THE 17th of August marked the one year anniversary of our arrival in London. Half of our “tour of duty” is over and I can’t help but feel very sad.
My recent article about ‘Aussie life in London: expectations v reality’ was a light-hearted look at my experiences in the UK so far. Despite exploring a few negative aspects of London life that some Aussie expats experience, I have treasured my time here and I am certainty not ready to go home. Our (mis)adventures around the world on our never ending honeymoon, specifically in the UK, are some of the best of my life.
The English weather means that I don’t burn as easily, the tubes are fast and the people we have met are lovely, even if they do have a strange fondness for tea and queues. As a not-so-newly-wed couple with nothing tying us down I could not imagine being anywhere else. Where else in the world would I be looking forward to West End musicals, street carnivals, visits from friends and family, free museums, gigs by local and international bands, and the rugby league world cup (carn’ Australia!).
The friends that we have made here are life-long. The things we have seen and done are incredible. In a typical week I work my “9 — 5”, write freelance, blog, travel and explore London’s great treasures. Life is busy, but that is how I like it.
My London life lives up to expectations. I travel as much as my annual leave allows me, I work hard but play harder, I spend my weekends exploring London’s markets and cultural sites and I have even explored some of the English countryside, with a trip to the Lake District and Midlands yet to come. When I am in London on weekends I catch up with new friends, I picnic in the city’s amazing green spaces, party at amazing venues, see great gigs, and, even though I most likely did catch the last tube home the night before, I am never too scared (or hung-over) to venture out to see the latest exhibit at one of London’s amazing museums or tourist attractions. I consider myself a ‘live-in tourist’.
As I have mentioned before, I am a true believer that travel is one of the only things in the world that you can buy that makes you richer, and I value every minute of our grown-up gap year here in London and Europe.
To me, London is like a great book you can’t put down. I just hope everyone has their chance to turn a page.