London: A Writer’s Paradise

The first time I came to London I hated it. Like really hated it. The busy backwards streets, the millions of people, the high prices…it was all too much for my little introvert mind. And don’t even get me started on the Tube. At the time, the thought of commuting underground absolutely terrified me.

A lot has changed in the last five years. I’ve visited London more and it has started to feel more like my city. I started to feel more comfortable wandering beyond the tourist spots early in the morning. I learned to look both ways when I cross a street…just in case. And obviously after living in Paris taking an underground metro is second nature to me, now. It’s comical, when I think back, that this year I decided that London was going to be where I spent my birthday. My birthday is a really important day of the year, and I’m pretty particular about how I spend it. I’ve been in London less than 24 hours and I already know I made the right decision…but it’s still laughable.

I bought this plane ticket back in March when a lot of things were uncertain for me. I didn’t know where I was going to live, work or what direction I was headed. I didn’t even have my cat, which is a tragedy to think about. When I saw the non-stop tickets from Seattle to London I knew I needed to jump on the opportunity, but I also knew that with such an unknown future I didn’t know if I’d even be able to get the time off from whatever job I was working six months down that road. So naturally I bought a ticket.

And now I’m sitting in a café in London. Different job, different living situation, different life. The lesson to learn here is that when you make travel a priority you might be surprised how the universe moves to make it happen.

There’s another reason I decided to take this trip, beyond the fact that it’s my birthday on Wednesday and that’s because I wanted to really dive into a writing state of mind. What better place than London? While I’m here my #1 priority is to immerse myself in writing. That could mean learning about writers, sitting here writing while I’m severely jet-lagged or meeting up with other writers while I’m here. Also just having more experiences to write about. I want it all. And I need it.

The last couple years have been pretty intense and amidst those times my writing has dropped off in a lot of ways, which is tragic since all I’ve ever wanted to do since I was a kid was to write. So here I am in one of the greatest cities in the world, soaking up as much knowledge as I can and typing away on my little blog. Let’s see what adventures we can have.

P.s. Tomorrow I’m going to Harry Potter Land…aka Warner Bros Studios London!

You Can Call Me Pippi Longstocking

pippihorse

I’ve always been in love with gingers.

I idolized them as a child. Friends, singers, actors, book characters – it didn’t matter. There are so many, it borders on obsession (I have a Pintrest board and boyfriend to prove it). I collect gingers. Sue me.

Looking back, there was one particularly poignant character that I was always obsessed with. In fact, I pretty much wanted to be her: Pippi Longstocking.

Now, if you’re not familiar with the story of Pippi, here’s a quick run-through:  Pippi is a 9 year old pirate’s daughter (which explains so much about what happens to all of those kids) who lives alone in a mansion (with the exception of her spotted horse and pet monkey) and usually can be found with her hair done in two braids – sticking straight out. She does periodically see her father, so he can give her treasure and coins for her to live off of, but mostly she runs around having adventures with the village kids.

She goes places. She does things.

Since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to go places.

I’m honestly not even sure how the whole “grown up” thing happened… because the last thing I remember, I was 10 years old.

Little dreamer. How was I supposed to know that traveling would become such a big part of my life? How could I have known that I would be able to take those adventures I dreamt about, while I was sitting on the couch in my childhood living room?

But it did. And I got to. And I wouldn’t trade my life for the world.

One of the main things I loved about Pippi Longstocking was that in the 1969 Swedish (English dub) videos we had, she took these other two village kids with her on adventures. Like in a hot air balloon. She didn’t need someone to give her permission. She ruled her life. She made her decisions. She was limitless and bold.

My birthday is this on Monday and I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s next for me. I’ll be tipping in the direction of 30, this year (which is crazy to think!) so I feel like I need to rewrite a list of goals to conquer.

So much has happened in the past 5 years, and so many dreams have been fulfilled.

So what’s next?

ee831714772c4c5cb5ebc7a9944fe5fdWell, as much as I’d love to give you a sneak peek into my future, I actually have no idea what this next year will hold. I might be taking another big trip. I might be going back to school to pursue higher education. I might write a book. I might paint a mural. Who knows? Maybe all, or maybe none.

But I think, at this point, it’s more about dreaming of new tomorrows.

I met someone once who told me I seemed younger than I was because I haven’t lost hope in my life. A comment which was met by the rest of the group nodding in agreement. But hey, why have we all lost hope?
I refuse to stop dreaming of new goals and new ambitions.

For 26 I want to dare more, dream more, work harder, reach my goals and keep living like crazy.
And I want to take you all in my hot air balloon, with me.

Dream with me. Whatever it is that’s holding you back from pursuing that little whisper of a dream in your heart, I dare you to unclench your fists, and ask the question of, “What if?”

Something I’m learning more and more is that the things that I regret, in my past, are the missed opportunities. Because, even the failures resulted in helping to mold and build me into someone who is so much stronger and so much more daring.

But I feel like most of the time I’ve known what I should be doing. The hard part is listening to that voice. That little tug on your heart. That little whisper of your soul. Don’t ignore it! Who knows what the future holds. But I do know that I’m fabulously excited for the 26th year of my life.

And lastly, I leave you all, my darlings, with the English version of the 1969 intro song to one of my favorite childhood movies. Enjoy.