Before boarding a plane with a bunch of suitcases to move to London, I had spent a grand total of like 5 days here six years before coming back. I don’t even think on that trip I thought London was one of the greatest cities on Earth. I just remember I liked our hotel room and I actually had fun at Madame Tussaud’s.
London is one of the greatest cities on Earth, but what made me first want to move here was its
#5 proximity to Europe (and really, “the rest of the world”).
I was wanderlusting before we even moved. And then we got here and traveled more in our first year than maybe I had in the ten years of my life prior. The humane amount of time off work helps. The multitude of bare-bones budget European airlines helps. The more pro-travel cultural attitude certainly helps. The proximity though, the proximity is everything. It can be jarring I think for the people you have left to see our collective status updates on social media, blog posts, or just hear the destinations in conversation. Most expats I know here recognize how much like a-holes we must sound all the time when mentioning the places we go. And yet, Spain, France, Italy etc… are the same distances away as me living in New York and going to visit friends in Chicago or Atlanta. It’s just that Tuscany or Barcelona sound more exotic to some people than Indianapolis or Charlotte. But doing the trips is equally as easy.
I love being from a big country and I love living in a small one. Even if just for one more day.