It’s strange, you can live your whole life in the same place and never really discover it before you move away. Ever since I moved from Denmark, my parents and I have tried to make an effort to go out and discover new things, both in England and when I come home. It has meant that we all look at Copenhagen differently and that we make an effort to get out more.
There are many different kinds of secrets in the world and in a big city like London most of them have already been discovered by someone. There are tourist guides that will help you find these so-called “secret places” of London but how secret can they be if thousands of people buy the book and they all go on the same trips to discover all the same secrets?
I recently discovered a place in the middle of the city which is not only a well-known, very public secret but also one that has been discovered by millions before me. Yet, when my friend Claudia and I went to Holland Park last week, it really felt exactly like we were discovering a hidden secret, as if no one else has ever been there before us to realise how wonderful it is. Unlike many of the other much bigger public parks like Regent’s Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, Holland Park wasn’t a very busy place when we went to see it and it felt secret exactly for that reason.
I have mentioned a couple of times on the blog that I feel really grateful for the experiences and opporturnities I have been given in London. I have not only been lucky but I have also been encouraged while being in the city to really put myself out there, to be brave and participate, and it has resulted in some pretty memorable moments for me.
Last year I volunteered to be a student speaker at a conference for the Bicentenary of the Norwegian Constitution at UCL which was a really fun experience to prepare and be a part of and which also got me invited to a dinner with the Norwegian ambassador. Last Summer I also won a competition to attend a Peirene Supper Club, where I got a chance to meet Meike, the publisher of Peirene and Norwegian author Hanne Ørstavik. And this year I have had the pleasure and honour of being a tour guide at the V&A.