London: through Bailey’s eyes

I’m still a slightly in shock at the mere fact that I am in London, England.

Not only have I been preparing for this trip since September, London has subconsciously always been in my life. Two life-altering events could be the very cause of this.

The first is through music. At home, my dad always had classic rock blaring through the stereo speakers. Phil Collins, The Rolling Stones, and many other British bands could be heard 24/7, and if you were upstairs, you could even feel the music shaking the floorboards from the speakers below.

When I grew into my own personality, I still listened to classic rock, but I was more selective, listening primarily to British bands and artists. Sam Smith is my back-up singer on my 5-hour drives to an from Murray, the Beatles dominate my vinyl collection, Colplay overcomes any other band on my playlist, and George Ezera and Ed Sheeran battle for my Spotify music.

The second and biggest influence that British media had on my childhood is the beloved Peter Pan.

Ever since I fell in love with the fictional boy who could fly to my window at night and listen to my stories, I have wanted to live in London and be Wendy Darling. I dreamed of Big Ben and flying towards the second star to the right and straight on until morning in my nightgown.

Today, I was actually able to see Big Ben up close and in person. I really thought seeing Big Ben would be the highlight of the bus tour today, however, my heart did not quicken when I saw the giant clock like it did as we passed Diagon Alley.

Being in London gives me a leg up on all other Harry Potter fans. It might be incredibly nerdy for me to admit this, but now if I ever get into a Harry Potter argument and lose, I can always trump the argument by simply declaring that I have actually been to London (the only problem would be if they too had been to London).

I’ve loved Harry Potter since I first began reading the books in 7th grade, however actually being in this city, walking the roads that Harry walked and Peter flew over, I fall in love all over again with a place that seems so much bigger than just a setting for a book or a place where people travel to. London seems alive with all the mysteries Sherlock has solved. London seems alive with all the places that characters have visited. But most of all, London seems alive with all the untold stories and the not-thought-of characters that some day, another author will create, and suddenly, I have another reason to come back and visit again.

To think that this is only my first full day in London leaves me with incredible excitement for what is to come. I look forward to walking where Death Eaters roamed, visiting where Shakespeare lived, and eating iconic British foods with ridiculous names (Hobnobs specifically).

Thanks for making my childhood dream come true London. See you tomorrow!

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