I’ll start with this…I love London!
Since I’d been a tourist in London several times, I had an idea of what to expect. From an international environment to an extensive transit system…I knew I’d be able to make my way around. A few things have been pleasant surprises that have made the transition lovely.
- So many of my friends visit London. Both from the US and from other parts of Europe. Every week or so, someone asks me to meet them for a beer or dinner and I get this warm hug from someone who I know and love. I’m so excited for the people I will be seeing in upcoming weeks and months across the remainder of 2023.
- I live in this quiet little pocket of central London. I’m 5 to 15 minutes walk from 3 different High Streets with thriving bars, salons, etc. But my street is like a little suburb all its own with kids walking to school, people going to the dog park, and the drivers training car slowly rolling by several times a day.
- I love having a front door again. Yes, I live in a flat and there are others living behind and above me. But I have a front door, with a doorbell, and can sit on my porch and read in the sun. My apartment is cozy in a way that I didn’t and couldn’t quite achieve in my flat in either Stockholm or Berlin. I didn’t know how much I missed the feeling of living in a house…even a shared house.
- I feel welcome here. From a Visa that enables me to be free of sponsorship because of my skills and expertise, to people just asking if I want to hang out or grab coffee…I feel like a part of something again in a way I didn’t during the Pandemic years in Berlin. The common language helps. The shared sense of humor helps even more. While there was so much I loved about Berlin, I always felt like the burden on belonging was entirely on me. Whereas in London it is a shared burden…one of being included and one of saying yes.
Ultimately this has been a reset for me and for my life. I am living in a more healthy way both physically and emotionally. I refuse to let myself be unhappy with my work or to overwork to prove something and I am adding more movement and spiritual practice back into my life. Each of these area where I’d lost my way during the last few years of survival.
Nothing is perfect. I have no idea how long I will be here. But for now, this is where I want to explore the next season of my life. This is where I want to nest for a while and see how it goes.
So there you have it…I love London and am happy to be welcomed here.