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Staff Travels | London
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Staff Travels | London

People who work for Rustic are a unique breed; when we aren’t traveling for work, we often travel on the side for fun and a bit of adventure. As you can imagine, Rustic staff have gone on some incredible trips around the world and we thought we would share them with you to spark your wanderlust. First up is Casey Atchley, Costa Rica program manager who recently went to London for both work and vacation.

London skyline

What made you want to go to London? I responded to a home visit request from five English students that wanted to know more about traveling to Fiji. I decided that since the home visit was in late November, it would be a nice place to celebrate Thanksgiving.

What were your first impressions of London? From the perspective of an American traveler, London feels so historic. Another impression is how multicultural London feels. Walking down any neighborhood street you can hear multiple languages or smell foods of different ethnicities.

At what point did you feel like a complete foreigner? Crossing the street, hands down. Be careful, look right first!

I’d go back tomorrow just to have another Indian samosa. Fish and chips are good but the Indian food in London is out of this world!

You won’t find it in the guidebook, but you absolutely have to go to Attendant. It’s an underground coffee shop built in an old Victorian-era bathroom. You walk down this tiny staircase and once you’re in, you can enjoy your coffee from a space where a toilet used to be. It is no gimmick, though. The real emphasis is the coffee; drinking in a urinal is an afterthought.

The only known place it is acceptable to eat and drink inside a bathroom.

Did you meet any locals? Who made this trip for you? I was able to meet up with a friend of a friend, Emily. She lives in London and works as a University study abroad counsellor so it was like having a like-minded personal tour guide!

What was a highlight during your travels? I succeeded in my goal of visiting a different coffee shop and a different museum every day that I was there. One particular museum highlight for me was seeing the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum.

What did you learn on this trip? I confirmed something that I definitely already knew: I am not the typical tourist. It felt like many other tourists were in London to do Christmas shopping or to visit big name attractions like the London Eye or The Shard—those things don’t really interest me. I often had rooms of the major museums to myself or I would know that I was the only American in a neighborhood restaurant or cafe—those are experiences I value much more.

Did you have any #sorustic moments? Even though I posted to Instagram every day, I otherwise stayed off of WiFi. This was a vacation after all, so I wanted to be online as little as possible!

Was this your first time in London? Will you go back? It was not my first time in London and yes, I will be back in the city this Spring. I’m hoping for better weather but even in the rain I know I’ll enjoy my time there.

10 years from now, what will you tell people about this trip? I drank world-class coffee in an underground bathroom in London and it was glorious.

The Natural History Museum in London

Have you been to London? What were your favorite places to go, see, or eat? Add your London travel tips in the comments below, we would love to hear them. Students from London, give us the inside scoop! Be on the lookout when Casey comes back to tell us about his recent trip to Morocco. Happy travels!

About the Author

Kelly Moynihan

Peru Country Director

More than a decade of program leader experience, fluency in Spanish, and commitment to community service make Kelly a natural fit to direct our Peru operations. Previously, Kelly worked in Costa Rica with indigenous communities and turtle conservation efforts after joining Rustic in 2008. Originally from New Jersey, Kelly earned a degree in journalism from American University in Washington, D.C.