Have you had the experience when traveling that you find an absolute gem of a location that feels undiscovered? It's not a secret, of course, but you hadn't ever heard about it, you unexpectedly stumble upon it and then it charms you in just that certain way?
On my last day with Lean Mean Fighting Machine, they suggested I explore the local hood just north of central London.
"There's Primrose Hill," Creative Partner Sam Ball told me, "and a park beyond there and, oh there's a canal beyond there that you can walk along, starting in Camden Town."
My ears pricked with interest, and I left the office with a couple of daylight hours to spare.
Just as the hill crests at the top of Primrose, I ducked into a beautiful park. The foliage and color were exploding, perhaps actually on the downside of its peak, but certainly not lacking anything in my eyes.
Sipping my coffee, I strolled, taking in the peace and quiet that was respected by both fellow tourists and locals running, walking or riding their bikes along the waterway. The only sounds breaking the silence were the shrill jingle warning bells of approaching bicycles and the sweet song of a Jamaican man singing Bob Marley tunes under the glorious acoustics of a bridge overpass.
Tethered houseboats lined the sides of the canals, looking both worn and lived in, with bikes or plants above deck and little dinghy boats attached for quick errands. Swans and ducks floated along, interspersed with other water traffic, and I took many a deep breath, absorbing the energy that tranquil time alone with your thoughts and a cup of coffee can provide. Passing under countless bridges as the canal curved and linked its way under streets and through different parts of town, I admired gorgeous homes with waterfront status, lit up and reflecting off the water as night fell around me.