London Calls. Well, sort of.
When you move to England, you move to London… Or so I thought. Is there any other choice? I learned just how wrong I was.
I boarded my flight to Heathrow on February 2016. All my earthly belongings squeezed into two suitcases. I was bound for a new life in a new country. I didn’t have a job or a place to live. Thinking back, it was a little crazy. I made a huge decision with so many unknowns. But this naïveté and lack of knowledge would be my saving grace.
I love England - the food, history, the dry sense of humour and Marks & Spencer’s individual trifle pots. In addition, I was ready for a new challenge. I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone (again). When I found out I could get an UK Ancestry Visa (thanks Grandpa + Grandma), my next step was decided.
I chose London because everyone goes to London and made the assumption that was the only option. However, I should had realised that I have fallen in love with England while in the countryside of Wiltshire and not the grey London streets. But I was young and needed to fail to understand that fact.
Not Like the Movies
Ah, sweet and cruel reality. My next four months in London were nothing like what I thought. I was lonely. What little money I had went to food and rent. I hated my social media job. There was no time for trips to the theatre or weekend excursions to Paris. Alas, I will save that story for another time.
However by June 2016, I was diagnosed with severe exhaustion and anxiety. The following month I moved to the countryside and didn’t return to the city for nearly 7 months.
I needed a break from the all-consuming concrete jungle; the smell, the noise, the dirt. My first trip back to London was like visiting a haunted house. My ghosts still followed me. I wasn’t ready. I felt claustrophobic after five hours in the city’s streets.
Fast forward to February 2018: London and I made friends again. I spent a weekend with my friend brunching in Brixton and reading poetry in Bloomsbury. And just like that, I had redefined my relationship with the city. It wasn’t London’s fault I made a wrong choice two years prior.
I don’t think I will ever live or work in London again. But never say never. Instead, I’ll satisfy my London cravings with day trips to the Tate Modern and wandering the streets of Soho.
Below are shots of my weekend trip to London.
P.S. Want to make the move to the UK? Curious about solo traveling? Wanna chat art and photography?
Just send me a message.
London Music Pick: Trains by Poppy Ackroyd.
This is just a selection but her whole album ‘Resolve’ is one of my favourites. A perfect soundtrack to wandering the halls of the National Portrait Gallery.