I left Greece and boarded a plane headed for the United Kingdom to meet up with my friend Ryn in London. It was fun to look forward to catching up with a mate in another country on the other side of the world. Ryn had headed over for SWHOOP (hula hoop convention in Bristol) and the UK was roughly on my to do list for Oct/Nov. So why not time my arrival to get to spend a few days catching up with a mate, and briefly break up the solo travel. Besides meeting people and living the festival life together this was the first time of actually living with and hanging out with someone daily.

As I got to the airport early in Athens after dropping off my hire car, I ended up seeing if I could drop my baggage of early. I was pleasantly surprised when they asked if I would like to jump on an earlier flight as my booked flight had been oversold and they were looking for some ways to fix that. I ended up getting into London 2 hours earlier than I originally planned and got to the accomodation we had booked by about 9:30pm.

The next morning after we just spent the night catching up, we fit in a workout. It was good to get to do one in person, especially as we have still managed to fit a couple Zoom sessions in over the last few months. Then we headed out for a day of walking around looking at paint on walls. The graff scene was awesome and I had a few fan girl moments recognising artists work in the wild and not just scrolling past them and double tapping them on social media.

We had one night in London and after posting some Ryn and I in London selfies, Annabel who I met at Outlook Origins in Croatia messaged me letting me know what she was up to that night. Turns out her mates were beatboxing 35 mins away in the same direction we were heading. Everything aligned and I was so in my happy place checking out the UK & Ireland IDA DJ Championship and The Beatbox Collective. It was so good to get to catch up with Annabel just a few months after meeting too. Yay for making friends while travelling.

On Saturday, we checked out of London and made our way to Bristol where we were staying with Ryn’s friend Kay. It was great meeting her and so lovely of her to let me crash at her house for a few days too. Kay is also a hula hooper, teaching at SWHOOP, and helping with lots of behind the scenes bits. So even nicer of her to welcome me into your home so soon before the convention and having more guests stay.

On our first night in town we went all went out for dinner and checked out the local neighbourhood. The next day Ryn and I went for a walk around Bristol. We obviously had to go check out some of the Banksy’s around and headed into check out Bristol city. The Bristol run was on so there was lots of running between runners to cross the roads. It was a good day of just walking around, exploring Bristol.

We also headed to Bedminster in Bristol where Upfest happens. A street art festival similar to Wall to Wall festival in Benalla. Where walls in the area are all decorated. I really love colourful art filled city walls!

It’s been interesting being back in a place where English is the primary language after three months. I got very used to a limited understanding of things around me. Now I can read all the signs and understand conversations around me. Also means that I am randomly joining in other people’s conversations again too.

That evening I cooked enchiladas for dinner as a bit of a thanks to Kay for having me stay. There was a circus jam happening that Ryn and Kay went along to, I just stayed in as I had some work I really needed to get done, so a few hours to myself to do that was great. We ate dessert when they returned and chatted for a bit before turning in.

Monday morning was pretty chill, said bye to Kay as she was off to work, had a workout with Ryn, and got my things all ready to head off to the train station. It was so good to get to catch up with Ryn on the other side of the world.