The year 2015 was an inspiring and fascinating one for me. It was my final undergrad year and I had potentially life-changing decisions to make. I made a long weekend escape to London while doing my internship at CERN in Switzerland. Sanchita, my elder sister, was at the time studying at Kings College, London. I travelled to surprise her, and her reaction was priceless.
There was just so much to explore, and only three days at hand! I had set my heart to take up walking tours and explore the city on foot using a map. I wanted to get the feel of the town. On my first day, I walked around Central London and the City of Westminster – Buckingham Palace, British Museum, Big Ben, Parliament, etc. As I strolled through the streets and absorbed the information about royal and cultural heritage around me, I could appreciate the silence of being alone amidst all the noise around me.
The street performances on the banks of the River Thames had me in awe. I noticed that some performers were better than others at asking for money from their audience. These were also the ones who piqued curiosity from the start and held the audience’s attention. It was then that the epiphany occurred to me – to be successful, an outstanding performance isn’t enough. In fact, it is the whole experience of the performance that makes it successful.
I am a massive fan of Sherlock Holmes and have read the novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. On my second day, I took the Sherlock Holmes Walking Tour after lunch. The Sherlock Holmes Museum reminded me of what made the character successful – his admirably balanced mind, ability to pay attention to detail, and focus on what really matters. Hearing more about Watson made me realise how vital his role was in the life of Sherlock. They were two different personalities, yet they valued each other immensely. Suddenly, I was filled with gratitude to have trusted friends who’ve believed in me and have been there for me.
During the last day of my trip, I visited the London Eye for some breathtaking views of the city. By the end of my journey, I could see the world differently – I was more observant, practical, and fuelled with a desire to do more good.