London Bridge is closing down…

Some shots that I recently posted to my Instagram, from my recent walk down to London Bridge. I will be blogging what I discovered during lockdown on my daily walks, and I can’t wait to share some things in the next few days!

I will try to keep my blog and Instagram in sync- so one doesn’t spoil it for the other.

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Despite the cones blocking off London Bridge, this isn’t due to the lockdown. London Bridge was due to be closed between March and October this year, although recent events may close it off for a little longer if things don’t stick to schedule.

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A couple heads popping up over London Bridge, looking down the Thames to Tower Bridge. The bridge wasn’t as busy as it could have been, which is the reason why I decided to continue my daily exercise over the river.

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The paths here are very wide, meaning I could use the space to cross it safely without worrying too much.

Not that everyone was worrying, some people were clearly unfazed…

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I crossed the bridge and spent some time at Borough Market, as it is an open area that can be walked through and was as you can imagine, very quiet. Everything closed and it made for a pretty interesting walk. So I will come back to it by the time I have got to those images on Insta. But in the meantime I am uploading plenty more shots, three a day around Central London.

See you all soon for the next ones!


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Using Insta? Click here for my Instagram!

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Life in lockdown: Teaching a class in Kuwait… from the UK

I’m Joy and I was born in Leeds in 1982. My mom was a drama teacher and my dad was a fireman, we lived in Garforth for the first few years of my life. They had recently been converted to evangelical Christianity and had got ‘the call’ to be in mission work. They joined a mission organisation called NTM and started a year bible school in Matlock Bath, which was where my sister was born.

After that year, we moved to the States for them to complete their training. NTM works on a self-funded basis, so my parents spent a lot of time visiting churches and raising support to be able to be missionaries abroad. We lived in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Illinois as my parents did different parts of the training in linguistics, bible training and ‘boot camps’ (consisting of building our own houses and being self sustainable living in the forest). They eventually decided where they wanted to be missionaries and when I was five we moved to Ivory Coast, West Africa and we lived there from 1987 until I graduated in 2000. We would come back to the UK (after also making a trip to the States to visit supporters for a month or so) every four years for a furlough. We always went back to Whitby, as that’s where my mom’s side of the family is from and my grandparents had a house big enough for us to live in together.

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I didn’t really have a career path in mind growing up, unlike my sister who knew she wanted to be a nurse from the age of 3, and of course, I was always her very reluctant patient. I drifted from ideal job to ideal job in my mind, but the one thing that had always fascinated me was learning about other cultures and languages, how we could be so similar and yet so far apart in many aspects? – I found it fascinating.

I had plenty of opportunity as well; not only from living in Ivory Coast and learning the differences between the people who lived in the cities, to the people who I grew up with in our tiny village, 25km from Ferke. I also got the chance to learn from living in the boarding school dorm from the age of eight, surrounded by missionary families from the States, Northern Ireland, Holland, Germany, Vietnam, Canada, France and many, many other countries.

That was what ultimately decided my university degree, in Intercultural Communication

I kind of fell into teaching English as a Foreign Language, I laugh when I say that as many people who teach TEFL say the same! In my last year of university they were offering the CELTA qualification in TEFL and I thought it would be a good thing to have ‘under my belt, just in case’. At the time, intercultural communication didn’t have as many job opportunities, so my first job was teaching English language back in Whitby. My parents at the time were living in Sanford, Florida and working at the mission headquarters there as everyone had had to leave Ivory Coast when the civil war kicked off in 2002. So their house was free, it was a good move as it gave me time to get my feet under me financially and get some experience. 

I didn’t plan to continue being an English language teacher, but I did enjoy it – I got to meet so many interesting people from all over the world and I love meeting new people and hearing about their lives – so it fit well with me! My early twenties were tough, really tough and I struggled a lot. I drifted a lot, moving here and there and worked in so many random places; bartending in Harrogate, teaching Ancient History and Life Skills to 9th graders at a Christian school in Florida for a year, in a clothing shop in Whitby, cover teaching all over Yorkshire, teaching assistant for SEN students at a college, a summer teaching TEFL in Scarborough… While I was at that last job, a fellow teacher said they were looking for permanent staff at an English Language school in York (ELC, now BSC) and I thought it would be interesting to try to stay in one place for a bit longer than six months! I got the job and stayed in York for 11 years. 

