London, England and Paris, France; (1993)
Hebrews 13:1: Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.
The three travel experiences that shaped my desire to see God’s creation with my own little family were: England/France as a child, Japan/Hong Kong as a child and Bermuda as a college student.
All three of these trips impacted me and shaped me into a zealously-planning, impulsively-researching traveler, even if only twice per year.
While these pictures were taken by me as an eight-year old, it was a simple reminder that the quality of the picture isn’t as important as the quality of the life experience.
My brother, Bill, is seven-and-a-half years my senior, but as a child, I followed him around religiously. And on two of the three most impactful travel experiences I had growing up, he was my travel buddy, my companion.
I love remembering London as an eight-year child would. When I look back at these pictures, I think of: a red double-decker bus, the guards at Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. Although I don’t think I captured a picture of it, I also have found memories of Piccadily Square and the happening streets of London as we toured.
Some of the memories that I have of London at the age of eight aren’t the fondest. I remember throwing up all over Heathrow International Airport after a rough bout of turbulence. I also remember the food being just okay, including peeling off the “skin” on my hot dog.
One of the funny memories there is of that flat (apartment) that we lived in that summer. I found these two pictures that I had taken which showed its interesting British decor and its scary third floor steps that we referred to as “the inner sanctum”.
Such fun family memories in London! My favorite memory to look back on, though, is this hysterical picture from High Tea at the Ritz-Carlton London with my mom. We wearing matching paisley jumpers and you can just see the jubilant (sarcastic) joy on my eight-year old face 🙂
Another fine memory of mine from London was hand-picking Jenny, my British doll, from the toy store there. I was inseparable with this doll for years after purchasing it there.
I don’t have many pictures captured of my time as a eight-year old in Paris, likely because I did not have a great impression of it. My family and I selected an odd bed and breakfast to stay in (I remember breakfast being sent up on the elevator), and I also remember being almost harassed by locals for money for their children while we explored.
I would love to give Paris another shot, as I believe it is stunning! I did manage to capture these two images, which show two of the most famous Paris tourist sites to visit. I have fond memories of visiting both the Eiffel Tower (I love how I spelled it in the below picture!) and the Louvre.
Trek Difficulty Level: (2): I remember a bumpy, long flight from the northeast to London as well as feeling like I was on that flight forever!
Trek Budget: $4000; London and Paris, just like Hong Kong and Tokyo, are expensive cities. I’d prepare to spend at least $4000 if including flights, accommodations, food and souvenirs as well visiting tourist sites. I do think you could visit London & Paris for less than Hong Kong & Tokyo, though.
3 Trek Must-Dos:
- See a live show! London has a great theatre district and I have fond memories of seeing Buddy Holly live in London (and dancing in the aisles!)
- Scoop up a croissant in Paris – seems obvious, non? Croissants in Paris are the real deal and I can actually taste it as I type this out
- Don’t worry about capturing perfect pictures: focus on perfect memories. I think travelers and bloggers get caught up in taking the picture perfect shots, but my misspelled, misaligned pictures taken by eight-year old me are still perfection