Where do I start? It feels weird, even to me, to be opening this blog after how many months. A lot of things happened and I didn’t think I’d find time to write again. Until today and until I went and saw London for the first time.
I’m sure you’re probably wondering how months ago I was still in the Philippines whipping up food reviews of restaurants I’ve been to and what has happened to me since then. Or maybe not. Anyway, backstory is, like all my Filipino nurse friends, I decided to embark on my OFW journey. I left the Philippines for many reasons but I won’t bore you with those so to cut to the chase, I’m in the UK now.
I’ve been here since April of this year but sadly, have not had time to do much traveling. Mostly, it was work and getting adjusted to the weather, life, people – basically everything that is the UK. Aside from that, reviewing for the OSCE had taken too much time as well. And the fact that I promised myself not to indulge on anything until I pass and had my PIN.
Fast forward to the present, I was invited to meet and catch up with former workmates in London. It was a reunion waiting to happen and so, the ecstatic me said yes without thinking twice. “London,” I thought to myself, “one of the great cities in the world. Who was I to say no to that?” I’ve never been anywhere outside of Gloucester and figured this could well be the perfect time for me to travel and get together with friends.
Traveling time varies between 2½ to 3 hours by train or bus. I took the bus for fear that I’d be lost changing trains at different stations every so often, which was likely, because I knew nothing about stations and which platforms to get on for the next train. Plus, I’m pretty bad with directions too. 😥
It took me a good 3 hours and 5 minutes to get to London Victoria from Gloucester. My friends picked me up from the coach station and off we went to have lunch at Wetherspoon in Victoria Station. That, right there, was my first meal in London!
From there, we headed to my workmate’s place in Orpington to spend the rest of the day. We took the Underground from Westminster to London Bridge and boy, was I too excited. Hooray for first times! 🤗
After that, we needed to hop into a train going to Orpington.
As it was pouring, we got off at Orpington and took a cab to Tesco to buy ingredients for our biko (sweet rice cake) and mango sago which we planned on making for the sleepover. Taking a picture before we get ourselves wet in the rain. Classic. Here we are, 8th rear babies thriving in the UK!
We spent the rest of the night eating, laughing, watching movies, talking about life in the UK, how we miss our families in the Philippines, what to do and where to go next.
The day after seemed more promising. The sky still looked gloomy, it was still chilly, but it wasn’t raining anymore. And it didn’t look like it was going to, according to the weather forecast. Thank God. This was my only shot at a London tour with my friend because I was heading back home by early evening.
Jez was generous enough to show me around London and take me to the famous spots. I realized a day alone isn’t enough to visit all these places as we still missed a few. Nothing to fret about, there’s always time to go back and revisit. It was simply amazing. London is a wonder. Staring at it in postcards, seeing it in the movies and actually being there to take it all in, it was just inspiring.
First Stop: London Eye, River Thames, Westminster Abbey and Cathedral
Second Stop: Leicester Square, Chinatown
Third Stop: Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace
It really was a day well spent. Here’s to a city I can finally cross off my bucket list! Thank you, London. I can’t wait to be back. I’ll see you soon. 😘😍