Destinations, England, Europe, Journal

An Idiot Abroad

August 1, 2014

One of Dennis’ favorite shows of all time is called “An Idiot Abroad.” I think it was my brother who originally showed it to us, but Dennis quickly became a number one fan of the show’s main guy, Karl Pilkington.

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The basis of the show is that Karl [a guy from London, who is not well traveled and has a bad attitude towards pretty much everything] is taken on around-the-world adventures and put in uncomfortable situations by his TV show producing friends [one of whom happens to be Ricky Gervais, the creator of the original show “The Office”].

Dennis can quote all the one-liners verbatim from each episode of that show.

He thinks that Karl is absolutely hilarious because all he does is be super awkward.

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We laugh even more now at the awkward situations that Karl gets himself into, now that we have popped around the globe a bit ourselves. We have felt like “idiots abroad” our fair share of times in the last few months.

Coming to London, we are in an English-speaking country for the first time in over two months.

We both took big sighs of relief getting on the plane from Germany, knowing that we would be able to communicate pretty freely this week.

Not being able to contribute to conversations in other countries has been one of the things that has really made us feel like “idiots abroad.” We have felt bad that we have nothing to bring to the table as far as communicating with someone in their own language. It’s great that so many people speak English, but being a visitor to someone else’s country, it would be nice to connect with someone on a level of simply communicating in their native tongue.

So in going to London, we were pretty pumped. I love the English accent.

It is really charming and I wish I had one–but instead I have a [sometimes prominent] Minnesotan accent, filled to the brim with extended O’s and goofy sounding A’s. So, it has been fun to just sit in coffee shops and listen to other people talk…

First of all because I can actually understand what they are saying, but also because their accent is just so fun!

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Even though we can finally understand the language, there are other areas that risen to the surface quickly exposing our weakness as travelers…

I feel like we have gotten decently savvy at certain aspects of travel, such as navigating public transportation systems in the various cities [even though some are WAY easier than others], but there are certain things about each place that still makes us giggle because as travelers, we will always be “idiots abroad” on some level–and I’m ok with that 🙂

One thing about England that we have absolutely not gotten used to is the driving on the opposite side of the road. We have walked a ton around the city already, and even though the streets have “look left” or “look right” painted on the ground right in front of you, I still get confused about which direction cars are coming.

We have only had one “life flashing before our eyes because a double decker bus came out of nowhere” type of moments, yet I find myself constantly having my head on a swivel because I’m so conditioned to look the opposite way of traffic…and I can’t quite figure it out.

London is awesome. It is definitely one of my favorite cities thus far. Where we are staying is pretty far on the outskirts, but we have done some fun exploring within the heart of the city.

Today we explored the area around Big Ben and the London Eye. Dennis got one look at that gigantic ferris wheel, with egg shaped pods where you are supposed to sit, and he said, “Nope. Not a freaking chance.”

I agreed. The view from down below was great, and a whole lot less terrifying…

In sum, as we keep exploring, I hope that by some crazy coincidence, Dennis runs into Karl Pilkington. Dennis literally never gets starstruck…by ANYONE.

[Me…I’m the opposite. I get would probably freak out if I saw a random blogger that I follow on Instagram…]

However, if he saw Karl walking down the street, I guarantee Dennis would track him down to get a picture.

So, as we galavant the streets of London over the next few days, I will definitely keep my eyes open for that most famous idiot abroad.

xo Kelseyben1

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