People keep asking me when I am going to move home

People keep asking me when I am going to move home. I don’t know if it is my advancing years (apparently at 28 I should have kids and an alcohol habit already…I have one of those things), that I have been in London past the 5 year limit or that recent terrorist attacks have made everyone work hard to justify London life – but it has made me really think about why I am still so in love with London.

I don’t know if it is even love any more. I have written time and time again about how much this city gives me life, I’ve written sonnets to its energy and beauty. But now? Now something has changed in my feelings towards London Town, it’s all becoming a little less exciting and a little more stretched out and comfortable around the edges.

I’ve always said that London is a hard city to live in, it steals your energy and your money. Unless you put effort in it is an isolating place to be and don’t even get me started on the practical side of things like rent and windowless bathrooms. Today though, today I think my perspective of easy and hard has changed. I am so time poor these days that I want to be able to experience life and friendship in small intense bursts because that is all I can manage. And my dear London is perfect for that.

Last weekend I had two hours free before hopping on yet another plane. I got the tube to Old Street, had breakfast at Ozone (massive benefit of dining alone is you never have to queue for a table), then wandered through the world of street art that is Shoreditch before heading to Heathrow once again.

In those two hours I got more stimulation, relaxation and felt more like ‘me’ than I used to in an entire weekend when I first arrived. I used to be so concerned about what everyone else thought of my life, that I was doing everything ‘right’ (shout out to my fellow perfectionists), that I got overwhelmed by the city. Now that I have to focus so much more on getting the most out of small bits of life that I have finally played into London’s sweet spot.

Forget trying to do everything. Forget long days traipsing between markets, attractions and halfway across the city to meet a friend you don’t actually give a shit about. London now lets me experience a world of amazing opportunities, just a little at a time. I spent so long caught up in what I was missing out on that I exhausted myself in the attempt. Now I am getting pure childish enjoyment in taking London one bite at a time.

If I was in New Zealand I would wait for months anticipating (hoping) a new brunch place opening up. In London with hundreds to navigate (download my app if you want help!) it was more a ticking off the list exercise rather than relishing the moment.

I don’t doubt that my relationship is going to change time and time again with London, but for right now I have no intention of moving on. This city is still full of likeminded friends, opportunities beyond what I could get in New Zealand, and pretty damn good coffee. And now that I am not killing myself to see it all, I can finally get round to enjoying it.

6 Comments

  1. June 20, 2017 / 1:01 pm

    Yes babe, yes. I think that is what I adore about this city – is can be as flexible as you need it to be. Too flexible sometimes.

  2. June 20, 2017 / 1:23 pm

    *applauds* Yes! I absolutely agree!

    In the past I found London exhausting, and I used to periodically move to the middle of nowhere in the countryside to get away from it all. But somehow I’d always end up back here…

    Now I feel like I’ve settled in, and I don’t want to leave this city. I’m not completely sure why, but I think it’s partly what you said about not trying to do ALL OF LONDON VERY QUICKLY COME ON DO MORE OF IT QUICK BEFORE IT DISAPPEARS OR SOMETHING, and secondly that I’ve found the perfect corner of London for me.

    Here’s to London!

  3. Amy M
    June 20, 2017 / 8:31 pm

    Glad you’re sticking over this side of the pond for a while! And if you need a beach escape, you know where to find me x

  4. Kate Rycroft
    June 21, 2017 / 7:45 am

    To read your words is such a comfort as so much is going on around you and you are happy to be there.

  5. Charlotte
    June 21, 2017 / 11:19 am

    I’ve recently passed the 2 year mark and feel similarly, was a def a turning point. London ceased to feel “temporary” and it’s definitely home now, and I really have no idea when I’ll go back to NZ, especially seeing majority of my peers back home are properly settling down into marriage and babies, I’m just not there yet (might never be there!). I also feel like I don’t have do everything and be everywhere to the point of exhaustion but also know I can switch back to that should I want to, that’s why I love London. It’s a city that can let you do both and be both.

  6. June 23, 2017 / 7:33 am

    Love this – I think I’m in a similar place. London stresses me so much less now, even though I’m “doing” less a lot of the time. I know that it’s all there for me when I want it!

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