Some are content merely dreaming of those far off, wonderful places. A beautiful photo taken by someone else will suffice and made up scenarios of what would happen if they went there are perfect enough. ‘Someday’ is a word used to keep the dream alive.
Although there’s nothing wrong with that, it was never enough for me.
Since I was young I knew I wanted to travel. I wanted to photograph the places that I traveled. After several failed attempts, a few serious personal obstacles, and over a year of working three jobs at a time there I was— standing in the airport, passport and boarding pass in hand, hugging my family goodbye in front of the entrance to security. I had gotten accepted into an internship program that would be taking me to London, England for the summer where I’d be working for a photography studio. I had planned a trip to Paris at the end of my internship.
What I got to experience over the next two months was everything and more than what I could have ever dreamed up inside my head. It wasn’t a vacation it was an adventure.
Vibrant, fast-paced, and full of wonderful people. The city itself is woven together by smaller communities, all accessible by the tube or infamous double decker bus. Whether it was a flower market on a Sunday morning or one of the numerous bars contributing to the nightlife, I found there was truly something for everyone in the city. Everywhere you look something new and exciting is happening. I think Samuel Johnson said it best: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
For me, an artist’s paradise. From the museums to the city itself, there was beauty and romance in every little detail. Painters line the Place du Tertre and tourists and natives can be found sketching along the river on any given day. The little nuances give the city character, but of course the main attractions make Paris, Paris. They’re iconic and classic and famous for a reason. Plus spending Bastille Day in front of the Eiffel Tower was a dream. Complete with great food, new friends, and of course the firework spectacular after the sun goes down.
There are no words to describe to anyone how it felt for me to have my dream come true. Not just because I was standing in front of Big Ben, staring at paintings in Musee d’Orsay, or even sitting in a coffee shop in Notting Hill. No, it was mostly because I knew what it took to get there. After years and years of dreaming I was doing. And there are simply no words for that. I will continue to tell people it was “amazing” or “incredible”, but the only true value I equate to it is the feeling I had every second I was there. Looking at rain specked lights shining onto the Thames, the brilliant spectacle of fireworks exploding over the Eiffel Tower, and the millions of vibrant people who passed around me – all of a sudden you’re there and it’s real and it’s happening. That feeling is what keeps me inspired to keep dreaming.
My next step is going back. The pull of London hasn’t faded from my heart since I boarded a plane back to the states. My new dream is to move to London after I graduate and work for a local gallery or studio, build up an expansive travel portfolio, and maybe even open up my own gallery space in the city. I don’t know if London is where I’ll stay for good, but I know it’s where I want to start. I hope to be boarding a plane soon.