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A Foreign Affair

Domine Dirige Nos ~ Lord Guide Us | City of London Motto

(Westminster Abbey, London)

A foreign affair that has grown for the past two and a half years, has officially evolved into a relationship that this eager traveler can no longer live without.

We all need that place that we call our backyard, and although there are specific places within the States that I hold near and dear to my heart (as it is my original home), Lady London came into my life at a time when the world was rocked, and trying to find it's footing again . . . Similar to how we were all doing our best to navigate this new world, and determine our path moving forward.

As the world began cautiously re-opening its arms in 2021, in the wake of the pandemic, London extended her home to me for newfound exploration, experiences and life lessons that only come along by leaving familiarity and venturing into new horizons.

(Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London)

Horizons made possible by the safety and knowledge gained by joining the Auset community.

In the beginning, the airport was a sea full of n95's, hand sanitizer and imagined social distancing. Fast-forward and Covid is as if it were just a bad dream brought on by violent turbulence, as it was a global pandemic.

Thus with that in mind, I struck out for my fifth voyage across the pond in 2.5 years! Mask equipped, hand sanitizer (a.k.a hanny-sanny), and a hyper-sense of awareness in regard to my personal space . . . A majority of the time that just involves a stern glare at a stranger, or a polite, yet assertive:

"Excuse me, we're just a little too close."

With my wits surrounding me and some good planning to alleviate waiting in long lines - the airport was a breeze.

The positive travel vibes continued whilst on the plane as I conveniently ended up with an entire row to myself! And not only did I appreciate the space, but it also allowed for easy picture taking activity. 😉🤳🏾

(Los Angeles, California)

Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

- Leonardo Da Vinci

(San Antonio Heights)

Upon landing in Londontown it was evident that each time I were to arrive, the further away it seemed Covid were to be, and a figment of everyone's past.

So my approach did not waver, as it simply pivoted coasts - different country, same health practices.

"The Tube" was as expected: A plethora of tourists and locals all coexisting, sharing train cars as they zipped from the outer orbit of the London countryside, and into the beating heart of the city. No more 'one seat away policy', no more 'waiting until a less crowded train is to come'. We were full steam ahead, in a new world that was rid of Covid and thoughts of a quarantine.

(Gloucester Road, Central London)

“The vibe of London as a city is captivating.

. . . .

It's both fast-paced and extremely rushed but still has the calmness that would attract any big-city person.”

- Ali Fazal

Those thoughts were soon realized, but quickly doused in an extinguisher of true reality as London showed how deep the wound of 2020 goes for their society.

Along the wall of the Thames River, you'll find a specific section of stone that is particularly hard to recognize, as it is engulfed in what feels like a forever line of love letters written to those family members, friends and loved ones lost to the Covid pandemic.

(The National Covid Memorial Wall, Thames River)

(The National Covid Memorial Wall, Thames River)

The citizens of London have not forgotten.

In fact they, as I'm sure a lot of us do, live with the thought of Covid etched into their thoughts and prayer and have come out of the experience permanently different, as well as the same.

You see, with every pandemic comes the sensation of a rebirth.

In this instance and during our existence, entire cities are to be re-built as we continue to balance on the precipice of a new future and world with Covid and it's many-many variants now a part of our everyday lives.

(Carnaby Street, London - West End)

(Wicked, Apollo Victoria)

From wildly wicked performances, to "5,6,7,8's" at one of London's premiere dance studios . . .

(BASE Dance Studios)

. . London and I were happy to be together again.

Since the dawn of Auset-Isis, our legacy lives in thriving and not just surviving - And London has allowed for me to do just that. I feel alive when I'm there. I feel a-new when I walk the streets.

But most importantly because of our covid ninja training, the all-around sense of spatial awareness and consistent and healthy Covid prevention practices, I'm able to bookmark my travel experiences and continue this long distance relationship; London baby, I'll see you again.

(London Eye, London, United Kingdom)

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