Friendly England

Trip Start Apr 25, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
couches of the generous people
What I did
brilliant British scenery

Flag of United Kingdom  , Wales,
Friday, May 25, 2012

It may seem like I’ve only had bad stories in my first
couple of entries. But there is good news! I have left London. I will only
return to use the place as a base to explore the rest of Europe. In the
meantime I have been travelling around the UK. Needless to say, the people in
the smaller towns are way nicer than those in London (that isn’t saying much at
all). But again, the most fun has been had with people who aren’t even English.

The first stop was Brighton, and I really liked it there. One
thing I didn’t like was the fact that the beach had not a single grain of sand.
Only pebbles, lots and lots of them. My feet got sore. Unfortunately I couldn’t
find a couch surfing host and had to settle for a hostel. It backfired the next
morning when a massive black bloke cracked it at me for taking “his” bed. I
didn’t take it personally, I just assumed the guy was from London. I met some
people, including a couple of girls from Melbourne, but the problem with
meeting people in hostels is they tend to have their own agenda and you are
left with nobody to hang out with. It sure is exciting though when someone
mistakes you for a player from the local football club and asks you for an
autograph and a photo. I played along with it for my own amusement.

After a couple of nights in Brighton I moved on to
Southampton. There are two things that Southampton is famous for. It was the
port where the maiden voyage of the Titanic departed from, and teenage mums.
Since I wasn’t prepared to knock up a 16-year-old local my tourist experience
was complete within an hour at the Titanic museum. But I’m not travelling to
see the sights, I’m travelling to meet the people. I met great people in
Southampton. My couch surfing host Dan was from Slovakia, and there seemed to
be a lot of them there. The Slovakians were wonderful people to be around, but
I wouldn’t recommend drinking vodka with them. I learned a valuable lesson
while I was in Southampton. I can’t handle vodka. Never again will I do vodka
after my night of drinking with the Slovakians.

I took a boat to Isle of Wight, the English version of
Phillip Island. Really, even the names of the towns are the same. Sadly there
were no penguins, but the scenery there was spectacular. From there I went to
Bournemouth, where I discovered sand for the first time in England. I was lucky
to be in Bournemouth for the first warm days of my trip (by British standards)
and the beach, while not the same as what we have at home, was a nice change.
The best thing about Bournemouth was the people I met there. My couch surfing
host Heiko was from Germany and he introduced me to some very cool and
interesting people, including his British housemates. Since I left London I
have found the British to be wonderful people. I generalize, but it’s only
those from London who are obnoxious.

My next stop will be in Wales, and after that I am planning
to visit Spain. Things are slowly falling into place. I am getting more
comfortable with being away on my own and I’m used to the pressure of making the
big decisions. I can’t wait to share more positive stories in the next few
weeks. Iceland is just around the corner.
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