Normally, you can’t pull me away from London; I’m so used to spending so much time up there nowadays to see a new show or celebrate something that it’s become like second home to me. So when this past month went by and I came to realise that I hadn’t once made the train journey into the Big Smoke, I realised that I missed the environment much more than I’d come to realise.
Living in a town where, in all honesty, not much happens, you find yourself searching for a sense of excitement in another way and for me, that’s basking in the hustle and bustle of a City. London becomes like a life-jacket for me, somewhere where I can easily feel filled with inspiration and comfort by simply stepping off of the train. There’s something magical about the speed, the opportunities and the character of the place that captivates me and it’s made me addicted to the place from when I first visited at a very young age.
My passion for the place truly began when I realised how much the City had to offer. It had museums and exhibitions which opened my mind up to places even further afield than London itself; it had people and life to it which isn’t a vibe in abundance where I live and it gave me perspective and a drive to advance further; and it had the shows that I’d fallen in love with back at home in all of their glory, eight performances a week – this is where those magical stories came to life.
London is also the home of many different real and fictional tales and everywhere is iconic in its own way. Remembering that as you walk around somehow makes the places even more special, almost like an exclusive event that you’re sharing with so few people. Think about walking through Covent Garden: it’s a place that is world-famous for what it has to offer and I get to walk through there whenever I want to and I have that similar feeling for every city I’ve been to: there’s only one Times Square / Edinburgh Castle / Eiffel Tower and how special it is that I’m one of the only people here right now.
The city – for me – is the place where dreams and ideas both start and finish and where you go to celebrate afterwards; it’s where I go so regularly to keep myself afloat, so taking a break was so much harder than I thought. For the past two and a half years or so, I haven’t ever gone for more than a fortnight without heading into London to experience something until I didn’t go for a month just recently. It was strange, almost alien to me, that I didn’t feel like I was missing out anything during my time away. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t go to school during that time either and I instead filled my days with trips to other places and other experiences, but it almost felt like a time to recharge my batteries and I came back into London with new ideas and an open mind. The City felt fresh again and the break made me want to run around and explore this place I know so well all over again.
No matter where I go and no matter which City I end up living in in the not-too-distant future, the beauty and the familiarity of London is something that I will never give up. It truly is one of the most fascinating and alluring places on the planet and I’m proud to call it a second home.
You’ll be able to hear a more detailed recount of my love for London soon on VoiceMap’s All The World blog. In the meantime, you can download my London audio walking tour from the VoiceMap app right now.