ComplexTravel X London
Since the age of 16, I have been travelling to London. However, 2016 I've been to London more than ever; once or sometimes twice a month. A very cool thing about living in Europe is the flights within European countries are UBER cheap yet everywhere you go you will experience very distinct cultural and even climate differences. Flights are pretty much between 20 - 50 Euros. Of course, me and my peers started travelling very early. This is definitely unique to the European lifestyle. We started exploration early and therefore got friends everywhere. I wouldn't want to miss that because it has shaped me to be a very open minded and a culturally interested personality. Plus travelling takes away this ridiculous fear of the “unknown” that so many people have.
I love London mostly for these reasons
Being black is nothing exotic - being german is
What I love so much about this city is that you see every ethnicity in every professional and social sphere of society. Only through travelling to London I’ve realized the under representation of “minorities” in Germany or Denmark, Sweden, Spain - you name it. When I go to a bank, social office, coffee shop, or hospital, I will find such diversity in staff and that makes me happy. Mind you, I said SEE! Growing up I believe kinds need visible role models that look like them. I never really had that in Germany outside from MTV. In London however a child will walk to school and on the way see a banker, businessman, trash man, stylist or musician of their ethnicity to identify with. Super empowering.
Though I am a Berliner and believe that we have a unique way of styling, I have a special love for the bravery and loudness of the London style. Bold colours and texture as well as excellent chic, London offers a constant high for the eyes in and off season. Londoners just really don't care if it's “fashionable” to mainstream. They make their own bubble and end up setting trends by simply never looking left or right for approval nor affirmation. Most of the trends we see these days are either birth in London or Tokyo, with London being in the forefront for years.
The going out culture of London is soooo key to the weekly pressures of living in one of the most expensive countries in the world. People work very hard here, therefore rightfully play hard as well. Bowling, Karaoke, Live Gigs, Jazz Cafés, Open Mic, StandUp Comedy, Theatre you name it. The options and events are so plentiful in this city yet it seems everything is almost always booked out by Friday. One thing that I really enjoy is that the mid twenties urban scene really doesn't just gets wasted on the weekend but actually really enjoys group activities or culturally nurturing activities. That's a bit rare in Berlin. Folks in Berlin just stay home and chill or go to the club. We are super laid back. Bowling alleys or Karaoke bars a rather filled with older generations. Very unfortunate if you ask me.
No Black Exotic Nonsense
Finally, the best thing about London to me is that I just blend in the mix. I am not stared at or viewed as the exotic part of the crew. It is so strange yet exhilarating. When I get to London I kind of giggle to myself, as no one cares that I´m black. Seriously, NOBODY CARES. Neither in a positive nor negative way. There are so many black people out of different parts of Africa and the Caribbean that my cute face is just one of many! Don't get me wrong. As a female, it is always nice to be centre of attention. Well, for the right reasons though. However, in Germany it is often solely because of my skin colour and the kind of awe that comes with it.
But hey! That's why we travel right?