I don’t think I had any set expectations about how traveling solo in a foreign country would feel or be, but it certainly wasn’t anything like my trip was. My trip was … amazing. It was stress free. It was peaceful. It was full of doing exactly what I want, when I want. Which I tend to do anyway, but this was different. I typically do most things alone anyway, but I didn’t have any type of set schedule, apart from the tours I had booked. I allowed myself to be spoiled — by myself without feeling guilty. I had booked a more expensive hotel. And it was worth it. I owe it to myself after the last few years of hard work and dedication to my career and my own self-worth and happiness to a ‘treat yo self’ vacation.
As soon as I de-planed and got through customs, which didn’t take nearly as long as I thought, it actually took longer coming home, I bought a SIM card for 30 pounds. It had 12 GB of data. I barely used a gig. I highly recommend doing that if you’re traveling abroad. It gave me a London-based phone number, internet service, texting, etc. The London number helped for apps like UBER and for the taxi services, etc.
My hotel. I stayed at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt. Yeah. That’s a mouthful.
I loved it! I arrived around noon after taking a cab with My London Taxi (They were great). My room wasn’t supposed to be ready until 3pm, so I had planned on just dropping my luggage and roaming London, but low and behold, my room was ready, and not only that — the hotel upgraded me to a King Suite! I did a little dance in my head. I had also mentioned upon booking that I was staying in London for my birthday. As soon as I had unpacked a few of my articles of clothing, a knock on the door — and WINE compliments of the guest relations advisor for my birthday.
Yes, Radisson Blu, you have won me over. The room was just beautiful. It did feel very posh and fancy, but I loved it. I had read that the rooms were typically small, especially the bathroom. And it was, but for a solo traveler, it was fine. I never did figure out how to make the bathtub work…
The room had a mini fridge, hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc., robes, slippers, the heat worked, had a lovely view of Kensington, and probably the best feature of all was that it was barely a 3 min walk to the underground station.
My first night in London I spent drinking wine and eating M&Ms fighting my jet lag! I headed out to dinner with a friend — to a highly British spot TGIFridays! No really. Food was an issue. I’m a picky eater. I tried to stick to mainly American eateries. I was baffled by the fact that they have no ranch.