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The main reason why I really ended up moving to Kuwait is far too personal to share. But I’d been teaching mainly Arabic students for over 12 years and I’d always promised them all that one day, I’d go over there and visit. Now I had the chance to move over there and work! I had always been fascinated by Arabic cultures, and had spoken at several Intercultural conferences and published papers over the years on their culture. I spend most of 2019 searching for a good place to relocate to and finally was offered a good place at the college (soon to be a university) in Kuwait City. I thought it would be a great place to start, and it’s location perfect for travelling to other Arabic countries to visit and explore. 

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I had so many positive experiences in my short time there. I really loved that some of my ex students wanted to meet up with me; two of the students I taught four years ago were visiting from the UK and took me our for a (non-alcoholic) cocktail and food at a burger bar (everyone loves burgers and sliders over there due to the major American influence in recent decades). It was awesome to hear how their years at university had gone and how much they love living in the UK, and how their futures might go after graduating. 

I met up with a student who I’d taught over 9 years ago, he’d finished his education in the UK and got a job in dentistry in Kuwait, not far from the school I was teaching at. We met up with him and his friend (as a chaperone, as he was recently married), he showed me the Mubarakiya area of Kuwait, a traditional market which sells everything you could possibly want as a Kuwaiti.  As we were walking through the market, I had worn jeans and a very long black jumper, and he the traditional Kuwait male dress;  we got a few stares as a traditionally dressed Kuwaiti man and an obviously Western dressed woman! After we got out of the market, we both laughed and said next time I’d either wear a hijab or he jeans and a t-shirt!

All the other students I had taught and I has promised to visit did message, but it was always the ‘wrong time’ to meet up with me. The ones I’ve mentioned were the only ones I saw in my time there. Culture did not permit random meet-ups, even though I had been their teacher, I was a single western woman.

I met new people though, I’d had a student who was still living in the UK, but her sister lived in Kuwait. She gave me her number and I got in touch. She arranged to meet up with me and we met at a Lebanese restaurant on the beach front. She had brought along a friend. The experience was amazing food wise, we tried to communicate, but neither of them spoke very good English – they mostly spoke to each other, with me trying to pick up an understanding from my limited understanding of Arabic picked up over my years of teaching Arabic students. They were both so lovely, and we took Snapchat filter photos together. If it’s the one thing I learned, is that Snapchat is everything over there, taking filter photos and especially… pictures of food…. We met up again the following week, we went to her friend’s house, I had no idea if it was in my honour or just something they did on a weekly basis. The girls (of course all female) from different countries, Jordan, Egypt, and Kuwait. We sat, them speaking in Arabic (me trying to understand the general context) all smoking shisha pipes and the lady went back and forth prepping the massive amounts of food which she eventually brought out. A million different types of food… for the main and the dessert. Then, the Bluetooth speaker came out (they love listening to music there!!) and each woman got up to dance. We were also invited to a desert gathering two weeks later by a different group of people I had the opportunity to meet. They all listened to western and Arabic music, and danced a lot. (Alcohol in Kuwait cost £150+ per bottle, most people got vodka or whisky as it was just as much to get a bottle of wine!) 

In Kuwait I met some really wonderful people; at work; my boss: a poet and author, my colleague; a kind, interesting man who’d spent years living in Arabic countries- we connected so well, the IT director who lived in my building; from Iraq originally, with a family in Oman, we smoked shisha together and he gave me such insights into the Kuwait culture, my students; as insanely lazy as they were; had such drive in so many other aspects, otherwise; the women I met through my neighbour; so driven, intelligent and modern, with goals that they would reach by hook or by crook…

Before the covid outbreak, I did get the chance to visit some key places in Kuwait City. I lived near the ‘beach front’ and tried a few shisha bars down there with a friend from work a couple times and went for walks before doing my weekly shop at the supermarket in the mall. I went to the main park in Kuwait City, Al Shadeed, it was quite pretty, lovely water features. I visited the Al Hamra skyscraper, which I could see from my flat window and with a colleague, wandered around the elite shops and had a meal in an Italian restaurant. I went to the Avenues mall, designed to feel like you were walking along the Champs-Elysees, or the Rodeo Drive in LA, it was mind blowing… but the overall feeling was that, no one except the few could afford to shop there. People came for an outing, and the Kuwaiti nationals were the only ones who could go into shops, especially ‘The Grand Avenue’, which featured the most expensive, exclusive shops imagined from around the world….

