After 2 weeks of jetting around the city, it’s clear that walking is the best way to get around.

The first few days it felt great to already know the tube route. I felt ready to take on the more complicated bus system. Something I’d been too intimidated to tackle in the short time I was here in March. However after riding the bus a couple times in that first weekend I realized there was nothing to it.

Provided of course, that you knew where you were going. And the best way to know where you’re going is to actively get there, even if that means getting lost a couple times on the way. Sure, you decide which tube or bus to take, but that doesn’t orient you like a stroll down the streets. Walking allows you to better note the landscape. Underground, there’s nothing to note, and on a bus you can look out the window, but it’s not as free an examination as from the sidewalk. For one thing, you’re surrounded by traffic. For another, you’ve gotta keep your eye on which stop is coming up, so you don’t miss the one you need.

Lucky for me, practically every activity was within walking distance. And when I say walking distance I mean within 45 minutes of the flats. That’s right, I walked that far instead of hopping on public transit. My goal this time around was to completely orient myself. That meant not plotting out a street by street path, but getting the names of a couple of the main roads and the right direction and striking out. It was thoroughly satisfying. For the last group dinner I set out with no preparation. I even forgot the map Mary gave us to get to the restaurant (It was one I’d eaten at during spring break). I didn’t need that map. My understanding of the area between the flat and Euston Square got me to where my memory of the walk to the restaurant from the tube station took over.

Apparently Londoners carry around a detailed, easy to use book of the city streets. I don’t have that book, and will probably never have the opportunity to need it, but I felt quite cosmopolitan, heading to and from the flats on my own two feet.