I’m based in London – as regular readers will know.
So I tend to think about things in a London way. Naturally with this blog being read all over the world I have to make sure I don’t focus on things that are only relevant to those people who happen to live near me. So I won’t be telling you how sad I am that a famous coffee chain has appeared where until recently there was an independent café a couple of minutes’ walk from my flat. I also won’t bang on about the potholes that pepper my street and threaten to destroy my car suspension every time I go for a drive. Yes I love talking about potholes and my neighbours never tire of the topic – but you might.
However, there is something that I have to think about in a London-centric way that might be of interest to you. And that thing is travel.
Because wherever I go, I go from here. My journeys invariably start from a London airport so the decisions I make about where to go are shaped by how long it will take me to get somewhere. If you live in America on the west coast for example then getting to the new famous coffee chain I’ve just been complaining about near my house is going to be a serious and expensive undertaking. I would recommend you don’t bother, even if you are going to be in London anyway – it’s not worth the cost of a tube ticket never mind a flight.
If I am going to Italy or Spain it’s a couple of hours in a plane. If you go from the west coast it’s going to be closer to 15.
I live in a cold place so am constantly seeking out the sun. If you live somewhere like Dubai your idea of an escape might be Scotland because you can almost guarantee it’s going to be cold and rainy (sorry Scotland – I should add extremely beautiful to cold and rainy).
Another important thing to remember is there are incredible places to see within 50 miles of where you are sitting right now. Wherever you are sat on the planet. Places I would pay a lot of money to see and spend a long time getting to. How many of you non Londoners dream of coming here and if you haven’t been yet would place it high on your bucket list? Huge numbers of you. And yet I live here and haven’t ever explored the place properly.
If you decide to take my advice here are my top tips for this particular type of trip:
1. Make sure you don’t sleep at home. Pack your bags and check in to a hotel. I’m going to be staying at Dukes in London and I’m going to act like I do when I’m staying in a foreign city – up early and explore, explore, explore.
2. Take your best clothes. The one’s you save for holidays. Maybe even buy some new ones.
3. Save up and spend as much as you would in another place. We tend to wait till we are away to really treat ourselves. I say blow the bank and go to the best show in town with supper at a restaurant you’d never consider in your day to day life.
4. Make sure you take one day off work. Monday perhaps. So you are enjoying yourself with the rest of the tourists while all the locals slave away in the office.