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The college had Spring Break, as it followed the American curriculum, most of the people at the college left as they were expats to other countries, to visit their family or take a brief week holiday. I went to France to visit a good friend of mine. As I was there, news started to get more serious about the Covid-19 break-out. We got daily emails from work about returning to Kuwait, or to be more specific, how we couldn’t return to Kuwait. Our workplace hadn’t given most of its employees residency visas (required for working in Kuwait) which made our worry so much greater. We were tourists, waiting to come back in to the country illegally. I was so grateful when we finally got the Kuwait news update that no visas; tourist or resident, would be allowed back into the country. I tried to change my ticket from Kuwait to the UK, but had to book it anew. At this point, I didn’t care. I was going home. 

We started off teaching again online when I arrived in the UK, and then classes were cancelled a week later as the Kuwaiti government said it couldn’t authenticate online teaching. Ten days later the Kuwaiti government authenticated online learning, so we were all re-drafted in for teaching. Since then, starting 3 weeks ago, I’ve been teaching my two classes online; 16 in my listening and speaking class and two in my writing and grammar class. I’ve learned so much about this new form of teaching, and have enjoyed the new challenge, it’s also included forming all parts of the curriculum to be digital- I’ve been learning so much everyday. I’ve grown so much in my editing skills. Every day is a new challenge, either from the technology issues, to having to create everything from scratch as all my materials and possessions are now in Kuwait, and I am here. Another challenge has been the time difference; when we started the classes back in March there was a three hour time difference, even longer for some of my colleagues, which meant getting up at 4am to teach my 8am class! Fortunately the clocks went forward in our interim break, as as Ramadan started last week, the classes are now all in the afternoon (Kuwait time). I can have a lie-in!

Most of the students have worked so hard to adjust to this new learning environment as well. Obviously, to some it would seem to be an easy transition, especially for students 18-22 years of age… You just log in and watch the teacher and answer questions as usual right? Definitely not! Besides the many technical issues that happen when relying on Zoom and other online teaching sites, they’ve also had to learn how to submit everything either through the college’s e-learning portal (which is not that clear cut….) or by email. I know that seems crazy to say, but this generation has no email, they all have Instagram and Snapchat, but email is for work only, and none of them have had work experience yet. A whole new learning experience for them! Another struggle is self-motivation. I’m not standing over them in a classroom cajoling and entertaining and pushing them, very hard to do online. They have learned so much about being accountable to themselves and their studies. Pushing the boundaries on their traditional learning styles and the assignments they have to do in a new way for me. I’m so proud of them all. Especially in these last few weeks of term, it’s now Ramadan in Kuwait, so not only are they trying to finish their foundation year, but fasting through it all as well. We have three weeks to go till Summer Break!!! 

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Thank you to Joy for providing the third insight for my ‘Life in Lockdown’ series, aiming to provide a glimpse into the lives of people around the world during this pandemic.

All words are Joy’s own and for more stories, photo’s and travel experiences please visit her blog, justjoythings!

 


 

Credits:

Featured photo by Ahmad Mohammed on Unsplash

York photo by Luke Porter on Unsplash

All other photos are by Joy herself

 

Keeping a nation connected during lockdown: (Guest post by Grace Bloom)

Grace and Sam are a couple living in Essex, UK. They met in 2016 and have been blogging their journeys since. I was lucky enough to receive a guest post by them on what life is like as key workers keeping the country connected.

Grace also posted this to their blog, When Grace met Sam, and I have linked this beneath the post.

Due to the majority of bloggers not being self employed, certain information cannot be shared about companies and other aspects of life, but we do what we can.

I hope you enjoy their story.

 


 

Every morning at 7:30, we leave our cosy maisonette in Essex, experiencing fresh waves of anxiety as we face the day.

We never thought this would happen. The added responsibility of carrying the nation on our shoulders, the stress of ensuring we have enough gloves and wipes, constantly checking we’re not too close to someone.

Both of us are hands on engineers which means unfortunately, our work cannot be done from home. Therefore, we are Key Workers.

