I'm still traveling, though you haven't heard from me....my computer suffered a crash a few weeks ago, and yesterday, my phone got water damage in a rainstorm. The heavens are telling me it's time to leave Asia (a continent that boasts a SINGLE apple store) and return to Europe. Thankfully, I'm in the midst of my journey back to the West as I write this!
Stay tuned for LOTS of pictures still to come from Thailand and Vietnam once my devices get rebooted - and Europe, too, of course!
We spent all four days on Phuket at Patong Beach, the most touristy on the island. With lots of sun and little rain (we were lucky), Catherine and I both got nice tans. Days were spent on the beach, at rooftop hotel pools, getting Thai massages, and napping. At night, we grabbed drinks on Bangla Road, saw the Incredibles 2 movie, and shopped at the giant Jungceylon tourist mall. It was a beachy, touristy few days before flying off to Northern Thailand - we are currently in Chiang Mai, where vegan restaurants abound, and I can already tell it’s my favorite place here yet. Many posts to come!
After nearly 20 hours in transit, I arrived in Thailand to meet my friend & fellow UVA grad & future coworker Catherine. It’s my first time in Asia, and everything seems different - the food, the street vendors, the spiritual practice and location, the stench, the cheap prices, the nightlife, the adoration of the King, the men calling out on every street corner, the ornate temples, the way of greeting, and more. I can’t decide if I like it or not, but I definitely like getting to see a whole new side of the world.
Catherine and I spent two days in Bangkok where we visited a number of temples and road boats along the river. We got drinks on a rooftop bar, enjoyed beer on the infamous Khao San Road, and (attempted) to adjust to the time difference.
On our last night in London, we went to its best park (Regent's) for a picnic. Three summers ago, I lived at Regent's University in the park while studying abroad - it's always bittersweet to come back! We walked through the rose garden before heading across the park to Primrose Hill, one of my favorite views in London. Primrose Hill area is special to me for another reason - within a 5 minute walk of the hill itself are the two homes in which my favorite poet, Sylvia Plath, lived. This was the first time I ventured out to see them, and it was the perfect day for it. Then, Mary & Nicole & I climbed the hill, set up a blanket, and opened two bottles of wine. We stayed until long after the sun set.
I somehow made it through a study abroad and a vacation here without having afternoon tea...third time's the charm, I guess! This particular tea felt more like a four course meal. After two pots of tea and three levels of cakes and sandwiches later, we didn't eat for the rest of the day.
Our last days in London were full of color: a bar with candy-themed drinks and a glowing ball pit in Shoreditch, red and white everything the day of the England quarterfinal game, rainbow themed everything the day of London Pride, graffiti in Banksy tunnel, and more.
On the fourth of July, we found ourselves at Madison London, a rooftop bar right near St. Paul's Cathedral. There were no fireworks or extra celebrations to be found - other than a large screening of Wimbledon and giant British flag bean bag pillows. We of course goofed around on these and enjoyed being the only Americans at the bar on the holiday that celebrates independence from Britain!
Day two in London included a run from our Airbnb in Paddington to Notting Hill for brunch, where we spotted many shops and cafes adorned with flowers. From there, Mary and I went to explore Tate Modern and the surrounding area before meeting up with Nicole to watch the match in Shoreditch. Even redoing the touristy things makes me feel an overwhelming love for this place, that I've never found in New York or LA or Paris. If only I could live here someday!!
Once you've got the travel bug, it never really goes away. And once you fall in love with London, you keep coming back. I'm lucky to be here for the third time in four years, in warm, sunny, rain-free weather. I'll be repeating favorite locations and trying new ones with two wonderful high school friends (Nicole & Mary) before jumping off to a continent I've never visited before. Stay tuned!
These photos were taken on day one - jet-lagged - nevertheless, we persisted. We enjoyed a cocktail bar, Mexican food, bridges, and sunsets before passing out at 10PM GMT :)
Who Am I?
I'm Rory; University of Virginia grad, writer, photographer, wannabe world traveler.
What is EU and Me?
A collection of photographs and musings from travels abroad.