London you amaze me.
I have been living here for over a month now and I cannot seem to comprehend the incredible beauty and way of life within this city. It’s like none other.
Growing up in a town in the north of England, I never imagined I would up-sticks and move to one of the most famous cities in the world. I mean, I love where I am from; the tranquility of the countryside, the close-knit community feel, the neighbors you know better than family,. I guess I just never thought the bustle of city life would be for me. The image I had of London in my head was a cold and distant one, far from reality. Maybe it was my own self-doubt that constructed this image, trying to put me off moving 300 miles away from everyone I know and love. Who knows. I saw London as a concrete jungle, isolated from the rest of England with a completely different way of living; filled with air and noise pollution and not to mention, lots of over-priced price tags. The initial thought of moving here terrified me and I think calling me ‘a fish out of water’ would have been a monumental under-statement.
In June 2017, I moved into a shared flat in the centre of London (literally, the British Museum is at the end of my road), with 4 men I had never met before and I quickly realized I was lost in London. It was overwhelming at first…but surprisingly not in a negative way. It took me off-guard how comfortable I felt walking into a flat I had never actually been in. I think that’s when I accepted my preconceived image of a strange and distant city was so. completely. wrong.
Okay, I admit my flat isn’t great: The kitchen seems to have been stuck in the 1980’s (if I said it was retro, I would be lying to myself), we don’t have a freezer, the cooker looks as if it will explode any day now and for some weird reason there is a one-seater couch in there (maybe it’s compensating for the lack of living-room? I don’t mind, it’s cosy). But I have a lovely double bed in a nice, spacious room. What more could I want, ay? Between being a massive tourist at the weekends and working my little internship socks off during the week, I don’t need much more than somewhere to crash.
London is incredible.
The architecture, culture and history of the city encases everywhere you go. I didn’t realize England could be so classy. Every time I venture out I discover something or somewhere new and it hasn’t failed to surprise me yet. I found goats the other day for goodness sake, IN THE MIDDLE OF LONDON…just take that in.
So yes, there may be air pollution, a fair bit of noise at times and the price of things is extortionate, but it is definitely worth experiencing the life of a Londoner.
If I was to give my past self any advice, it would be:
London is not just a place, it is an experience. Embrace it.
(oh, and don’t talk to strangers on the bus. Big mistake)