Well, staying with Jess and Luke turned out to be one of my favorite parts about being in London. My flight from Milan was delayed an hour and even though I arrived a little past midnight, Luke was still up to welcome me with a cup of tea.
At the end of each day, it was nice coming back to a home rather than a hotel. My first morning there, Jess and Luke invited me to join them for breakfast (see first two photos). Jess made poached eggs with a traditional salty fish (anyone know what that's called?) and served everything up alongside tea and fresh pressed apple juice. It was really delicious, really kind and really unexpected.
Perhaps the biggest story about staying with Jess and Luke is that they basically rescued me when I found myself in a foreign country with no access to my own money.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Despite calling Bank of America months prior to let them know I was in Europe (and had been for two months at this point), they deactivated my debit card because their system had been hacked. While this might seem like the most logical thing to do upon hacking, they didn't tell me. No email or anything.
So there I was, a little American girl, wandering from ATM to ATM wondering why on earth my debit card wasn't working. I tried to call the bank from a telephone booth, but couldn't call out of the country. Get this: a man who was cleaning the streets asked if I needed help. When I told him my problem,
he let me borrow his cell phone to call America. What?!
I eventually reached a BoA representative only for my call to be dropped two minutes in. The phone number stopped working after that. So I was stranded in London, without access to cash, with no banks open (it was a bank holiday weekend), and with no way to speak to the bank in the States (because of the time difference).
Jess and Luke to the rescue. I called them and told them what had happened. They took the tube out to where I was and lent me cash.
Me, this random American girl staying in their home. Cash.
Of course I paid them back through PayPal once I got back to the apartment, but wow. Jess and Luke obviously went above and beyond anything anyone could expect from Airbnb hosts. But being with them was an amazing reminder: Nice people exist.
People still have hearts-- and traveling is the best way to rediscover that.