Right now I am supporting the Public House system in the UK in the best way possible: having a beer while catching up on wifi-related activities. I flew in from Iceland yesterday and spent a sleepy afternoon at the Tate Modern museum, which has very beautiful artwork of all sorts of types. I met my CS (couchsurfing) host in the evening after wandering a bit aimlessly for about 2 hours with my full backpack, realizing that I was headed in the slightly wrong direction and continuing another hour to her boat. Yes, Jess lives on boat in the Regent canal. It is cozy and beautiful, rustic and she was so welcoming, it was exactly what I needed. I will post nautical pictures once I can fully charge my phone and have lots of wifi, but for now more stories and thoughts on travel.
Today I showered for the first time in a few days and wow there is nothing like clean hair. The sun was shining so I met up with a couchsurfer and we biked along the canals and through the parks. I bought a 24 pass for the Cycle Hire, a bike share program in London. It was 2 pounds for the 24 hours and all bike trips under 30 minutes were free so I went from station to station all over the city, visiting parks, famous detectives, royalty, Parliament and a really Big Ben. It was a beautiful day to bike around and I accomplished another item on my travel bucket list: drive on the left side of the road. I didn’t have any close calls but it was challenging to remember that left turns were easy and right turns were hard. I spent some time planning and catching up on laundry as well, I decided to do it now when I know how to say “detergent” and “how long will the wash cycle be”.
One of the tough things about travel that has been bringing me down the last few days is how hard it can be to make decisions. Decisions are easy when there is a “best” decision or a lesser of the two evils. Or even if your gut tells you to go one way or the other, you can just listen and follow. But when you are deciding between two great decisions and there really is no “best”, it can be very hard to decide. I’ve joked about deciding to go to a place based on a coin flip or a die roll but in talking with Jess, who has also traveled a lot, she told me how it can help with the decisions where there really is no better choice and it cuts out the headache that choosing can cause.
So rather than continue to agonize over whether to stay in the UK another day or to go to France, I flipped a coin. Heads I stay, tails I go, so I’m going to Paris tomorrow! Sometimes it can be the little decisions, like whether I should take the overnight bus from London to Paris or should I go during the day. One flip of the coin later and I am taking the night bus, slightly more expensive but then I don’t have to worry about finding a host in Paris for tomorrow night, I will arrive on Friday.
Tomorrow I’ll wander more of London, explore new sights and sounds, and continue my refresher course on French. As long as I remember how to say Where are the toilets and How much is this chocolate, I’ll be fine!