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No Vacation Required Podcast

For fulfillment fanatics interested in traveling deliriously, living deliberately, and working virtually.

Dropping Pounds in London

NVR Guys

Our latest adventure begins. Notes from our first few days in London...

The fog

Dinner is over. It's time.

"Hand me your watch," I say. "Let's do this."

We are on our redeye flight to London, and it's time to go into what we call "the fog" of a long flight. Here's the typical routine. After eating, we take off our watches and try to forget about the time, how long we've been in the air and how miserable it can be to sit on a plane for about 10 hours.

Stomachs full, we whip out the iPad and watch a couple shows that we had previously downloaded. As a gripping episode of The Good Wife draws to a close, I feel my eyes get heavy. I'm sure those two drinks in the Delta Sky Lounge are helping about now, as planned.

I let my head fall back and drift in and out of sleep for I don't know how long. The head bumpers help to compensate for minimal recline and no leg room.

A couple hours after coming back to reality and mindlessly playing around with the on demand video, the flight attendants are whizing down the aisle doling out impossibly cold bananas, pancaked egg croissants and about two gulps of orange juice. The fact that I must have stayed in a slumber for so long is keeping me distracted from the reality that that my teeth are being frozen by a piece of fruit.

I see London out the window. It's a clear day.


The surprise

We're getting easily acclimated to London. The accents, the diversity, the sites - we dig it in a big way.

We are not digging how easy it is to fly through the money around here. Our wallets have never been so bare. Last night's authentic pub experience at a low-key place set us back about as much money as we spend for half a week's worth of groceries in Seattle. It was not fancy. At all.

What do you do when you're tearing through the pounds in London? You eat oatmeal in the room.

So, we're gobbling down oatmeal, looking over some work and hoping that – by later today – we are fully normalized after the long flight from Seattle a couple days ago. We're also reconstructing the events of our whacko middle-of-the-night experience when, at some point, other hotel guests walked into our room. Surprise! For all of us.

Turns out that we were accidentally checked out in the middle of the night and others were checked in. Into our room, that is. Not cool. To make matters worse, we're both feeling the evil that is jet lag so having someone enter our room in the middle of the night was especially freaky.

"I thought we were being robbed," I say as I shovel oatmeal into my mouth.


The idea

We continue to have strange things happen at our hotel.

Yesterday, upon returning from a day in Windsor, we find that the television all-of-the-sudden won't work. A small buzz kill after a great day wandering around the charming town of Windsor and checking out the largest occupied castle in the world.

Admittedly, we don't need 40 channels of every type of news imaginable, so we forgo the offered room change. Truth be told, this hotel doesn't have a great track record so far, so they'd probably screw it up somehow.

Instead, we ask for compensation in the form of food. Today, we had a pretty basic breakfast. It was about $60. For real. But free.

This money saving strategy will pay off.  And – since I'm sure they won't pay for the therapy we're going to need after waking up to find strangers in our room – asking for food is a smart backdown strategy. We're thinking we might be lucky to have people walk into our rooms in expensive cities around the world more often.  "It's okay," we'll tell the manager. "Just cover our expenses while we are here."

We can dream.

We're off to continue exploring London. We hope something is wrong when we return. We have a lot of days of food left.

By the way... A woman just approached us in the Internet area. She's pissed at the hotel, too. Irritated by the out of control prices, she said that she ordered pasta off of the children's menu. They said sure and proceeded to charge her full price. They thought it was the portion, not the price, she was interested in. She's on fire (and still hungry!).

Okay... we're outta here to explore more of this incredible city.