No, those are not my stamps! Unfortunately, mine are in two different passports and naturally would never look like that. Especially because boarder officers love to use a blank page for their one stamp haha!
Anyway… here’s the story.
Yes, you read right. London is one of my great loves. Like Big and Aiden great love. Like I’m Carrie and London is my Mr. Big. That’s for my fellow Sex and the City fans 🙂
I always had this little itch inside me or this fascination with moving to England. I remember when I was in College and I was applying to Uni, I had applied to a couple schools in England. Then when I was in Uni, I wanted to eventually study at Oxford, or at the very least move to London and walk around Oxford whenever I could. Heck, I wanted to walk around London! And Cambridge, and Bath, and the Cotswolds, and all over England.
I had visited England for the first time in December of 2016. I had gone to Ireland, Scotland, and then finished in London and flew back to Canada on the 24th of December. I remember missing it ever so much when I left. I was a bit blue at the table that night, because all I kept thinking was that I HAD to be there. I was all in and I still had nearly a year before I could move. Fortunately, it was enough time to plan it all and make it happen. This was my set goal.
So, what did I do? I obtained a UK Visa, applied to University in London and moved there! My first one-way ticket to London was August 15th, 2017. I spent a week in Southampton then went on to travel for a few months. I came back to London before going to Asia after the Europe portion, and then came back at the end from Fiji. Then I spent about 20 days in Canada before returning yet again. Every time I would look at the flights on the screen I would look at the London flights and wish I were going. Even if I was very excited about my actual next destination. I just love London!
Then, every time something went wrong or I was tired or moody, or what have you, I wished I could be in England. I wanted to be there and feel the comfort of this place that had claimed my heart years ago. It was the world I had chosen. It was a different one from the one I had grown up in and it was my little fairytale and reality and I loved it. So many of the people I met during my travels were British and I was even talking to this English lad for a bit and I think it was all to pull me more toward where I belong. I can’t explain it. There is something about London and quite frankly something about Britain and Ireland that I truly appreciate and enjoy.
Once I moved here, I finalised my work situation and my first real English home was Wimbledon Village in London. I will give a separate homage to this charming and quaint happy place in a future post. It was in this village that I met my real great love. It was in this village that I found my place and purpose. It was here that my relationship with London was challenged and tested and pushed and compromised. It was here that I felt all my feelings, thought my thoughts, and lived my life for 10 months! It was my first London home and it wasn’t a dream or a goal anymore. It was real. Safe. Comfortable. Magical.
This was where most of the magic happened. This was my room, my nook. It had its own little book nook as well. The window was just big enough for me to snuggle up with a book and a cuppa! That’s one of the views from my window. Not even one of the nicer ones. Just a regular, boring, village day with horses walking in the streets as always. Goodness, will I ever stop crushing on this village? My job was in hospitality and it made me resent my environment sometimes because the job was really not for me and though I absolutely loved being with my friends and seeing all the familiar people that had become my peeps, I did not really like the job. I like what came with the job though! That simply was no enough. In the end, I got a new job and so did my boyfriend and we moved. It was a bit messy and took longer than we had hoped, but here I am writing to you now and all is well. Now, I look back at my Wimbledon Village days and I miss it, let me tell you! I don’t know if I want to live there again as I find my heart is content in Richmond and when I visit nearby Hampton Court or Hampton Village.
In the end, it is England I love and all that it has to offer. Such a significant part of my heart belongs here. There is no doubt about that. However, I also belong in Canada. There is so much nature and beauty and freedom there. Not to mention that I grew up there and have my family there, as well as most of my friends for now. But England is the one I chose! I wasn’t just born into it. I made it happen and it became home. There is something special in that. I can get past the value difference I recognise. I can even look beyond the lifestyle with which I do not always identify. This is merely my opinion.
I can, however, immerse myself in the history, the culture, and the vibes that I have been kind and warm to me and kept me protected more than once. I can definitely get used to this world of mine that housed the greatest love story of my time. Me and my boyfriend. It is our home. We are both from different countries (he is from Slovakia) and have other homes. This one, we share. Maybe one day we will be able to share our time in our the places that hold these parts of out hearts.
Check out Wimbledon Village in London for more info on this lovely place!