Although anxious, I’m proud to still be working and know that our engineers are invaluable right now. We provide the nation with internet, making sure children can access their school work at home, we keep phone lines up and running so people can contact 999 in an emergency. The company even call themselves ‘the fourth emergency service’ because we keep everyone connected. Due to the fact we have to still work, they’ve become really hot on the social distancing rule and have cancelled all buddying for new recruits, van sharing and have stressed that we’re only allowed to work with one other person (2m away!) at any time.

Sam is a plumber and has been told it’s emergency work only. His role makes him more at risk than I am because he works in customers homes. The precautions set by the company are to stay at a 2m distance, not to get a signature from the customer and to wear gloves when necessary. Sam’s expressed that he’s worried customers may lie when asked whether they’re showing symptoms, self isolating etc, so that they can still get their problem fixed. There’s been cases where this has happened to customer facing engineers within my company and the people guilty of this should be ashamed!

Of course, it’s not as lifestyle changing as working for the NHS (or as a carer). Some have moved out of their homes to isolate away from their loved ones so they can keep working. They also have much more exposure to the virus due to working with COVID-19 positive patients. We also need to be grateful for our delivery drivers, shop assistants and counsellors. I haven’t seen a lot of praise given to therapists to be honest. Mum being a counsellor herself, she has still been able to look after her clients by replacing face to face sessions with over the phone and Skype instead. Not only is she doing her bit by staying home, she is making herself available to support others.

My role as a Fibre Engineer means I work out in the field and very rarely have to step over a customer’s threshold. Fortunately, this makes it a little easier to maintain social distancing due to being out in the open, however I’m still experiencing the Joe public coming too close to ask questions about whether the job I’m doing will effect their internet. Lots of new rules have also come into force with regards to my job which I think will have an impact on work life after lockdown is lifted.

This past week my van has been in the garage, which means I’ve had to rely on the AA to recover the vehicle to and from Fleet (in Essex) with us not being allowed to vehicle share. Not only that, the AA mechanic had to drive the vehicle from the garage to his low-loader before dropping it off, therefore I have to leave it for 96 hours before I can touch it. Covid has made what were once simple tasks, much more complicated and stressful.

I remember when Sam first told me about it after they introduced the idea. He seemed to think it was a great thing to do and he was even impressed with the company, but all I could think about was how big the risk already was and how much more it would increase.

“Hang on a minute,” I said. “NHS workers are at the front line of this pandemic and you’ll be going into their homes, breathing in their air and touching their bathrooms.” He just looked at me, the realisation washing over his face.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s amazing what the company are offering as the NHS deserve all the help they can get. Is it also because the company will receive admiration and respect to be seen helping out our health service, potentially scoring new customers at present for their good deed and then hopefully, the NHS staff will want to take out the insurance policies once lock down is lifted? This is great and all, but who’s thinking about the engineers? Who’s thinking about the elderly who make up around 80% of company’s customers, who could potentially be infected by an engineer that’s just come from an NHS claim?

The only PPE that’s available are gloves so Sam’s had to make-shift his own mask out of a snood. The big cogs in the machine are working safely from home while the worker bees are exposed to the elements. Please can someone tell me how that’s fair.

The amount of times Sam’s arrived home and expressed how many customers are not seeming to understand their part in all of this… I guess in their defence, we’re still adapting to this new ‘normal’ and it is human nature to forget and revert back to old learnt behaviour. However, if an engineer knocks on your door to fix the leak gushing out of your ceiling, please at least move well back from the door to let them in safely!

But still, we have to power through.

I hate the sickening anxiety I feel each work morning, mainly for Sam rather than myself. Before saying goodbye we tell each other to stay safe, to not do the work if it isn’t safe and to protect ourselves with regular risk assessments. Our work days are not the same as they used to be and for that, we come home mentally drained.

We try to remind each other daily that we have to remain calm and positive. That is what will get us through this.

On an upbeat note, there are some silver linings.

It’s safe to say that we are both proud to still be serving the nation and helping our communities. We have both said before that we would want someone to help our grandparents and vulnerable family members if they were in need.

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The roads are also completely dead in the mornings, apart from the odd postie and bin lorry. This makes getting to site an absolute dream; no extra stress from having to wrestle with rush hour traffic.

