There are many reasons why I adore London, so much so that I firmly believe that two weeks here won’t be nearly enough time to experience all of it. After my first week, I have stitched together a short video telling you why London will be so very difficult to leave on Friday morning.
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One of the many reasons I was so excited to visit London, England was because of all the fandom opportunities. You may have never heard of the word fandom, so I have taken the liberty of providing the definition.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about my top 10 places to visit while here in London, and every single one of them had to do with some sort of fandom that I was a part of. Even after only my first weekend, I can already cross off Big Ben (Peter Pan), Parliament (V for Vendetta), Marylebone Station (The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night), 221B Baker Street (Sherlock Holmes‘ Address), and Platform 9 3/4 (Harry Potter). While I had some great photo opportunities at each place, there were also many, many souvenir shops within walking distance where I am happily willing to pay a few pounds for London fandom merchandise! (Even if it is made in China.)
One of my favorite moments on the trip was walking about near Big Ben and seeing a horde of school-age students walking around in what we thought were Harry Potter clothes! We thought maybe they were on their way to a play or something. Turns out, their school just sported the same dress style with Gryffindor colors! It was such a shock, because required uniforms in the States do not look like that. All these kids were missing were cloaks and wands! I swear!
I have been incredibly privileged and excited to see all of the amazing places I’ve visited and taken pictures at. While in line, I spoke to the workers at Platform 9 3/4 and I became so excited that I shook! London really is the perfect place for a person of many fandoms to visit, but you’ll need more than a weekend to fit everything in.
Traveling around the city is easy enough as well. So far I have taken the tube every where without GPS and have been pretty successful. My suggestion to you is to figure out where you want to go and see if other places are near it. For instance, 221B Baker Street was a stone’s throw away from Marlyebone Station, and Abbey Road is a tube stop away (even though I haven’t made it there yet). So plan ahead!
Recently I updated my Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How post with key take aways from each portion of my research. What I did not mention was some of the surprises that I had along the way while researching. It was very surprising that the majority of college students would not post on Planned Parenthood’s social media sites because their of the possibility that family members could see the posts. The idea that even at the college level, young adults still feel the stigma that surrounds sexual health is astounding to me. Because of this key finding, and knowing from my previous sexual health education minor, I know how to better focus who and what I want to researching while in London England.
The United Kingdom has some amazing programs that I have recently learned about which are all about creating an open atmosphere around sexual health. The programs are not only about informing youths and young adults about their newly developing sexual life but also encourage parents, guardians, and teachers to understand why it is important to be open about sexual health education. Having the affected public comprehend that if they educate youths about proper protection and protocols than the overall holistic outcome will be well worth while. Brook and Sexpression U.K. aim to inform a younger audience so unintended teenage pregnancy and STI rates lower among this target audience. I still want to speak to people from the London Sexual Health Programme and the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV to see if any of their referrals come from Brook or Sexpression UK and if their has been a steady raise in young adults visiting the clinics.
Of course, I also want see how all four organizations communicate with youths as well. I believe that Brook and Sexpression UK have programs and seminars which I hope to attend while in London. I cannot wait to get there and find out more about all of these programs.
With the London trip only about a month away my excitement builds and I have figured out the places I would like to visit. Obviously anyone who is a tourist in London will have a few “must see’s and do’s” while visiting the magnificent city. I have always wanted to visit London because of the numerous books, movies, TV shows, and plays that take place in the town. My top 10 nearly all have to with movies too, so watch my video and see what they are!
What do you guys think? Did I miss any big ones? Tell me in the comments and let me know where else a movie lover should visit.