London pt. 4: Until Next Time

Have you ever been somewhere for the first time and it strangely felt like home?

That’s how I feel about London.

I vividly remember one of the last days of my study abroad saying to a friend that it didn’t matter what we spent the day doing, because I’d be back. I can probably chalk a big portion of that confidence up to niavity, but there was also an overwhelming peace and assuredness in that statement. London and I weren’t done.

FullandFearless_London_2011

Sure enough, I made it back. It took me longer than I would’ve liked {who am I kidding, I would’ve bought my return ticket the next day if I could have}, but it happened. I love that city. I feel like that is where I truly grew up. A love for travel, a fascination with photography, a passion for chasing dreams and the first glimmer of a confidence that I didn’t know existed were all born in London. That city is where certain facets of who I am came alive.

It’s also where I developed some very special friendships. How many people can say they have friends who they lived with for a few months and after three years of being millions of miles apart, still managed to pick right back up where they left off? I can. I’m amazed, flabbergasted and honored to say that I can.

During my semester at the University of Westminster I made a fabulous group of friends from England, Wales, Denmark, Germany and beyond. I got closest to my flatmates, and did a decent job of keeping in touch with them over the next year. Then life happened, as it often does, and we grew apart. But, to my pleasant surprise, when I reached out and told them I’d be returning to London for New Years they were almost as excited as I was.

FullandFearless_London_uofwfriends
Three years later with Chloe and Mark.

It was crazy to see my worlds collide as I introduced Adrienne – my college friend, sorority sister, and now roommate – to Mark, Chloe, Rob, and Annie – some of the people who’d been my closest friends during my stay across the pond. And they got on so well! I’m constantly overwhelmed with the gift of great friendships. At every stage, God has placed wonderful people into my life. London was no exception.

As I hugged those lovely friends goodbye I did get a little teary. What if this was it? What if I didn’t get to see them again? After returning stateside in January, the feeling of unfinished business washed over me again. It might take longer this time, but I feel like London and I will never really be done. In a strange way, that place is home.

That’s the beautiful thing about travel. You leave parts of your heart places and your circle of friends grows. That place or those people may only be a small chapter in your story, a one-liner in a thick book, but they make an impression that’s unforgettable. That’s what London is to me.


 

Join me next week for the next leg of the New Year’s adventure: Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany!

 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Vinh N says:

    When I left Croatia after the semester ended, I felt really empty :(. Like you said, I left my heart there in Croatia already. Nice post anyhow 🙂

    Check out my latest post here http://www.vingnguyen.com/backpacking-guide-egypt/

    Like

    1. Yes, it’s a feeling that’s difficult to describe unless you’ve experienced it. Thanks for reading!
      I like your blog, especially your travel photography. Nice work.

      Liked by 1 person

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