Today has been pretty tough. Aside from getting over jet lag, part of me is still in England with my siblings. I’ve had the worst homesick feeling all day while trying to prepare for classes to start tomorrow. At least I have something to keep my mind busy. While in England, I visited a lot of places, but nowhere compares to London. I have decided to write a post about why I love London so much out of everywhere I have been.
Before going to England for the first time in the summer of 2016, I had always wanted to visit London. Some people say it’s just like any other big city, and it’s dirty, crowded, and loud. While those things are partly true, London holds a special place in my heart and here’s why.
While visiting England in 2016, we took a trip into London and hopped on a Big Red Bus Tour. It was raining that day, so there wasn’t a tour guide on the bus, but we were able to ride on the bus for transportation. The rain didn’t stop me from enjoying the time in London. In fact, it added to it since I love rain so much. When getting on the bus, I put on a rain jacket, put a poncho in my seat, and sat on the open roof top so I could see everything in London with a perfect view.
I remember my mom saying “there’s Big Ben! Turn around real quick!” and snapped a photo of me being in a magical city with Big Ben right behind me. The whole time I was riding the bus I was just taking everything in. The sights, people, stores, the cool London taxis…, everything! I had my chin sitting on the railing of the top of the bus looking down at everything and my mom asked me what I was smiling at. I guess she thought I was in my own little world being weird (which isn’t abnormal for me haha), but I just told her I had never been so happy before and that this was my place.
Last year (2018), our whole family took a vacation to England and we were staying in Covent Garden for the first couple of nights. I was curious to see if London had the same effect on me as it did the first time I went since it wasn’t going to be as new or magical anymore. The first day we got there, we settled into the cutest apartment in London and walked out onto the Strand. As soon as I walked out onto the street, I felt the happiness and excitement of the city all over again.
Seeing the flags over the road, the buses and taxis, people hurrying to get to their destination, street performers, a sign lit up of what musical was performing across the street, and dachshunds walking down the street with their owners made me have chills and I lost it. Right there on the street with people walking around me, I just started crying. Of course my family was making fun of me for crying, but I literally couldn’t help it. I had never felt so at peace and happy with being somewhere before. That night, my sister and her husband took me out to explore the city since everyone else was asleep from jet lag.
We started at the apartment in Covent Garden and walked all the way to Southbank, stopping and taking pictures along the way. We were out for hours just walking all over London and then when we made it to Southbank, we stopped for cocktails with the view of the river before exploring the city more. It was so fun to not have to rush off anywhere and just take in everything and being right in the middle of the hustle and bustle. For the next couple of days that we were staying right in London, I stayed out everyday as long as I could to soak up every minute I had in my favorite place.
This past trip was no different. Walking around being surrounded by all the different cultures, the old architecture, the cool rainy and foggy weather in the mornings, and even the little things like seeing senior adults through the window of coffee shops reading newspapers while sipping on coffee makes me fall so in love with London. One moment that stood out to me in London on this trip was when we were having lunch at the Market Square where there’s picnic tables for anyone to eat at. There was a whole table of strangers sitting beside each other talking who were from all different cultures.
The people were standing in line waiting for their food, then they would sit at the tables and just strike up a conversation with the person next to them, no matter what. There’s always photos going around on social media talking about how humans need to be kind and love each other no matter what, and seeing them all together without knowing each other reminded me of that. Big cities tend to be filled with more culture than other places, but there’s something about London that feels more welcoming and open to other cultures. I love it!
Another thing that I love that people tend to not like so much is the public transportation. In NC, you only really use public transportation as a las resort. In London, everyone uses public transportation. I love going to the train stations to wait (particularly Liverpool St. Station and Paddington station), hopping on and off the tube, and just grabbing a taxi whenever needing one.
Something else that was super special and exciting on this trip to London was seeing my brother’s photography. As I’ve mentioned before, he’s a fashion photographer and lives in England. There’s a studio that he does photoshoots at when he’s in London. Now that he’s moving there since he’s getting married, he’ll be spending a lot of his time at the studio in London.
He wanted to take us all to it so we could see where he spends his time and makes the magic of photography happen. I knew it was going to be so cool to see where my brother does photoshoots, but man was I a proud little sister seeing his work right there in London. The studio was so cool looking and had an advertisement for his work right at the door. I have always been stoked and proud of him, but to see his photos in London is another level of proud.
London has become my happy place more and more each time I visit. Today has been hard trying to get back into the swing of things and not being around family. I’m trying to remain hopeful for what’s in store after this phase of life, but I can’t help but feel anxious. Here’s hoping after I graduate college, something will work out that will land me in London or at least near it to make it my home and be closer to family. But for now, London will just have to be my happy place that I try to visit ❤ Prayers and positive vibes for a peaceful mind and being content with where I’m at in life right now are appreciated.
Until next time,