Millenium Bridge, London, 6am
The curse of living Down Under is that it takes what feels like days to get anywhere! Regardless of whether you’ve flown into London, Paris, or Athens, you’re going to be painfully jetlagged. Your eyes are going to sting, and you’re going to wake up at a stupid hour on your first morning wondering why on earth you thought this was a good idea.
That’s how our first twenty-four hours overseas were anyway. I woke up at 3:30am London time, the sun was up, and I was unbelievably tired. My body wouldn’t let me sleep, and due to complete exhaustion I managed to make myself embarrassingly homesick less than twelve hours since landing. I was in more ways than one a complete and utter mess.
So next we made the best decision of the entire trip. We got up, dressed, and we went exploring. May I say- it was SO worth it. One of the best tips I can give you, wherever you go, is to get up early and make the most of the quiet. Be the first on the streets and your mind will be blown. We were blessed with getting the Millennium Bridge, London Bridge and Big Ben virtually all to ourselves. We’d seen all of London’s significant architecture by 9am.
Running around London early near Big Ben
It felt like we had a private viewing of each. It wasn’t until we walked back past Millennium bridge at about 11am that we saw it buzzing with thousands of people and realised just how lucky we were. So thanks jetlag, you were well worth it.
We continued this habit across the rest of Europe, making an effort to get up with the sun at least once a week depending where we were and what we wanted to see, undisturbed.
To me there’s nothing worse than getting to an attraction that you’ve seen countless professional photos of, and been told about its beauty, only to stand on your tippy-toes behind tens of rows of tourists.
Its virtually impossible to truly appreciate it. It feels more like ticking of a checklist than a bucket list. We watched the sun rise over the likes of the Colosseum and Roman Forum. We also had the opportunity to peacefully wander through normally overpopulated coastal towns such as Positano and Santorini, monopolising the postcard worthy view. Always worth the painful alarm.
Click to enlarge^^
Admittedly, after any early starts we would return to our accommodation for a nanna nap- but we had nothing to lose. Whilst everyone was out fighting their way through crowds of sweaty tourists, in an attempt to get an impossibly uncrowded photo of one of an attraction, we were soundly sleeping. We slept extra well knowing that just a few hours previously we’d had that splendour all to ourselves.
This was taken at about 6am at the Colosseum, Rome. We watched the sun come up and had it all to ourselves.
There you have it - my number one tip for all travellers. Get up with the sun and enjoy that bucket list spot that you’ve seen in travel books or Instagram all to yourselves – you’ll leave feeling less like a tourist and more like a traveller. I promise.