a love letter to london.
I feel like it’s been a sufficient amount of time since I left London that I can reminisce without getting too much separation anxiety or inner thoughts questioning why people don’t queue everywhere they go (it’s more efficient, people). Although, I could have sworn Google Maps switched over to a British woman when she was telling me to turn left in 1,000 feet on my street…
Traveling abroad for an extended amount of time is a funny thing. Leaving the comfort of home, school, friends, cars driving on the right side of the road; it’s as if I put my American life on pause while I started something in another world. I guess that’s exactly what I did.
When I’m catching up with friends, they’re all asking what my favorite part of being abroad was. They’re more or less asking about my favorite place I visited (Amsterdam, by the way), but there were plenty of mundane experiences that contribute to my coming-of-age experience in London. I met and became friends with some really amazing people, some of whom ended up being my travel buddies—they turned into real-life buddies; I tried Indian food for the first time; I brunched with friends when I could, making The Breakfast Club and Cereal Killers Cafe my main spots; I saw The Book of Mormon, laughed for hours on end and now make endless references no matter if others haven’t seen it; I became inspired from everything. London, the city and the essence, you inspire me.
In some way or another, London trickles into my everyday life here in the United States. Most of the time it’s the fact that I start my day with tea in my Breakfast Club mug. Other times it might be standing on the right side of escalators for others to walk by. If it’s been a weird day, I’m looking to my right to check for traffic before I cross.
Though I didn’t actually live in Paris, I read and finished Rosecrans Baldwin’s book, “Paris, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down.” It’s a pretty funny memoir about this man’s time in Paris after having preconceived idealizations of the city. When he’s moving home he says he snuck out of his own party because he couldn’t say goodbye to anyone—that’s how he felt about Paris, too.
“Saying goodbye to Paris was something a person did when he knew he was dying. Otherwise, Paris was forever a day soon.”
Baldwin’s Paris is my London.
ps. this was a post founded in my drafts which really for no reason in particular should have been posted in a timely manner.