A London solo adventure
What to do when lost? The first time I travel to an unknown place I decided to do it by myself. Therefore got a round trip ticket to London for three months with no plans. The sensation I felt when I came out of the train station into the city center for the first time it’s tattooed on my memory. My stomach was tight as a knot, my feet where moving erratically and I kept opening and closing my hands as if I could grasp the air. The backpack I had was almost my size, with every step I felt a falling sensation and also now I couldn’t use my hands for balance because they were busy holding a tacky colorful massive map that I got for free at the airport. Where the hell in the map was I?
Lost. I was lost!
I didn’t had a phone or an electronic devise with Internet because for some reason I though it would be cool to experience the trip like the old days where people need it to talk and ask for directions. Fuck that idea! There I was, spinning in circles and overlooking at unfamiliar buildings that didn’t seem very iconic or important. Why I didn’t plan this better?
I was in the middle of it all, in some circle, outside the train station. Holding a map, fighting for balance with the bag and spinning and moving my eyes from map to skyline and from skyline to map. I took a deep breath and looked around. There was a number of six streets going on opposite directions around me and I didn’t had a clue which one to take.
It was 10:30 am on a Tuesday and It seemed like I was in some sort of financial office district because it was apocalyptically deserted. The buildings that surrounded me formed some sort of circle wall like futuristic metal shields that prevented me from telling where was the river. Consequently I didn’t had a clue what was north, south, west or east. My head was spinning and I started to get a headache.
Dizzy. I felt dizzy!
“Why am I doing this trip? What a brilliant idea to leave my phone! I should’ve asked that woman in the information counter to show me the route. Where’s the people in this city? Can the streets have numbers and letters like New York? Now I’m lost, without knowing what to do. Why it’s so sunny and hot?”
It was sunny! Open sky with no clouds sunny. I had never been in London but I’ve seen movies and London is never sunny, I knew that. So I smiled and let the rays hit my forehead and caress my face. Then I though; I came here to get lost.
If life was a cartoon movie this was the moment where the spotlight would hit me and birds and angels started to sing. That’s why I was traveling. That’s why I was here, to get lost. I want it an adventure. I had nowhere to go and nowhere to be. It was truly a freeing sensation; feeling lost and happy about it. The mind is a powerful thing, a shift of perception and
Power. I felt empowered!
I looked back to those six streets around me and noticed that two of them were slightly going up. That must head into a hill I though and down the hill must be the river so I picked one of the opposite streets and walked down the hill and there they were…Humans with huge bags and tacky colorful maps walking along the river! I was close to my destination and it wasn’t as hard as I thought.
The night came and I was ready to have my first London solo adventure. Was it to early or to late? Once again there was no one on the streets. I knew it was Tuesday but there most be a bar open, it’s London after all. I try to look for a gay bar but I kept walking and walking without finding a place. There was no one on the streets and it was getting cold.
Was I lost again? I decided to call it a night. When I was getting back to the train a little disappointed with how the night was ending there he was; that perfect snow white modeling twink, with nit haircut and pronounced lips, sky blue eyes and a badass swag walking with his Prada boots and Burberry coat. No way this kid is going home. I let him pass by me and followed him.
Intuition. I felt intuitive.
Clack, Clack, Clack If you were not looking you might as well think those boots where heels. Restaurants started to pop out, coffee shops, retail stores, designer retail stores, bars, small crowds, small but lively crowds and violá! Compton’s of Soho was a gay bar with wood-paneled, a ground-floor pub and a quieter upstairs lounge that probably the Queen will hang out there herself if she was a gay man. Victorian style furniture with carpets, chandeliers, wooden stools, wooden chairs, wooden everything; this might as well be a library. I tried to spot someone to engage in a conversation but none of the energies were welcoming.
Gays can be a bit harsh at times, specially if they’re wearing their Prada and Burberry combo. But insecurities is something that no cloth can hide. The bartender was alone at the bar so I went and sit. Bartenders you’ll find to be the kindest openhearted people at gay bars. They’ve seen a lot and they’re good listeners. Never forget to tip your bartender. Never. It was intriguing for him that I was on this three months trip all-alone. He gave me a free drink and asked “What are you looking for with all this?”
Myself. I’m looking for myself
That became my strategy for the rest of the trip. To be honest sometimes I still use it. What to do when lost then? If you’re lost or traveling alone without direction and you see brothers and sisters of the rainbow walking by, follow them. It usually leads to fun. Then once you’ve learn the city map and their spots you can create your own routes. But when lost, follow the rainbow. A rainbow can be a person, a flag, a bird flying over your head, a sudden wind blowing on your face, a ray of light from the outside, a voice from the inside. Lost. We all came here to get lost.