It happens once in a while, where I’m just minding my own business, researching online, reading the news, or even perusing YouTube, when I come across something that hits me right in the nostalgia. The last time that happened, I was so excited to listen to Mumford and Sons new song ‘Believe’. I fired up the lyric video and watched a camera speed through the alleys and streets of London, the spacey melody floating around my head. I cried. I watched the streets that I’d become so familiar with whip past, recognizable landmarks and street signs zipping across my screen. There are times like this where I really miss London. I talk to my friends living there and I miss them. It’s a recent memory of another lifetime.
What do I miss about living in London? I could list a million things. But here are the big ones.
Ease of Transportation
While in London, I could be almost anywhere in Europe in a number of hours! And it is so easy to forget once you get into your life in the big city. Edinburgh is just over four hours away by train, which is probably why we went multiple times! We spent a quick weekend in Paris, zipped over to Cologne for the markets, and even took a short flight when we visited Iceland for the first time. It’s amazing. You could visit somewhere new every month and not break the bank. With budget flights and deals on rail fare, you realize that living in London means living in one of the major hubs of the world. It opens the world up to you.
Edmonton has horrendous public transportation. Moving to London was insanely eye opening. So many people use the tube, the bus, the DLR, and the national rail. It’s easy. And even though there are loads of complaints about London transit, it’s like a miracle. I could be on the other end of the city in an hour without doing anything. Public transportation is amazing, and I really took it for granted when I was living across the pond! Now I miss it terribly!!!
I love pubs. And I don’t think my love of them really blossomed until I lived in London. It is just the best place to hang out with friends or get a bite to eat. The English pubs are amazing too because they have so much history. I’ve had a pint in the same pubs as Churchill, Samuel Pepys, Charles Dickens, and heck, maybe even William Shakespeare (though not in London, in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Just a two hour train!!!). It’s pretty amazing. London pubs are a thing of their own, and it seems impossible that you could visit them all. We had books and books to tell us where to go, and honestly, they REALLY came in handy. Even our local pub was awesome, and I probably miss that one the most. We were regulars to the point that I would walk in and the bartender would know what I wanted. It was awesome.
The Food Scene
London’s foodie scene blew me away. I have never eaten so well at so many amazing places in my life. You can literally get ANY cuisine you want, because London is such an international village. I fell in love with a place called Dishoom, a Bombay cafe that I probably went to once a month AT LEAST. We also got a membership to TASTECARD, which gives you 2for1 deals and 50% off deals at a ton of places around London and the rest of England. It is totally worth it.
I might miss the theatre more than anything. I would go once a month, and I saw some amazing live performances from people like James Earl Jones, Vanessa Redgrave, Mark Gatiss, Bill Nighy, Carey Mulligan, Dan Radcliffe, Richard Armitage, and my all time favourite Tom Hiddleston. I took my mom to Les Miserables, one of the most amazing musicals I have ever had the pleasure of seeing live. And honestly, I miss it soooooo much. It kills me not to be able to just go to the West End and see some of the most amazing people do some amazing things. I love the theatre, I’m a bit of a junkie, and living in London just fueled the fire.
Tired of London, Tired of Life
You can find something to do every single day in London. I was never bored. There are outdoor movies, underground bars, history, theatre, hundreds of museums, markets, libraries, hidden treasures. It is a never ending smorgasbord of information and ways to keep busy. And that’s what I miss. I love history, theatre, pubs. I miss the busyness, the city itself. I miss the Thames, the nooks and crannies of the alleys, the surprises around every corner. Even though we only had a short time together, London is my city. It will always be my city. I loved London life, London life loved me.