Pushing through crowds in a tourist ridden city sometimes can take a lot more effort than you bargain for. A brisk stroll across a walking bridge? You wish. Crosswalks with unfamiliar pedestrians? Forget it.
Eventually, you find yourself power walking with the posture of someone who appears to have an agenda and have convinced yourself that everyone simply must think you’re a local.
I have bad news: they don’t. They take note of your tourist tendencies. They see through your lies. The big giveaway is when your poise takes a nosedive as you see an empty red phone booth and sprint over to take advantage of the magic moment. Guilty. Oops.
The biggest mistake we made while adventuring through London was one of our first times on the tube (London’s subway). We had exited our car and were en route to Covent Garden for a bite to eat. Feeling superior to all of the lazy, apathetic people who were heading towards the lifts, we opted for the stairs instead.
What we saw was a sneaky quick exit instead of long lines and claustrophobic feelings. What we didn’t see was the sign that read: “THERE ARE 193 STAIRS. THAT IS EQUAL TO FIFTEEN FLOORS. YOUR THIGHS WILL BURN LIKE THAT OF 1000 FIERY SUNS.” (There may have been some exaggeration just now, but you get it). After a lot of heavy breathing and thoughts of giving up, we made it. We saw the sun. We were alive.
There were two things we were both sure of after climbing that never ending spiral staircase from hell. The first, was that all my time in the gym leading up to this trip was WORTHLESS. The second, is that we would never second guess the masses of people waiting to take the lift ever again.
More updates from England soon. Also, Amsterdam on Friday and New York next week! 2014 is starting out incredibly.
To follow my adventures in real time, follow me on Instagram at @lacunningham