Birthdays are such beautiful occasions in our lives, I must admit. Celebrating your existence on the day you appeared into this diverse and puzzling world ought not to be missed. I am not talking about organising big gatherings – not during the pandemic, at least! – just dedicate some time during the day to appreciate your achievements and make a wish or two for the following years.
Every year when the date of my birthday comes near, I like to travel somewhere new. I fill my lungs with the scent of joyous exploration of sceneries and sightseeings. I do that with my family – we get along pretty well. Unfortunately, now is not the time for long-distance travels, as hotel reservations and plane tickets can be volatile. This, however, makes us more creative and willing to explore our close surroundings, doesn’t it?
Last year, my family and I went to the Shard the night before my birthday for a glass of prosecco. The following day we had a boat trip to Little Venice. I fell in love with this place, and thus decided to go back there, one year later. This time, the route was different.
I saw tickets for a tour with a virtual guide to Little Venice on TripAdvisor, accompanied by a game called Questo. Through it, you solve riddles on your smartphone while getting to know the area physically. I decided this was the safest option for a real adventure – no other people, no hustle and bustle, just me, my phone, and whoever I choose to take with me. My mum became my partner in travelling crime (we did nothing against the law, but I wanted to sound pompous 😉 ).
Through this curious quest, we were able to look out for small peculiar details which make Little Venice enchanting. Apart from showing us the well-known charming canals, the app took us to precious bijou streets only a local will have knowledge of.
We also visited a plant nursery. This space was simply magical, with such peaceful atmosphere and amiable people working there. The arc at the entrance allured me to think I was already in paradise.
The nursery offered plenty of trees, bushes and flowers to choose from. My mum especially appealed to this one with a spiral stem:
The tour is not about staring at your phone at all. Rather, it is about using your phone as a means to get to a destination – not virtually, but with your feet. We have walked for eight and a half kilometers and it felt so refreshing.
After completing the last task, we paid a visit to Kyoto Garden.
You may wonder, ”But Christina, how did you make it from Italy to Japan in a single day without a plane?”
The truth is, all those culturally enriched places are in London. This is why I am in love with this city – you get to experience a bit of every country in a mile range. While drinking coffee and carrying a baguette, you can sail across the canals in Venice, or simply find solitude among the zen waterfall, surrounded by Japanese bird species.