It may still be too soon to ultimately decide whether it is for us (the mythical “they” say you should give it a couple of years before deciding if a country is right for you), but so far I’m loving it.
Since moving here our routines have changed quite drastically. Our family often ask if living here is different, and we usually answer “yes it is, but not too much”. When you’re put on the spot it’s just easier to just give a short answer, you don’t really want to babble on for half an hour about the differences. But lately I’ve been thinking about how different our lives actually are since we have moved here. So here are a few of the things I really like about life in London.
Long jogs and walks alongside the river. This is just so relaxing, we just keep going, with no destination in specific (except home, eventually).
Weekends are spent exploring. The amazing thing about London is that there is ALWAYS something to do. Every-single-day!! We’ve been here for 6 months already and we have been so busy, yet we haven’t even made a dent in the “things to do in London” list. We still have to ride the London Eye, do the Harry Potter Experience, Visit Madam Tussards, Go to the London Dungeon, take in the view from the Shard, visit the secret garden at the top of the Walkie Talkie building, have lunch in Neales Yard, shop at the Leadenhall Market, watch a West End Show, I could carry on and on but I think you get the point. This can be a problem though, because you can easily blow £100 on a day out! But in the same breath you could get by only spending a few quid on food and still have a fantastic time. A few weekends back we went out for an afternoon explore, ended up in the aftermath of a gay pride festival, had a late lunch at a tiny Lebanese place, took a stroll down Oxford road and ended up in Hyde Park where we spent the evening lazing about on the grass listening to Taylor Swift’s concert.
Reading books – My morning and afternoon commutes (I use this term lightly – I don’t think you can really call a 40 minute journey from door to door a commute) often end with me scrambling to make it off the train because I am usually so immersed in whatever book I am currently reading that I nearly miss the stop.
I have read so many books since we have been here, it is amazing!! I now have the time to read without having to sacrifice spending time doing other things I like.
Al fresco dinners in the park next to the river – we are very lucky to live in close proximity to the river. Since summer has been around we try make an effort to have an alfresco dinner in the park. We walk to Waitrose, get salad and chicken or a deli meal (and usually a wine) and we go picnic next to the river, chatting and enjoying the long hours of daylight while they still last.
Sleeping a lot and sleeping late – on a normal day we only go to bed at about 12pm and wake up at about 7:45am. Damn that’s a lot of sleep!! (I just realised that, reading it in black and white)…I think I need to start waking up earlier!
Walking everywhere! I think this is just because Riaan and I (haha more me than him though) believe in the term ‘Walk and see more’. Also more importantly we are really, really bad at judging distance on a map and we have often grossly misjudged the distance from one place to another. Everything is really close, or so it seems, but if it isn’t that close you can always hop on a bus and still see it all!
Not having a car. Not needing a car. In the beginning when I was not accustomed to having stuff delivered to the apartment and I was still getting used to buying the groceries on bi-weekly trips to the shops I missed the convenience of having a car. I missed being able to just dump the shopping into the boot and drive home, we had to carry ALL the groceries ALL the way home, so we invested in a small grocery wheelie bag for when we do “big” shopping trips. Now I don’t miss having a car at all, the public transport here is so good and having a car would probably be a waste. We can hop on a train to go anywhere we like and if we ever do feel like going for a drive in the country side we can always just hire a car.
Last and most certainly not least I love that London is so close to Europe! Next month we are off to Amsterdam, and hopefully we’ll squeeze in another European trip before our trip back home in December. Big hopes though, we have a busy few months coming up. Next year Europe will definitely see a lot more of us!!