Flash Five: Cities
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a fair bit in my life so far. I’ve never taken a gap year or time out to simply go travelling, but I’ve been on many a holiday and city break with my family and friends. My recent trip to Munich has inspired me to reflect on some of my favourite places in the world, from Europe to Canada to America.
I visited Toronto when I was younger with my mum, dad and brother, and the trip has stayed with me ever since. We all left feeling as though we couldn’t quite put our finger on what it was, but we loved this city. Whether it was the atmosphere, the people, the sights or the weather, I would go back to Toronto in a heartbeat. A standout memory is hopping on the boat over to the Toronto Islands and hiring a couple of tandem bikes to ride – I soon learned I could put my feet up and let my dad do all the peddling!
4) New York City
I went to New York City with my mum to celebrate the end of my undergraduate degree in 2012. I had just handed in my dissertation and my 21st birthday was on the horizon, so it was a special trip. New York City is so surreal; immortalised in so many films and TV shows, seeing it in real life gives you a sense of déjà vu. It’s wonderful being able to visit all the places you’ve seen onscreen in person. As a huge fan of musicals, we took full advantage of Broadway and saw two shows while we were there – Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Sister Act. Another highlight of the trip was visiting the Bronx Zoo and seeing the gorillas up close.
As the city I’ve found myself setting up my adult life in, I couldn’t leave Edinburgh off this list. I first came to the city in 2014 to study MSc Publishing at Napier University. I lived alone and was overwhelmed by how lonely moving to a new city was, which resulted in me coming home nearly every weekend. But, I got a part-time job and soon made friends on my course, which helped me settle in. I’ve since fallen in love with the city and can’t imagine staying anywhere else. Edinburgh is beautiful, from the parks to the buildings, and I love being able to walk for miles on a nice day. The bars are fantastic, as are the many restaurants and cafés I’ve visited. Not to mention, the city transforms every August when the Fringe arrives – who wouldn’t want to stay out until 5am on a Tuesday?!
I visited Berlin with my mum in 2015 and was surprised at how much I enjoyed the trip. From the Berlin Wall to Checkpoint Charlie, there’s an unmistakeable historical presence in the city with reminders of the Nazi regime all around. It’s still hard to believe the atrocities that occurred not so long ago, but seeing the remnants of the past brings it home. There’s also so much to take in around this beautiful city, from the Brandenburg Gate to Tiergarten, that it’s a joy to wander about. My trip to Berlin inspired me to learn German (one day!) and I can’t wait to return in the near future.
London has been my favourite city for a long time. It’s a place I never tire of visiting again and again. I’ve seen countless musicals at the West End, taken in the iconic sights and visited most of the attractions, including the AMAZING Harry Potter Studio Tour, yet I never seem to run out of things to do. There’s something about the hustle and bustle of the city that I just love. My aim is to visit London on my own a lot more and enjoy my own company in my favourite city in the world!