I’m quite attached to the UK and for a long time I have thought about living in London. Even though I was born and raised in Australia, I grew up with a fascination with British pop culture. There were times when I believed I should have been born in England. To give you an idea, my music library is full of British music – pop, rock, a bit of hip-hop, grime, dance and UK garage, the Brit Awards is my favourite awards show, I was devastated when Top of the Pops was axed, Posh & Becks are royalty, I am a mega Harry Potter geek and Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean is comedy gold.

As you can imagine, I was beyond excited to be visiting London again (I was there for the first time in 2008). Thanks to a friend, I conveniently had an Oyster card so when I arrived at Heathrow, I topped up the card, caught the tube to Leicester Square and made my way to my accommodation – SoHostel. You can read my review on SoHostel on TripAdvisor here.

When I walked out of the tube, I couldn’t fully believe I was finally in London. It was a lot busier and bigger than what I remembered. It was 9pm on a Monday and the city was buzzing! Funny story, within an hour of arriving in London, I was making my way to my hostel through Leicester Square with all my luggage when a street performer points at me and yells out “see that lady, that’s what happens when you don’t pay rent” for everyone to hear! I laughed it off because in order to pay rent, you have to live there so I must pass as a local. It was a unique welcome to London.

When I arrive in a new city as a solo traveller, I usually spend the first day wandering around aimlessly to get my bearings, which is what I did in London. I didn’t even have a map but there are maps all over London, it’s impossible to get lost, despite how big the city is. I ended up seeing Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and London Eye in the process, as well as wandered through Waterloo, Elephant and Castle and Borough. That night I met up with a friend in the Shoreditch area, who is originally from Melbourne. London Design Festival happened to be running the week I was there, so I found myself in an architecture firm, at an exhibition called Chance Encounters.

The following night I met up with another friend, an actual Londoner, for dinner. I am going to take this opportunity to recommend this awesomely cool Jamaican restaurant we went to for dinner called The Rum Kitchen in Carnaby.

So what else did I do? London is a massive city; I did not give myself enough time to explore it all. But I tried to fit in as much as I could and honestly still had a fantastic time in the big, eclectic and vibrant city that is London.

View from St Paul's Cathedral
View from St Paul’s Cathedral
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
Tower of London
Tower of London
Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus
Kensington Gardens
Kensington Gardens
Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace
Hyde Park
Hyde Park
Big Ben
Big Ben