes (ie: the most instagrammable café)
“Saint Aymes is founded by two sisters, Michela and Lois Wilson. Born in inner city London, the sisters were inspired by the beauty of their Nana’s floral garden, which served as an interruption to the busy city they were born in. The two find beauty, and its ability to lift the human spirit fascinating. Whether a work of art, a delicate flower or the ceiling of a chapel, beauty has the ability to inspire, encourage and enrich our lives.
Saint Aymes was created with this central idea, that beauty should exist, in our daily experiences, without the need for justification or occasion.
From coffee to confectionary and interior design to hospitality, as sole designers of each project, the sisters strive to sprinkle the uplifting magic of beauty into everyday experiences. We hope that you will be inspired & uplifted.”
24 ct Gold Cappuccino
Made from single origin Jersey milk and a double espresso shot of coffee, lavished with 24 ct gold
My dream bed for Julep! Had this been for sale, I would have been in real trouble!
Exploring London: Buckingham Palace
Yaaaaaaaasss, Queen! 😉
Exploring London: Palace of Westminster / House of Parliament
Exploring London: London Eye, The Thames
My dream coffee truck! <3
[That’s Big Ben on the right, enshrouded in scaffolding.]
Exploring London: The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Footbridges
Designed by architecture firm Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, this footbridge flanks an existing railway and relies structurally on the railway’s supports.
The bridge’s construction faced several obstacles: the need to keep the railway bridge operating without interruptions, the Tube tunnels a few feet under the river bed, and the potential danger of unexploded World War II bombs in the Thames mud!
Exploring London: Trafalgar Square
Most of the area now occupied by Trafalgar Square began as the Great Mews stabling, which served Whitehall Palace in the 14th-17th centuries. Today it’s flanked by museums and cultural institutions and frequently serves as the grounds for protests and demonstrations.
We happened to stumble on, what I gathered, was London’s version of a tailgate. Most memorably, I stared in awe as a rather drunk man paused, closed his eyes, lifted his head to the heavens, clenched his extended fist and yelled “Waaaaankers!” Somehow, drunken lunacy just sounds better with an accent.
There was a long walk through Hyde Park, a flaky pot pie at a pub, and then submitting to the jet lag, but there was still more to come!