Yes I love London. No I don’t want to stay here forever.
Wow. I can’t believe that I’m at this point in my adventure already. I left the halfway mark in my dust and my days left here are now decidedly less than the days I’ve already been here. I now have 150 days left to fit in everything that I still want to do… and no matter how hard I try, there is absolutely no way that is going to happen. Just sayin’.
Will I still be able to complete a lot of what I want to do? Of course. There are still many weekends (and non-work weekdays) left to go on both mini and medium sized adventures. And I am going to do my best to fully utilize my time left here (but let’s be realistic, some of those days will be spent neither working nor adventuring. Because that’s just the way I roll). I already have a couple trips booked (Cardiff and Edinburgh), one that is still in the “I’m thinking about it stage” (Berlin) and then a number of day trips “penciled in” to be confirmed closer to (Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton).
I also still have a lot of London exploring to do this summer. Greenwich, The British Museum, Regent’s Park, Camden, a play at The Globe… oh my! So much to do and, increasingly, so little time.
And none of these lists even come close to scratching the surface of all the places in the UK and Europe that are on my “To visit” dream list. Why then am I not staying for the entirety of my two year visa? I mean, so many people do everything they possibly can to stay longer than their allocated two years. So what gives?
Here’s the thing: as much as I love all of the things I’ve been able to do so far, and that I’m going to do in the upcoming months, and as much as I love certain aspects of living in London… it is not where I want to stay. Yes I have friends here in London. Yes I have a pretty good job that I mostly enjoy. Yes London is a great place to live to travel. But London does not have my family. Or my close friends. Or my cats. Or my sister’s dogs. Or my church. Or my library. Or any of the other random things that make up my “everyday life.” And I like those things. And that is okay.
As much as everyone else seems to want to stay in London or continue travelling forever, I have decided that, at least at this point in my life, that is not for me. I hope that I’ll continue to travel and plan trips once I return home. There is still a lot of world to see, and there is a lot of Canada that I would still like to explore. But I like to have trips with set lengths, and home at the end. And right now, London is just a temporary home (even though seeing Big Ben and the London Eye after returning from Europe feels absolutely amazing).
One other thing that is drawing me home? Missing things in people’s lives at home. People continue to get engaged. And married. And have babies. And puppies grow up into dogs. And I like being a part of those things. And the longer I stay away, the more I miss. Yes, being at home means that I miss other life experiences related to travel and such. But life is about prioritizing where you spend your time and energy. Skype and Facebook can only take you so far.
So there you have it. Will I miss London when I go home in the fall? Without a doubt. I can already think of any number of things I’m going to miss, and I know there will be things that I won’t fully appreciate until they are no longer part of my daily life. But you know what? That’ll be okay too.
Life’s an Adventure!