Getting Lost in London (Quite Literally)



You could say I’m fairly new to SUAGing – it’s always been a dream of mine to go on a big solo trip and escape for a while. Last month, I made that dream low-key come true. It wasn’t exactly a solo trip, but I spent a lot of solo time together with myself in the process. One of those times was the time I was lost in London with a huge suitcase and a dead phone.

I had just taken the bus to London from Brighton, where I was visiting my friends. It was my first time in the big city. I was carrying two heavy suitcases and a backpack my own weight – I say I’m a minimalist but it was a month long trip so it’s justified. I decided to splurge on an Uber to take me to my host friend’s apartment that’s 10 minutes away. So there I was, in the middle of the highway (who knows why the Bus stop ended up there) looking as vulnerable as a tourist ever looked at 9 PM (which felt like 12 AM in this quiet part of London).

Ten minutes later, my Uber cancelled. So, in a panic with my phone rapidly going down to 10%, I ordered another Uber. Between worried texts from my mom who got credit card receipts for two Uber orders, and Google Maps sucking my battery down, my phone died as I was waiting for the second Uber to show up.

And here I was, no phone, triple my weight in luggage and no idea where my friend lived.

I felt lost with nowhere to go.

I thought, “Guess I need to figure this out and prove how nomadic I really am”. I just kept walking around aimlessly, just trying to get to any known location where I could maybe sit down and dig through my clothes to find my charger and charge up. I spotted the Vauxhall tube station, where maybe I could ask someone about how to get to my friend’s building. Now what happened to me next was pure coincidence and luck. I wish I could say I figured out my way by knowing north from south and getting to my friend’s place knowing the direction of the wind but it’s not the 1980s and I never went to Girl Scouts.

I realized I had taken my mother’s phone with me to the UK to have its screen fixed… and it was fully charged AND had my Egyptian roaming sim card on it.

Can we talk about the sheer luck?

My mom’s phone didn’t have my WhatsApp on it, or Messenger or any other messaging app. The App store would not work. I tried to reach out to people with text messages but they wouldn’t go through. By some magical coincidence, my technologically advanced mamma had Snapchat on her phone – SNAPCHAT. I signed into my Snapchat and snapped my host friend who luckily saw my text almost immediately, and eventually came to the station and picked me up.

I don’t know how I would have gotten around if I didn’t have my mom’s phone or international data, or my friend didn’t have Snapchat. Sometimes you shut up and go and random miracles happen…moral of the story: you’ll be fine, somehow.

moral of the story: you’ll be fine, somehow.

This may have been a boring story for the badasses sleeping on benches in Barcelona or partying it up in Paris at 3 AM but for a beginner SUAGer – it’s something I’ll look back at fondly when I’m in a boring lecture in the middle of spring semester.

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