First stop on my Round the World Trip from 06th May 1990

Stephen Bellingham on 06 May 2020
As we are in shut-down, I wanted to make the most of my time in between helping my clients to get home or re-book and book for next year’s travel. I thought I would do something I have meant to do for decades - write up my around the world trip from 1990 that started my amazing travel industry career. This was the only time in my life I have kept a diary! My first stop is perhaps not a city that you might consider, but my cousin was working at the British Embassy at the time. What a way to start, I thought: stay at the British Embassy in Washington DC! Sadly, a few days before I arrived the Duke of Edinburgh decided to visit, so for security reasons, I could no longer stay. So, I had to ‘rough it’ first with a Travelodge then a Youth Hostel!

This did not detract from the experience and I still have the vivid memories of getting a local bus to see the Pentagon and watching the guide walk backwards to show us the highlights (he had to watch us to make sure we did not stray off the visitor route!).

Washington DC is a fabulous city to visit, much like London in that it has lots of lovely green spaces, rivers, bold monuments, art galleries and free museums (including the Smithsonian, akin to our Natural History museum, and the Space Museum). Most interesting of all was the FBI building, and I also enjoyed the Library of Congress. Sadly, the White House was not open at the time of my visit.