Well I’m back from the Bambuser Challenge in London. It was truly a fantastic experience. What made the biggest impact on me was the interaction and engagement from the audience. So many people stayed tuned-in throughout the night that I never felt alone. I got to see places I’d never would have discovered myself and I had people directing me like a live and interactive version of Google maps all through the 24 hours.
Things I probably never would have seen/done as a regular tourist include:
1. Riding a "Boris" bike, one of these bikes you can rent all around central London. It’s a great way to explore the city – and so much quicker than using public transport. They’re super simple to rent. All you need is a credit card and the bike is yours.
2. Passing by former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s house on the west side of Connaught Square. It’s hard to miss - all you need to look for are the armed guards outside. I was a bit worried I would be taken as a terrorist passing by filming but I got out of there safely.
3. The Big Chill of Brick Lane in Shoreditch, or as the locals there called it, “The Big F***** Chill” - a great bar crowded with cool people. I hung out with people from London, Scotland, Italy, Switzerland, France and Spain. Awesome place if you’re looking to party
4. Rode a pedicab in Soho at 3am. Took a 30-minute tour around Soho with infamous driver “Johnny the Man” who had a tiger striped pedicab. He showed me quite a few strip joints, gay clubs, transvestite clubs and occasionally a few cool clubs. Most enjoyable ride and people seeing me film jumped on the back to chat about it.
5. The Portobello Road Market. One of the most famous markets in London. My digital audience guided me there early in the morning and I arrived around 6am when the vendors just had started to unpack. Not a single tourist around and walking up and down for an hour in the sunrise and no crowd was truly a great experience.
6. Borough Market across river Thames. A fantastic market with all kind of fresh food you can think of. Even at 10am it wasn’t crowded and I could stroll around with the locals and really enjoy the atmosphere.
I experienced loads of other things and I met with some really great people during the 24 hours. To summarize the Challenge - it was something really unique and a way of exploring a big city that I truly enjoyed. I got to see things I never had expected to see and met with people I never would have met otherwise thanks to the fantastic people watching and interacting with me. I’d love to do this again, let’s see where they send me next time.