We understand that we could have it a lot, lot worse. We are extremely lucky to still have routine and consistency which I for one need in life, as it helps me feel secure and balanced. I know a lot of people out there have either lost their jobs or are uncertain about whether they’ll have a job to go back to. Some are struggling to make ends meet and some are trapped inside their homes, experiencing abusive relationships without any respite. We are especially lucky that ourselves and our families are still OK and have their health. But of course like everyone, we don’t know whether this will change.

On our days off we are remaining busy by doing the things that make us happy. Knowing we’re not allowed out and about has just made more time for hobbies; books and writing my blog has kept me sane by allowing me to escape the awful things happening at the moment. Sam’s a keen lover of health and fitness so he’s keeping himself busy with exercise, as well as looking after his mental health. We also love to do yoga in the garden, binge Netflix and of course FaceTime with friends and family.

My heart goes out to everyone as this new way of life is not easy. We are sending lots of love and positive vibes your way.

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Please stay home, stay safe, save lives.

 


 

Thank you to Grace for providing the second insight for my ‘Life in Lockdown’ series, aiming to provide a glimpse into the lives of people around the world during this pandemic.

All words are Grace’s own and for more great stories, photo’s and travel experiences please visit Grace and Sam’s blog, whengracemetsam.com!

Insta @graceebloom_

Twitter @whengracemetsam

 


 

Credits

Featured Photo by Krishna K. Maiti on Unsplash

Country road photo by Jack Bassingthwaighte on Unsplash

Blog photos provided by Grace on whengracemetsam.com

This green line leads to something…

As soon as you walk through the exit barriers of the currently desolate Old Street Underground Station, you will notice these lines on the ground leading outside.

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A nice thank you message to the NHS, these are all over London right now.

The station has 8 different exits with it being directly under a roundabout, so to help commuters know which route to take these exits are colour coded. I am not sure if the lines simply help commuters find the right exit, or if they also lead to something specific outside. The green line definitely leads to something in particular, so on my daily walk I decided to follow it…

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The below shot almost gave the game away… so I decided to blur the answer on the ground 😉

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Traffic seems to be getting busier, although it is still much quieter than the norm.

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Getting there…

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It leads to Moorfields Eye Hospital, only a few minutes up City Road. I heard that the hospital may be treating patients for the virus, but this could be incorrect. It is certainly deferring non-urgent patients though, stating so on their website.

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The green line runs right to the front door of the A&E!

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The building is a beautiful one, with a more modern extension in the shots above at the accident and emergency entrance. I noticed the clock was in the shape of an eye, which is a pretty cool addition.

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Another beautiful day! I have to say London has been gifting us with some beautiful blue skies in the past couple weeks, I hope this continues. It is a concern over here that us Brits won’t be able to resist the opportunity to get a little tan and get complacent with the social distancing, but so far people seem to be resisting temptation. Myself included. I just take shots on my daily walks, or to and from the shop. But I did take a longer walk down towards the highrises yesterday which was EMPTY. Hardly a soul. With it being a bunch of offices the weekend is the perfect time to go on the best of days, now even more so. I felt much better walking down there compared to the parks actually, and I will show you this soon.

I am being sensible, and taking photos when I have to leave for groceries or exercise. And only on an iPhone right now or a small GoPro, as my Nikon would be taking the p*** a little bit.

I hope you have some blog worthy areas on your daily walks when you get the chance to leave the house, and thank you to the NHS and to the health services around the world keeping you healthy in your country.

See you all again soon!!

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Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

I am also on Insta at onechancetoseetheworld, please give me a follow there and thank you so much for your support.


 

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Layovers in Lockdown: (Guest post by Forevernads Abroad)

This is my first in hopefully many posts looking at the lives of other bloggers around the world, sharing their stories and seeing how the current pandemic is affecting work and travel. Here, Nadia tells us about where she is from and why she made the decision to move to another continent, her experiences along the way and how blogging is helping in recent times.

Due to the majority of bloggers not being self employed, certain information cannot be shared about companies and other aspects of life, but we do what we can 🙂

Please enjoy, and thank you Nadia for your insight!


 

My name is Nadia, most people call me Nads. I’m a small town girl from South Africa and I’ve always been passionate about change and personal growth.

