Maybe its the sound of British accents over the intercom every time I arrive at Heathrow Airport that makes me question why I left in the first place. Or maybe it’s those random cobblestone streets that you find yourself walking through and thinking “Wow! This looks old.” Or maybe it’s the Saturday afternoon pubs filled with people yelling at the TV screens as they watch the Rugby Match. I can’t really tell you what it is, because I haven’t figured it out yet. All I know is that I am came back and I love this city. (And, no! I didn’t fall in love with anyone out here.)
I lived in London in 2013, for the first time, while I was completing my Masters. I will never forget that year—it was a year to remember! I’ve lived abroad before, in Spain, but never for a full year. Maybe it’s the “big city” vibe. Who knows!
When I first lived in London I had a one bedroom flat (yes, OD expensive), and I lived alone. I lived across the street from this French bakery (Omgosh! I swear I could smell the fresh bread from my window every morning and let’s not even get me started on the chocolate croissants). I lived in Russell Square, and if you know anything about London, Russell Square is right smack in the middle of London. I walked about 10 to 15 minutes each morning to uni. Life was sweet! I then moved six months later, to a cheaper flat, but only a couple of blocks away, closer to Kings Cross.
Kings Cross is one of the major train stations in London, as they have trains and buses leaving for all over Europe at anytime of day.
During my year in London I learned the tricks to traveling throughout Europe and throughout the UK. Granted I had traveled Europe before, but I was a newbie then and a lot younger. Although I didn’t travel a lot that year, because I was studying, I did do some traveling…
- Went to Northern England (York, Leeds, Manchester)
- Road trip throughout Ireland
- Belgium (Tomorrowland Festival)—that was epic.
- Brazil (was living there for 2 months)—studying!
I swear I was studying! (Don’t worry I will share those trips with you all in later posts.)
Because I lived in Central London, going to places throughout London was also pretty easy. Most of the time I walked or took the buses (a lot cheaper) around, and lord knows that, during the summer months, being 10 feet underground (London Tube) without any air condition isn’t pleasant.
London is a beautiful city with lots to see. I saved all my “touristy” visits for when friends and family came to visit me. So I’ll share the obvious (the must see).
- Buckingham Palace
- Hype Park
- London Eye
- Tower Bridge
- House of Parliament (AKA Big Ben)
- Tower of London
- British Museum (you could spend a whole day there)
- Greenwich Park
- Trafalgar Square
- St.James Park (my favorite park)
Also, one of my favorite parts of London are the street markets! London markets are amazing. Usually the best day to go to any of these markets would be a Saturday. My top five favorite markets are:
- Camden Lock Market
- Borough Market (Best food!)
- Old Spitalfields Market
- Portobello Road Market
- Greenwich Market
I mean living in London allowed me to explore London (and England). Which means I can give you lots of lists, like, best burgers joints, what to do on rainy Sundays, where are all the speakeasies, where to take the best (and cheapest) weekend or day trips, but I will save that for another post.
As you can see, London has lots to offer. But like I mentioned before, maybe it’s the accents or maybe the cobblestone streets, or maybe it’s the food, energy, or maybe it’s just the people. I can’t seem to pin point what it is. And not to say that another city around the world wouldn’t be just as amazing, but there is just something lovely about London.
Wouldn’t you agree, fellow London expats? Where are all my expats at? Can you all figure out why you love your city so much rather than your home? I’d love to hear stories and feedback on this post!