Brighton Pier & Pebbles.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

In an effort to decompress after my month of mayhem and shake off that last bit of funk, I decided to treat myself to a weekend away. Just me, myself, and I. The thought of solo travel for some people is bizarre - "You're going on a trip, by YOURSELF? Where's the fun in that? Is it safe?" As much as I love traveling with friends, sometimes we need a few days to ourselves to get away from it all and simply have a bit of "me" time.

There is no place in the world where I'm at my happiest that compares to being by the sea. Bristol has a great harbour and is a bus ride away from the coast, but with a few days to spare, I set my sights on some new scenery. Brighton has been on my "to-do" list for months, so I arranged my train journey and Airbnb accommodation, immediately threw some stuff into an oversized bag, made a ballin' new music playlist, and was southeast bound the following morning.

(BTW - this is a straight up tune for any long train journey)

After a 3 and a half hour journey along the English countryside and coast, I arrived to Hove station to the squawks of seagulls and crisp, sunny weather. I was greeted by my host and settled in to my room long enough to FaceTime my mom and show her that I had not in fact been abducted by a serial killer. I had scanned the internet a bit to get an idea of what I shouldn't miss while in Brighton/Hove, but I did my best to not make myself stick to a schedule and just try to relax for once. Sometimes I get so caught up in traveling and wanting to see and do everything I possibly can, that I don't take a minute to enjoy the moment. I'm not a fan of new years resolutions, so I'll just say that it's one of my goals to take a little more time to smell the roses this year.

The flat that I was staying in was a mere 2 minutes walk from the Hove seafront (you could even see the ocean from my window, not to mention the place was a complete bargain), and I don't think I could have been in a better location. I strolled along the promenade, flanked by people walking their dogs and joggers - ocean on my right, colorful beach huts on my left, the infamous pier dead ahead. Pretty ideal if you ask me.

Enough of me babbling, time for some photos!

The West Pier, which burnt down in 2003.

Bohemian charm everywhere.

My first encounter with a classic English pebble beach. It was surprisingly comfortable to sit on and it was nice not have sand stuck to every place imaginable for days.

Brace yourself for a lot of awkward selfies in these posts from Brighton. I just had to prove the rest of me was there too, not just my feet! ;)

January may not be the most popular time to go to the seaside, but without the hoards of kids and teenagers running amok with salty hair and ice cream running down their arms, it was really peaceful and I took my time making a loop around the giant pier. There were still groups and couples walking between the various shops and kiosks, but it was at a completely different pace than what you'd expect in the summertime. Everyone was bundled up in scarves, grinning through watery, windswept eyes. The winter sunset was rolling in and the lights of the boardwalk begun to flash brilliantly against the cotton candy sky.

I was informed that it's currently starling season, and from what I understand this is code for birds swarming together around sunset, like synchronized swimming...but in the air...for birds... Really glad I didn't try to pursue a career in ornithology.

One of my favorite things about my weekend away was simply walking along the promenade and the seaside in the mornings and around sunset. So much so that I opted for walking everywhere in lieu of taking the bus, which is saying something because Brighton & Hove have what is probably the most efficient bus transport system out of every British city I've been to thus far. But who wants to sit on a bus when you can brave the cold and see this?

Ahhhhhhhhh *takes deep breath* - I feel relaxed just looking at my screen.

Out of curiosity (and to add to my growing bucket list), what's your favorite seaside getaway?

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