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Johannesburg, South Africa

At the age of 25, after three years in an office, I set out for my first journey abroad as an Au Pair in Seattle, USA.  It was a roller coaster ride and I went through all the motions: a new job, a new “family”, culture shock and financial struggle. On this same journey, my friend circle crossed borders, I developed an intense love for hiking and the outdoors and I learned to be strong on my own.

Seattle is all about rainbow flags and gender neutral restrooms where black lives matter, the future is female and the nipple is free. It was a liberating experience, to say the least!

After one year of living and working abroad, I grew so much as a person and I was eager to build on this. Instead of going back to an office job in South Africa, I applied for a job as Flight Attendant in the Middle East, where I’ve been based for the past year.

Seattle and the Middle East are very different destinations, so both were challenging to adjust to in different ways.

Life in a traditional Islamic country is very different culturally. Most restaurants have a men-only section, personal display of affection is forbidden in public and women should cover their shoulders and knees. A different world to the one I was raised in, yet easy to adjust to with a small mental shift. So far it’s helped me gain perspective, which is a bonus!

I’m not here all the time though – the flight attendant lifestyle is a far greater challenge! With no routine and permanent jet lag it’s sometimes difficult to maintain a healthy diet, work out and socialize. This also makes relationships tricky. And speaking of relationships, what I miss most about home is my family and friends – this will always be a challenge, as they can’t be replaced. Meeting new people every day from all over the world does make up for it though.

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The strongest motivating factor is of course the layovers. It’s usually just a day or two, so I prefer long haul as this takes you to all the best places and gives you more time to explore! So far, my favorites are the places I’ve been to more than once like, Bali, Budapest, Prague and London. This is pure luck, as we don’t get to choose where we go.

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On a second or third visit I make an effort to try and find something that I haven’t seen or done before. Because of limited time, I never cram too many things into one visit, so there’s always things to do next time. As much as I love the typical tourist stuff, I get the most value out of unexpected findings. I could walk from morning til noon and do absolutely nothing but take it all in. This is how I pick up on a city’s vibe – and to me that’s what a place is all about!

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Statue of a man with an umbrella- Prague

What’s also convenient about visiting the same destinations more than once is that you are more savvy with transport. Sometimes it takes as much as an hour to get from the hotel to city center, so it saves a lot of time if you’re familiar with the route and all the logistics that come with it.

PS: I’m terrible at this!

We don’t have trains/subways in South Africa so I’m usually a little out of sorts at train stations. Besides the fact I’ve been to London a dozen times, I find the public transport there pretty easy. Go to Germany or Hong Kong and it’s a complete different story! As a traveler, language is your best friend. From getting lost too many times, I learned that when you can’t speak the language, a confident smile and good judgement of strangers is your best friend – you can always ask for help!

From getting lost between train stations to being stuck in hotels, the effects of the pandemic hit the aviation industry slowly and then all at once. I was visiting my family at home for a few days in the beginning of March and we were excited to finalize their plans to come visit me in the Middle East at the end of March. Within that time half the world closed their borders, which instantly made travel impossible for most.

Reality hit me towards the end of March when I was walking through empty airports and arriving to quiet hotels.

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No way through: A barrier restricts access in Flughafen, Nürnberg, Germany.

But this was also when I had time to write again… on my last layover in London I started my blog. That was a month ago – I’ve been in my base city ever since.

We are not officially on lockdown. People work from home and everything except grocery stores, pharmacies and food delivery services are closed. Other than that we can still move freely, given we wear a mask and practice social distancing. This break is not ideal for many reasons, but personally I have found ways to do things I don’t have time for “in a day of the life as a flight attendant”. I read and write and do yoga and study teaching online. Best of all, thanks to WordPress, I still meet new people and make new friends from all over the world every day!

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Thank you to Nadia for providing the first insight for my ‘Life in Lockdown’ series, aiming to provide a glimpse into the lives of people around the world during this pandemic.

All words are Nadia’s own and for more great stories, photo’s and travel experiences please visit her blog, Forevernads Abroad!

Click here for the Forevernads Abroad Blog

Click here for Forevernads Abroad on Instagram

 


 

Credits:

Featured photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

Johannesburg‘ photo by Jacques Nel on Unsplash

Chihuly Glass & Garden‘ photo by Hannah Ray on Unsplash

Umbrella Man‘ photo by Anastasia Dulgier on Unsplash

Deserted Airport‘ photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Friends overlooking the ocean‘ photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

Other photos taken by Nadia herself

 


 

 

 

Empty coffee shops

Coffee shops are giving me a shipwreck vibe right now. That strange eeriness of a thing that was once full of life and now silent. Nothing more than an empty shell, everything inside abandoned in a hurry.

