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London, England

Updated: Aug 4, 2023


Shira posing in London

On May 30, 2018 I arrived in London, England ready to start my 8-week trip through Europe. I chose London as my first stop because I thought it would be a good way to start my trip because it is English speaking and I knew I’d be able to stay with my friend Rashida.

Rashida lives in Brixton, London which is a historic West Indian but now gentrifying neighborhood 🙁 Despite gentrification, the neighborhood has still retained its West-Indian vibes and culture, which I love because I’m Jamaican. There also is a big graffiti scene in Brixton. I took a graffiti tour in Brixton and it was pretty informative. I learned a lot about gentrification on the tour as well.


Here are a few pictures of the tour:



London has a lot of cool festivals that take place throughout the summer. My friend Rashida, her brothers and a few friends and I went to Field Day festival. Erykah Badu was the headlining performer so that’s all I cared about. The festival was on my birthday which made it a lot more fun.

After Field Day, I decided to be a typical tourist and do a free walking tour to see all the major sites in London. Hands down, this was the best free walking tour I’ve taken in all of Europe. I did not take many photos, but I do have a vlog where you can check out the tour of London plus more.


Here is one of the few photos that I did take:


Shira at the London Bridge
 Me at the London Bridge.

On my last day in London, I went a presentation of writing at an art space in London. Rashida’s lovely mom Folouké presented her writing and it was all about self-love, healing, finding your voice, anti-racist work that we all need to do. It was beautiful and inspiring. You can see excerpts of the performance in my vlog as well. As the performance focused a lot on self-love, I think it is so important to learn to love yourself a little more each day.


Shira selfie photo
Me, the day of the performance.

I left London feeling empowered and ready to take on my entire trip. I am so glad I chose London as my first stop. I am even more grateful to my friend Rashida and her family who allowed me to stay in their home.


Overview of London, England:


The good:

London is ethnically and culturally diverse so there is something for everyone there.

My lovely friend Rashida and her family who hosted me for 6 days.

The tube (metro) is very clean.

Hands down, the free walking tour I took in London was the best tour I took on my entire 8 week journey. You can google free walkingtour.com and search for London to see the list of available tours.


The bad:

London’s weather is super gloomy the majority of the time. It also rains a lot and can get quite cold even in the summer.

London’s accommodations are quite expensive. I was lucky that I was able to stay with my friend. I’d recommend checking out HostelWorld for cheap accommodations. Always make sure to book at a refundable rate so that you can get your money back in case anything goes wrong.


Food:

I enjoyed London’s food! Although London frequently gets a bad rep for their food, I think you have to know where to go and where to get it from.

Nando’s. It’s a good cheap chicken spot.

Fish Wing N’ Tings is good.

Chinese food from a local place in Brixton.


Would I travel there again? Yes, without a doubt.

Being a black woman here: I did not feel like the odd one out. I stayed with my Jamaican friend and we hung out with her Jamaican friends. It was so good to be around black people who I culturally identify with!

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