This past year was filled with over 20 flights, 40 train rides, 35 cities, and 13 countries. It was the biggest adventure. Living in London allowed us to see and do so much. We were able to taste delicious foods in Spain, lay eyes on the most beautiful beaches in Greece, four-wheel through Santorini, climb high mountains in Chamonix, swoon over the countryside in England, wind in and out of the quaint streets in the south of France, marvel at architecture in Prague, visit a moat guarded by bears in Cesky Krumlov, swoon over Christmas Markets, kayak through the calanques in Cassis, baguette sword fright in front of the Eiffel Tower, picnic in the most picturesque spots, and dip our toes in so many different cultures. It was such a blessing and at times feels like it was all a dream. Often we would find ourselves in sheer disbelief that this is the life we get to live. What a sweet, sweet first year of marriage.
London was more than just a hub for our love of travel. It was where we called home. When traveling all over we would always look forward to coming back home. Back home to Horatio Nelson standing tall in Trafalgar Square, back to Bus 87 to Wandsworth to take me to work, back to passing through the Aldwych to get to LSE, back to the hustle and bustle along South Bank, to the food markets, the chaos, and the beauty of London. Ben and I could sit for hours sipping our coffee and just stare out our windows at Trafalgar Square. We fell in love with everything about London. The energy, the opportunities, the people, and the city. We loved biking or running through the parks on the (very few) gorgeous sunny days, and heck, I think I can say with confidence that I even loved those rainy dark grey days. We met such wonderful people and were truly blessed with one of the best years of our lives.
Ben and I grew more than I could imagine in one year. London challenged, encouraged, stretched, and taught us while shaping us in to who we are today.
It was an adventure of a lifetime. I miss the city with my whole heart, literally the entirety of my heart. I miss Monmouth Coffee, Borough Market, South Bank, Trafalgar Square, Soho, Portobello Road Market, Crosstown Donuts, Camden, Christ Church London, good Indian food, the Thames, views from the bridges, Boris bikes, the way the buildings curve on Regent Street, the front seat on the second floor of the buses, the accents, the countryside, the fact that no one knows what side of the road to walk on, grabbing a latte on Wednesday mornings after the gym, horse races in the summer, dinner parties with friends, Covent Garden at Christmas time, wine and cheese at Gordon’s, checking what time it is on Big Ben, the flowers in St. James’s Park, running through Hyde, the canal through Regent’s Park, the beautiful overflow of flowers on every corner of buildings, queuing in line, picnics in the parks when the sun came out, snuggling up in our living room as the sun rose and set each day, Homeslice Pizza, Richmond Park, walking miles through the city each Sunday, parades passing by Buckingham Palace, proper English, an evening at the pub, and meeting people from all over the world. We gained such wonderful experiences, friendships, and memories. I will forever hold this past year so, so dear to my heart. London will always feel like home.
London, you are the greatest city in the entire world and we love and miss you dearly. We are most certainly not done with you.
DC, you have got a heck of a lot to live up to! Bring it on!
Here’s to our next adventure, Ben. Life with you is the best.