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I have bought coffee in here twice since moving to Old Street, it is smack bang in the middle of what is only a five minute walk to work. But it always looked busy and the staff in there were genuine and really friendly. It is a shame to see it currently closed. The leaves sprouting from the tree outside are the only signs of hope, with the concrete seats designed to look like pillows as empty as the streets around it.

One thing I did notice is the unique shape of the building, I am usually walking underneath it so it hasn’t caught my eye before. Crossing the road to get a full shot I could see the zig-zag/ crooked pattern of the whole building. The apartments look nice. If you can’t have a garden right now a balcony will certainly do.

I have neither, but a walk to and from work makes up for that a little.

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Also, I would love to grow on Instagram, please give me a follow over there as I will have plenty of London shots coming your way. Any help would be amazing as photography is fast becoming a passion of mine. Click here for onechancetoseetheworld on Insta and thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me.

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Thank you for your help!

Just a quick thank you to everyone that has been reading my blog posts recently. I love engaging with you all everyday and seeing how you have been doing, especially during this lockdown.

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Also thank you to those that have followed me on Instagram, I can’t be taking too many photos whilst this pandemic spreads but I will do once we are able to explore again. It will be worth the click, I swear. I have also changed my profile photo over there to the one above, as I really like it and it seems many of you do too. It is a little brighter than the previous one as I am no longer in Edinburgh I felt I needed a change!

Regarding this post, I am still responding to some comments and will get in touch with some of you to see if a joint post will be possible. I have a couple of posts in progress and I am very excited to share them with you from fellow bloggers around the world. And as I said I hope to do more of this moving forward.

Please accept my apologies that some of my responses are a couple days late, but on work days it is very difficult unless I do this at work. I am literally out all day. Tomorrow is my last day of four though so I have four days off to catch up, get some new and exciting blog posts our there and maybe some more photos if I can find another scenic walk.

But thank you again for all your support on my blog, I really appreciate the love and spend so much of my free time here because of this. You have really helped me keep going all these years.

Stay safe, and I will speak to you all soon 🙂

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Also, I would love to grow on Instagram, please give me a follow over there as I will have plenty of London shots coming your way. Any help would be amazing as photography is fast becoming a passion of mine. Click here for onechancetoseetheworld on Insta and thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me.

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You don’t like gruesome pub names, huh?!

I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on my Normality is Temporary post published a couple days back… my featured photo showing a group of tourists outside of the Hung, Drawn and Quartered pub near the Tower of London. It seems a couple of you weren’t the biggest fans of the gruesome pub name.

Cough, cough Pat and Darnell 😉

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And I don’t blame you, it’s pretty rough. However this was the only reason I took the above photo as the name just stood out. And it had me thinking of all the other funny pub names I have encountered so far, and the ones I am still yet to see for myself.

(Trigger warning for those not prepared for a little naughtiness)

My favorites so far after doing a little research (mainly courtesy of secretldn and Londonist):

Dirty Dicks

The Famous Cock

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

The Hole in the Wall

Fanny on the Hill (apparently no longer open sadly…)

Filthy Fanny’s (This one is just a 15 minute walk from me!)

The Job Centre

John the Unicorn

Pratts and Payne

The Pyrotechnists Arms

The Defectors Weld

And I have to remind those in the States that fanny means something a little different here, but still makes for a very humourous pub name either side of the pond and elsewhere.

Which of these tickles your fancy?

I said ‘fancy’… 😉

 


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Also, I would love to grow on Instagram, please give me a follow over there as I will have plenty of London shots coming your way. Any help would be amazing as photography is fast becoming a passion of mine. Click here for onechancetoseetheworld on Insta and thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me.

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Are you a key worker?

How many of you in the WordPress community are currently key workers? This isn’t strictly limited to health and emergency workers, I’m talking anyone that cannot work from home. Nurses and doctors, police officers, bus drivers, delivery drivers, bin collectors, security guards, taxi drivers… there is a big list of jobs that qualify.

