stories of london

i’ve been trying to write about london for a month now, but nothing i’ve written feels right. maybe because i’ve been writing too much about what we did, instead of what i felt. or because everyone keeps saying (with good intention) that “the grass is always greener” when i mention how much i love london and want to move there.

i know this is true. i know that to visit a city is definitively different than living there. i know that i always think where i’m not is better than where i am. i know i am the definition of restless - constantly searching for a change. i know that i idealize my future to my own detriment. i know i sometimes think a new city is going to save me.

but i also know that i genuinely, truly, wholeheartedly love london. the first time i visited, i cried when i stepped off the train and into the city. i had never felt such an immediate sense of home before, not even when i came to new york for the first time. everywhere i travel i end up loving for its own reasons, but almost never feel like i need to return, at least not for a long time. there’s always something new to see. but it’s not that way with london. i’ve been trying to return there from the very first moment i saw it. it is, without a doubt, the only city i’ve ever felt a ceaseless need to go back to.

all of that being said, i want to write about my favorite day we had in london on this last trip. i had read about the hampstead heath neighborhood before we left, mostly because it has the highest point in london - parliament hill. so we ate lunch at the alice house, where we had the best cup of tea of the entire trip. no, i’m not exaggerating. and then all we did was wander around the neighborhood, making our way to parliament hill to see the sunset. it was by any account, an uneventful day. we marveled at the cobblestone streets and old houses, the sun finally peeking through the gray sky, and i dreamed about what it would be like to live there. we stopped to pet all of the puppies and breathing came easy. it was, that i can recall, the first day of 2018 that i truly felt like me.

i know the grass is always greener on the other side, but i refuse to diminish my love for london. i do not apologize for loving something, or somewhere, with my whole heart. standing in the middle of hampstead heath, talking to londoners about their dogs, i felt peace. and whether i end up living there or not, i will always call london home.

i love you london, always and forever. <3