It can be pretty easy to forget you’re actually living in a city like London when you’re studying your Master’s. Papers, hundreds of pages of reading, presentations, discussions all manage to take up the vast majority of one’s valuable exploration time. I’ve found that I really need to constantly tell myself things like
“Natalie, maybe Tuesday nights before your Wednesday morning course aren’t the best time to grab multiple pints at the pub”
“Natalie, maybe you shouldn’t go to a third concert in one week.”
“Natalie, maybe you should do your readings and not just walk around your neighbourhood in a dreamy, happy stupor”
Yet, I feel as if I have found a way to properly manage my school/life balance, or at least a small way to de-stress while taking advantage of London’s cultural highlights…
How you ask?
Why evening museum trips of course!
I’ve decided to try this theory out at least once every few weeks and so far, it really has been a fantastic way to spend a few hours unwinding and exploring. My first trip was to the British Museum – which is normally packed during the day – but was beautifully empty, quiet and serene. Being alone with the Elgin Marbles or Rosetta Stone is quite the privilege.
This week’s trip was to the Tate Britain. Being kind of an art junkie, I have already visited the Tate Modern about 40 times since moving here so I chose to explore its older twin. One thing I will say is that maybe hold off on visiting the Tate until the spring because it’s undergoing a lot of renovations and some of its permanent collection isn’t on display. That being said it was a fantastic way to spend an evening, wandering around the nearly empty museum, simply relishing the amount of Turners the collection holds. To have a break from the crowds and to be around some fantastic art is never a bad choice and so far it’s helped me keep my head firmly on my shoulders.
Well that and those pints at the George IV.
 London pro-travelers tip #1 – Don’t go to museums during the day. Wait till the evenings they’re open late and relish the small crowds!
 This is of course a gross exaggeration as I have been twice, but you get the point.