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I ask because I am thinking of doing some posts inspired by those that have to travel to work right now. Learning about life in lockdown for someone that still has to roam the quieter streets and occupy buildings other than their home. On my travels in recent years I have been able to meet people in so many different industries, and I loved sitting down and sharing experiences. There is something fascinating about having a conversation with someone that has a completely different daily routine to yourself. Two worlds colliding and a quick glimpse of another way of life. In fact, I have been speaking to a couple of people that have agreed to share their stories and I am looking forward to posting them, hopefully this week.

It is something different for my blog, I can only ramble on about my life for so long before the same daily walks become all I talk about! I am going to try and find ways to share stories from readers of my blog (both key workers and those of you working/blogging from home) as so many of you have fascinating stories from around the world. And I will of course continue to share my experiences in London throughout this lockdown.

I wonder what the percentage is, I assume the majority of you are working from home? It is also interesting to consider whether the number of blog posts from key workers is higher with the opportunity to blog outside the home, or if working from home (or simply staying home if unemployed/retired/not able to work) is forcing bloggers to keep being creative and putting out blog posts regularly?

Let me know, and I will see you in the comments!

Sam

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Also, I would love to grow on Instagram, please give me a follow over there as I will have plenty of London shots coming your way. Any help would be amazing as photography is fast becoming a passion of mine. Click here for onechancetoseetheworld on Insta and thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me.

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I took an even bigger walk today (lots more photos)

Today is my last day off work, and with that I wanted to make the most of it. I am only working four days and off for another four, but still. The 13 hour shifts take up the whole day and give me little to do other than have breakfast and grab a bite before bed.

So I headed to Victoria Park, a huge park east up the canal from my location. I started in the same area as I did in my previous canal post and began walking… It took me little over half an hour to get there. I took my winter coat in case of any rain, thankfully there wasn’t any.

Spotify playlist: Kerrang Rock Songs of the 00’s. I was feeling nostalgic.

And Ruled by Secrecy Matt, I thought you would like to know.

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The walk is just as entertaining as the park itself, with plenty to see along the canal. And although I didn’t show you this last time, LOTS of graffiti. I like it though, it adds plenty of colour. You will see this throughout the post.

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So this is where the taxi’s hibernate when they aren’t needed…

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And this pub looks like it’s been closed since the last pandemic… just kidding, it could be lovely inside for all I know. I don’t want to be banned in case I ever try it out.

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I made it to Victoria Park. Admittedly I didn’t know exactly how to get to it, but because of how big it is on the map I just knew I would end up close. I found this entrance with a dog statue, according to Look Up London these are replicas of 2nd Century Roman dog statues that can be found in the British Museum.

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All benches were covered in tape with signs telling people not to use. These were accompanied by spray painted instructions on the ground to ‘Keep Left’ at a distance of 2 meters. I imagine Banksy was given the task of inspiring London to stick to the rules in this instance.

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Now this park is huge. Not on the same scale as Hyde Park but more than enough to do one lap and get a good bit of exercise in. Here are some of my favourite shots from the walk, showing some of the parks highlights and due to the restrictions, closed off areas.

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Shouldn’t you be inside, human?!

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You see the hooped object just under the crane in the above shot? I didn’t know I walked that far, but this is the ArcelorMittal Orbit, a 114.5m tall sculpture in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. As I am sure many Premier League fans are aware, London Stadium is now being used by West Ham United.

The group in the picture spent their time shouting at potential groups gathering and being too close to one another. I assume this, as I heard one use the megaphone below whilst walking in the direction of the Shard.

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To give you a reference point, this is the map of London showing Victoria Park as well as London Stadium, The Shard and Canary Wharf.

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One Canada Square in Canary Wharf is the second tallest building in the United Kingdom, with a distinctive pyramid roof. It can be seen (faintly) in the distance behind all the buildings in the below shot.

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Police officers were present, some walking, some on bikes and some on horseback. I spotted an ambulance at one entrance too.

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aaand the walk back home.

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I hope you liked the shots!! Oh, and reading this post counts as your one session of daily exercise.

Just so you know 😉

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Also, I would love to grow on Instagram, please give me a follow over there as I will have plenty of London shots coming your way. Any help would be amazing as photography is fast becoming a passion of mine. Click here for onechancetoseetheworld on Insta and thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me.

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