I have never ever been in love with a place before. Sure, there are places that I like a lot, for example Georgetown, and there are also places that I daydream about, for example New York City, but there is not one place that I have ever really actually been in love with – until now.
Last week, my family and I travelled to the UK for vacation, where I discovered the beautiful city of London and fell head over heels in love. I have always loved traveling and traveling is something that my parents had taught me to value at a very young age, but I just don’t really completely love the places that we go to. We have been to Cancun, China, Italy, Switzerland, and all these places that are so renowned and wonderful, and I have a great time always, but I don’t think I can say that I love these places the way that I suddenly fell in love with London.
How I see it is, I’ve just never really had a good time on vacation because of the place where we travelled to. Vacation, for me, has always just been about the escape and not necessarily the destination. So, even though I definitely enjoy myself, it’s always been just because of being able to get away from home and spending time with my family. Where we go exactly, could not matter less, maybe because I usually like places equally much.
However, this time, for the first time in my life, I surpassed just liking a place – I LOVE London. I could not get enough of London. Now, I’m not sure if this is because we used airbnb and the fact that we got to live in the comfort of someone’s home, but London felt like a place I want to make my own sweet home.
And I have never ever felt that way before about anywhere, not even my current home. I mean, I do love my house and my family, but this isn’t where I want to be ten years from now. No, not at all. I want to get out of this town and I want to go somewhere exciting and different and I found where that exact place for me is – London.
This is actually really surprising, because I was always under the impression that London is just this rainy and cold (and almost dull, sorry I have no idea what I was thinking) place and the only thing that I was really looking forward to for this trip to the UK was the accents, because I love love love British accents and just accents in general.
London took me by such surprise. During our stay, London was the perfect cool temperature for summer that’s not too hot but also not too cold, so you can still wear shorts and skirts. But, yes, it did rain. It actually rained every day at least a little bit, but the way that the Londoners did not care was amazing. Now, I am someone who usually hates rain and I think most of the people in my area feel the same way, but in London, it was so different. When everyone around you is more than willing to continue their day outdoors, you get that way too, so it was like, come at us, rain, we’re fine.
In a nutshell, I would say that the beauty of London is that London is so European and vintage but also simultaneously modern and fast-paced. And the Oxfords. Don’t even get me started on the shoes. I love the shoes. Our airbnb landlord (or renter or whatever they are called) had a shoe rack filled with more than thirty pairs of Oxfords in different colors. It’s so cute. Also, the night life is insane. We lived in the Financial District and people do not sleep at all on Friday and Saturday nights. The traffic is just awful around 1 am on these days. People were singing and hollering and shouting all throughout the nights. And I absolutely loved it. I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted so badly to be a part of that London life.
However, I can see how my understanding of London is clearly from that of a tourist’s perspective, but before you disregard my claim of love for London, I want you to know that there’s also just this feeling. This feeling of being wholly in love with a place. This feeling of comfort and longing to stay in a place that I just met. It’s amazing and I’ve never experienced anything like it before.
When we had to leave, I was devastated, again something I never experienced before, because normally I get homesick towards the end of trips. My mom thought we were leaving Saturday and told our whole family that we were going to visit more museums on Friday, until Thursday night when she looked at our plane tickets and realized we were leaving Friday. I felt like a day in London had been stolen from me.
So now, I have another goal for my life. I want to study abroad in London during college, at least for one semester. And I’m really glad that I learned that this is something that I want, because I never even thought that I would want to study abroad at any point in my life. I’ve never looked at the study abroad programs of schools. I’ve never researched that area.
But now, I will. I definitely will.
And you better believe, London, that I am going to be back for you.