London: The Giant Pit Stop

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Today was a beautiful sunny day and yet Autumn is definitely upon us. The strong breeze in the air is a reminder of not only the approaching winter but also that time has somehow slipped through my grasp. I can’t believe I have lived in London for a month and a half. I love feeling familiar with my area and the area around me. I love knowing what tube stop to get off to eat a gross version of American cuisine and which to get off to shop until my legs can no longer carry me or my huge shopping bags.

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I feel really happy as I reflect over the last month and a half. I set some small personal goals and have met them and exceeded some. London is different from what I expected. Before I arrived here I had different ideas on what to expect. I thought that I would step out my front door to the hustle of the city (think stepping out of the door in a busy New York neighborhood). I thought that I wouldn’t be able to find friends who I truly clicked with. I thought that I may die the first week I arrived because of the invisible label “foreigner” stamped on my forehead. I thought it would be tougher than it has been. I also thought I would be spending a lot more time hanging around Big Ben but have quickly realized that Big B is literally a clock. The beauty of Big Ben never ends but the idea of just hanging around him all the time accompanies thoughts of pick pockets and boredom.

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I have accomplished the art of speed walking. If I know where I am going, get out of my way. I might as well be an olympic speed walker at this point. I have accomplished the art of taste testing. Dessert sharing is now my favorite thing. By sharing I mean we definitely order different desserts and then share both to our hearts content. I have fallen in love with gallery walking. Give me a good art gallery and I will stroll my way through it. I have fallen in love with people and their unique stories about how and why they ended up in one of the greatest cities in the world. I also recently learned that there are 8 million people living in London. My neighborhood feels like a tidy little suburb (when in actuality I am in the heart of this city) and I frequently see the same people walking down my street. I was caught off guard by the staggering number of people who actually live here. 8 million people with different stories, backgrounds, ethnicities. This city is diverse in people and culture. It is unlike anything I have experienced before. And I completely love it. It’s humbling in a way. It makes me grateful that I am here among many great people and most of us are in some transitional phase in our lives. It’s like we are all on this magnificent pit stop in our journey that will lead to something greater. I feel like great things are on the horizon. My heart is so full.

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