In this blog post, Vera Koo visits the Chelsea Garden Show in London. Along with learning more about this historical event, we also find out more about Vera’s philosophy of aging and traveling.

I started to reframe my opinion of London before the airplane even landed. 

I have been blessed to travel to many places throughout my life, either for my shooting career or personal reasons, but England never ranked near the top of my must-visit list. For whatever reason, I never felt pulled across the pond, so to speak.

Vera with sister-in-law Winnie at Tower of London

A few years ago, though, my sister-in-law suggested we visit London to see the Chelsea Garden Show. After learning some information about the garden show, my interest heightened. The garden show pairs vibrant floral arrangements with bold designs. Gardening ranks among my passions, and I love flowers. So, I agreed to go, despite knowing next to nothing about the show and never having desired travel to England.

My philosophy on life also applies to travel: Don’t let an opportunity escape you, even if it is one for which you never planned. Often, the most exciting opportunities are those you feel you are not ready to experience. But, if you wait until you feel ready, the window will close, perhaps never to open again. 

COVID canceled our originally scheduled trip, but when my sister-in-law proposed we reschedule for this May, I agreed.

As my flight descended on London, I knew I had made a good choice.

London’s history is not that of a city designed to become one of Europe’s most populous, important cities. In fact, a group of villages kept expanding until a city formed.

From the plane, I could see London is not laid out on a street grid. Instead of right angles, my eyes were treated to curved and rounded streets. This network of roads is accented by green parks everywhere, plus loads of waterways and bridges.

It’s a beautiful sight from above. I do not remember feeling the way I felt about London while descending on any other city. Clearly, the English love their gardens and greenery, two things of which I also am fond.

That view of London during my descent captured my heart. I remained enchanted after I landed, too.

England delivered on every front. We made the rounds from Windsor Castle to Oxford University to a Shakespearean theater to the musicals Six and Tina. 

Seeing the musical “Tina” in London

We saw the Tower of London and attended a church service at Westminster Abbey, just weeks after King Charles was coronated in the church. We even laid eyes on royalty. During our visit to Buckingham Palace, I got a picture of King Charles while he was in his chauffeured sedan.

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