Missing London Moments

When I boarded that last flight from Heathrow airport and headed for home sweet O'hare, I had to say goodbye to a lot. I had only spent four months in England, but I had built a little life there. I had a routine, a home (albeit tiny), friends, favorite coffee shops, neighborhoods and a local bar that became our little MacLaren's ("How I Met your Mother" reference!) When I arrived in January everything was so unfamiliar, but as we rolled through April and our departure date loomed, it became difficult to imagine life outside of our abroad bubble. No more shopping trips along Oxford Street, no more strolling through Hampstead or sipping vanilla lattes at Caffe Nèro, snacking at Camden Market or nights out at O'neills. There would be no more weekend's away in the Greek Islands or Birthday trips to Paris. I had to return to reality.

And I still miss it all: the people, the experiences and the places. I don't think there is a day that passes that I don't think about that semester in some capacity, but as sit in my Missouri apartment, procrastinating sleep and flipping picture to picture I can't help but feel a bit more nostalgic than usual. I could list off an infinite number of things I miss about studying abroad, but today, I especially just miss that City. I miss London - especially the quiet, simple moments - I miss what it feels like to live there (even if I was just pretending for a bit).

New Neighborhoods 
My roommate and I didn't have class on Tuesday's and so like clockwork we'd wake up the morning after monday to ask "where to today?" There were hardly ever real concrete plans; we'd just pick a tube stop or an end goal and just head out to explore. We'd end up sipping tea at a quaint, family-owned spot in Hampstead or eating Avo toast on top of Primrose Hill one rare sunny day. Those were the ones that became my favorite, because I felt like that's when I really got to know London, when there was no agenda. 

Afternoon's at the Castle 
We didn't even find the Castle until the second half of our time in London, but it quickly became our sunny day destination. It was the most charming local pub with the best rooftop in Islington and as we began to experience glimpses of a British spring, we'd head to the Castle to enjoy it. We ended a lot of our afternoon's on that rooftop, Strongbow's in hand, because when it's sunny in London you have to celebrate.

Arriving Back After a Trip 
I had the opportunity to visit some pretty unreal places (Switzerland, Scotland, Ireland, France, Italy, Greece), but no matter how exciting or beautiful those places were, there was always a silver lining to returning home, because home was London. We'd arrive back at Heathrow or Stanstead or Gatwick, make our way to King's Cross and grab Nando's to go (My favorite). We'd get settled back in our dorm room, watch a movie and eat our peri-peri chicken as the most remarkable view of London gleamed through our window. The lights of the Gherkin and the spinning London Eye welcoming us "home."

Running Errands or Riding the Tube
It probably sounds totally silly that I miss two of the most mundane activities (I swear I'm not as boring as this screams), but when errands and tube rides started to become just normal, everyday activities thats kind of when I felt at home. When I could hop on the tube, know where I was going, crack open a book and put my earbuds in as I travelled - I could just pretend to be a local, until they heard my glaringly tacky American accent that is. 

Okay, okay. I'm done being all sentimental and sappy - but I miss you London.

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