London’s other side: What to see if it’s not your first time

To say London is large would be an understatement. The city is massive and it is stuffed to the gills with people from all over the world. Needless to say, there’s a lot to see.

While guidebooks can direct you to the major tourist areas, I like the off-beat sites and experiences. Here’s a list of some of my favourites.
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Leaving on a jet plane

I’m leaving soon. Very soon.

The last week I’ve spent packing and unpacking and packing again.

I’ve tried to think of what I’m bringing that I don’t need and what I’ve forgotten that I do need.

My packing list has been revised and edited several times. I’ve done my last-minute shopping. I’ve gone through the stress of packing with the excitement of leaving and I’m finally ready to go.

Italy, here I come!
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Cheer for the local team! Following sports while travelling

‘Go Canucks! Go!’ is what I was thinking a few weeks ago. No, I’m not Canadian, but visiting Vancouver on a hockey game day meant I had to cheer for the Canucks in their play-offs. I don’t really care about sports or even who wins. As long as it’s a good match, I’m fine with it. But while traveling, sometimes watching a sports match is the most authentic and unique cultural experience you can have! Just be sure to cheer for the right team.
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8 Haircuts. 8 Countries. 20 Months.

Getting a haircut while travelling can be the greatest souvenir ever or the biggest mistake that you just have to live with until you get home to your normal stylist.

In my 20 months in Europe, I had some fantastic haircuts and some not so fantastic haircuts.
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Forró dancing, free hugging and exotic fruit shopping in London

I got stuck in London. But I was definitely stuck in a good way. I was separated from my coat in Ireland but luckily it was a heat wave in the UK, so I didn’t need it at the moment. I knew I would need it after summer ended, so I decided to wait for it to catch up with me. At first, I thought it was putting a huge damper on my trip to have to wait for my coat for four and a half weeks, but in the end, I can’t imagine my trip without that time in London!
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The coolness of a giant, the warmth of the Northern Irish and the relief of a hot toddy

Northern Ireland is a beautiful place.  I think it incites fear in people who have never been there because of its recently violent history, but it is wonderful.  As evocative as the Republic of Ireland, but part of the United Kingdom, it’s a place I couldn’t leave as quickly as I thought I would.
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Derry or Londonderry? The Troubles related to the name

What do you call this place?  Is it Londonderry or just Derry?  Most people, especially Catholics and nationalist, call it Derry while Protestants and unionists call it Londonderry.  So confusing.  Whatever you call it, there is a lot of history there.
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