Living London like a local

The travel bug hit me at six years old during my first trip to England to explore my heritage. Little did I know, it would become my international abode.

What started as an annual trip to visit family soon became much more than visiting historical and architectural landmarks. After spending my youth taking in the sights, I decided to take my first solo trip to London to uncover the hidden gems. Doing so gave me a redefined mindset on how I viewed the world.

It was no longer necessarily about what I saw; it was about how I saw those things and how they made me feel, how the city’s uniqueness uplifted me so that I found a better sense of individuality. Regardless of the hustle and bustle of the metropolis life, I became one with it.  

Traveling alone in a city that practically inundates one helped me acquire the boldness that I truly longed for. For me, it was all the little things that conveyed the bigger picture.

Follow the map to see some of my favorite places to visit in the city:

Although not physically, on the Transport for London’s Tube map, it’s important to consider the following:

Afterward A
Inside the Tube | Photo by Netanya Walton

You want some down time, maybe some time to reflect or bask in the silence of nature, travel down the rabbit hole and venture on a mysterious walk. A nature retreat from the city, the Ashtead Common – located in the county of Surrey (just outside of London) – is where you’ll find eerie dark woods. And, if you’re lucky, the fog will be out for that perfect photo op. Warning: these forests are pup friendly, so you might encounter a furry friend or five.

Now, if you’re feeling the complete opposite of this, go to the nearest Tube station, hop on the next ride, get off at a random stop and explore! To many people, this idea can seem quite intimidating, but the best way to explore the city is “blindfolded.” Sometimes you’ve got to let it just take you. Plus, you never know what kind of magical things will await you in the city that charms.