It’s been a dream of mine to head to the motherland since I was a little girl. This year, I got to realise that dream by travelling to London, Scotland (and Paris) and I am SO happy I waited until I was in my mid-twenties to go. Why? Maturity. A finer sense of sacrifice and, thus, a higher appreciation for what I was experiencing. I was in London from 5-9 May.
5 May – This is Spring?

After crashing out at 8pm the night before, we slept until 6am. The Airbnb place (seriously, I can’t rave about Gavin & Lyn’s place enough) operated as an actual Bed & Breakfast, so they provided us an amazing array of croissants, pain au chocolat, bread, jam, coffee, and more.

Side note: I am now 80% pain au chocolat.

Tottenham Court Underground Station

We had a conversation with our host, Gavin, and he recommended some places to go, some to avoid, and what he thought of London being a previous outsider (Scot). He also asked if we’d “slept right through.” Apparently, our hosts thought that we’d gotten to theirs and slept literally the entire day and night. They’d been deliberating whether to wake us up by making a lot of noise or not! We must have just slipped out without them noticing.

We spent a solid half hour then researching about what we would do and we decided we’d head to Oxford Circus area. We caught the tube from Leytonstone to Tottenham Court Road, had a bit more food at McDonalds (because we’re classy) and walked down Oxford Street.

One of the things that really struck out to me was how confused I felt seeing such modern stores with neon signs in some of the most beautiful architecture I’ve ever seen. You need to keep in mind that I’m Australian and Australians don’t have a huge amount of building history to look towards, considering our Indigenous culture lived differently. Smart people.

H&M desecrating this building

Watching period shows and movies as a child (and teenager… and adult) are the only real interaction I’ve had with this beautiful architecture. To see a neon H&M sign slapped onto it made me feel confused and a little taken aback. Ross, on the other hand, loves it!

It was at this point during the day, when Ross went to wander in to an Urban Outfitters that I chucked a little tizzy and said, “I’m not here to spend all my time in shops.” That was one of the indicators that Ross and I like to travel a little differently. We decided to divide and conquer the sites we wanted to see individually at this point.

Travel tip for London: Instead of walking up the main road, pop over to the one next to it. Some of the smaller streets are absolutely gorgeous and hold hidden gems.

I ventured up Regent Street towards Regent’s Park, passed the BBC, found the Royal Institute of British Architects, which had an exhibition (and some great toilets). I then sprinted up to Regent’s Park as I realised I was going to be late to catching up with Ross and was rewarded with a squirrel.

Side note: Squirrels are super-graceful.

Mother Mash

I caught the tube from Regent’s Park to Oxford Circus to meet Ross. We then walked to Soho and explored the area, finding a bloody fantastic place called Mother Mash that we loved so much we went back to it on the 19th!

Soho has some fantastic places and shops. I found this amazing vintage clothing store and touched a bottle-green Hermes coat from the 1940s that they were selling for £900. £900!

I mentioned something about my legs dropping off in the title. Below, in list form because holy hell we walked around and saw a lot of places, is what we spent the rest of the afternoon doing:

  1. Walked to Piccadilly Circus
  2. Walked to Buckingham Palace via St James’s Park
  3. Walked all the way around Buckingham Palace (don’t do this. Just… don’t)
  4. Walked to Hyde Park via Wellington Arch (which features an Australian war memorial)
  5. Hired bikes and rode around Hyde Park
  6. Walked to Oxford Street via Grosvenor’s Park (which houses the US Embassy)
  7. Walked back to Soho for a beer
  8. Found an amazing stationery and print store in Carnaby St
  9. Found another pub to have a beer at and played a game of draughts
  10. Went back to Piccadilly Circus
  11. Had dinner at a random tiny noodles shop opposite a strip joint
  12. Caught the tube to Leytonstone from Piccadilly Circus (change at Holborn)
  13. Walked to our Airbnb
  14. Crashed

All-in-all, I did 29,170 steps (according to my Fitbit), was hangry multiple times, and still delighted about the squirrel.

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  • Those misty, green woods in Winter 🌲🍃
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I love love LOVE the English woods. Not pictured: one food-crazy dog that I'm pet-sitting 🐶
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #travelblogger #housesitters #petsitters #nature_brilliance #EarthVisuals #artofvisuals #welivetoexplore #natureaddict #naturediversity #ourplanetdaily #earth_deluxe #instanaturelover #nature_prefection #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #ig_masterpiece #campinassp #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #photosofengland #englandtrip #photosofbritain  #focalmarked
  • When I was heading to London two years ago, my colleague at the time @merranbowedesignlust gave me a list of things to do. I didn't manage to tick off all the things on the list, but this time around I made sure I did one of her highly recommended activities: walking along the canal from Camden Markets to Regents Park. My goodness. It's now on my highly recommended list! It's beautiful, peaceful and goes past the zoo! Sure I saw some hyenas ripping another animal apart but that was all part of the experience... Thanks Merran 💕
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #expat #digitalnomad #travelblogger #urbex #streetshared #aov #weekly_feature #createexploretakeover #shotzdelight #mkexplore #gearednomad #rsa_streetview #aroundtheworldpix #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #forahappymoment #exploringtheglobe #thisislondon #shutup_london #london_only #unlimitedlondon #londoncalling #londoncollective #unboxyourphone #instaandroid
  • Today I walked through the woods. Words fail me, even now. It is like the landscape is from my dreams; from my imagination. I remember growing up wishing that we had beautiful woods like this near us. The Australian bush is beautiful, don't get me wrong. But English woods are so full of life in a totally different way. They are full of deep greens, vines, moisture! The birds sang around me as I walked. I felt my breath being taken away by the beauty. And I will see it again in my dreams tonight 🍃
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #travelblogger #expat #southdowns #southdownsway #naturephoto #main_vision #landscape_captures #awesome_earthpix #natureaddict #awesomeearth #nature_wizards #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #photosofengland #englandtrip #photosofbritain #englandtourism #unboxyourphone #instaandroid #androidcommunity #teamandroid
  • Welcome to Steyning, an old village in the south of England where the woods are a-plenty (and so was the fog today). I’m house sitting and looking after Lucky the beagle. Here’s what we saw on today’s walk (warning: will give you forest envy)
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #travelblog #travelblogger #aussieblog #aussieblogger #housesitters #petsitters #naturevideo #main_vision #landscape_captures #natureaddict #allnatureshots #dogsofinstagram #beaglesofinstagram #travelog #sheisnotlost #theglobewanderer #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #sussex #englandtrip #englandtourism #expatlife
  • Another view of Canterbury Cathedral. Seriously, this architecture is so stunning. I know the locals walk past it every day and don't take it in because it's the norm, so it takes me an extra 20 minutes to walk anywhere because I just want to stop and stare!
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #aussieblog #aussieblogger #travelblog #travelblogger #digitalnomad #expatlife  #icu_architecture #jj_architecture #creative_architecture #arkiromantix #tv_architectural #archimasters #excellent_structure #arquitecturamx #diagonal_symmetry #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #ig_masterpiece #campinassp #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #photosofengland #englandtrip
  • Welcome to Canterbury! It's my first stop in the UK and boy is it cold... for someone who has just been in an Australian heatwave, anyway. I've been walking around seeing the aights, sitting in cafes, making friends, visiting friends, hiking in Dover, and slowly settling in. It's hard, but I'm trying. I'm loving the architecture here so much!
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #expatlife #icu_architecture #jj_architecture #creative_architecture #arkiromantix #tv_architectural #archimasters #lookingup_architecture #unlimitedcities #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #ig_masterpiece #campinassp #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #forahappymoment #exploringtheglobe #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #photosofengland #englandtrip #photosofbritain #englandtourism
  • I stand on the rocks at one of my favourite beaches in Newcastle with my trusty best friend (Mikey the border collie) by my side.
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With only days left in Newcastle before I move overseas, my anxiety is building. I keep thinking of all the things that I am leaving behind, and it's making me question why I'm doing this at all.
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But, as my good friend Alex told me, there are so many "hellos" in the future. Hello to new people. Hello to new experiences. Hello again to all those I'm "leaving behind".
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So, this picture is a bit of a metaphor, as well as a stunning sunset. There are so many sunsets to look forward to. There will be rocks, tumultuous seas, and calm waters on the way to those beautiful experiences. One day at a time.
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #aussieblog #aussieblogger #travelblog #travelblogger #mynewcastle #goodbyes #roamtheplanet #travelphotography #visualoflife #beachlife #dametraveler #artofvisuals #flashesofdelight #thecreative #ig_masterpiece #beachvibes #skyporn #sunsetsniper #skylovers #sunrise_and_sunsets #sunsets #sunset_hub #sunsetlovers #instasunsets #all_sunsets #sunsethunter #sunset_madness #sunset_stream
  • When a friend recently invited me up to Valla Beach to camp with his family, I jumped at the opportunity (after finding a way to make the 3.5 hour drive when I'd just sold my car...). I've got limited time left in Australia before my big adventure and I've never actually been properly camping! So, thank you @danmurphy31. I'm so happy to have had some time at such a beautiful beach/river and to have had my first family camping experience where the whole aim is to live slow ⛺☀️🌊
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #aussieblog #aussieblogger #travelblog #travelblogger #vallabeach #midnorthcoast #roamtheplanet #travelphotography #visualoflife #beachlife #dametraveler #artofvisuals #islandhopping #flashesofdelight #thecreative #ig_masterpiece #beachvibes #mytinyatlas #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #campinassp #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #forahappymoment #exploringtheglobe #travelon
  • I'm trying to visit all of my old haunts in Newcastle from the past ten years. This is a stunning way to end the day - the top of the hill at King Edward Park while the sun sets behind you. It turns the sky brilliant colours and is also one of the best places to watch the moon rise. Take a picnic blanket and some beers for the best experience 🍻
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Mate, who am i?

(I ask myself the same thing)

Travelling can be really hard when you never feel like you're prepared. But, the more I do it the more I realise that being unprepared is the best way to travel. I’m Rowena. I live with depression and an anxiety disorder, which inspires a lot of my writing. My first reaction is to over-pack, over-worry, freak out, and give myself a headache. I’m consciously rebelling against that.

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