When Ken and I first discussed me moving to London for a year, I wasn't really sure. Of course it's something most people would dream of - I mean, leaving work for a whole year (basically a one year vacation), an opportunity to put more time into my blog, travel the world, live in Notting Hill with my new fiancé! What more could a girl ask for?!
Being the stress ball that I am, all the happy and excited feelings quickly turned to "but what if this..""but what if that...". I would have to leave a job that I loved (just before I was to be starting cardiac training), leave my family, friends and pets! I'm a person of routine, habit, continuity - and I was about to give it all up, pack everything I know into a few suitcases and leave everything familiar to me. Scary! Looking back, it all seems a little dramatic considering Ken had to do the same thing - except he was totally alone when he got to London. All he had with him was a small backpack. He had no apartment, didn't know a single soul and was in a totally new city. The poor guy slept in Hyde park for the first few nights! That's another story. One that he loves to tell, haha.
I can't believe how fast my time in London has flown by. Before I left everyone would say "I can't believe you'll be gone for a whole year!!!" and I would respond "it's going to fly by". It has more than flown by. I feels like I've been here only a few short weeks! I think that boils down to the old saying "time flys when you're having fun". This year has been filled with amazing memories, world travels and new friendships - I wouldn't change it for anything. I'm still pinching myself wondering if the last 11 months have been real life!
Now that we are down to our last few days here in London, I'm starting to feel emotional about leaving. I'm not a sappy, teary person - so this is BIG! What it tells me is that I really love living in London. I LOVE this city. Ken and I recently discussed if we would ever consider moving here permanently, and it was a no-brainer. Absolutely. It feels like home. Although if my mom had anything to do with it....no way that would happen.
It's a strange feeling to love two places at once. As much as I want to stay in London, I want to move home equally as much. Ken and I have been apartment hunting for several weeks now and as much as a new apartment excites me, I can't help being hit with a wall of sadness thinking that we have to leave our little London home. I love our flat, I love our street, I love our 5 minute walk to Portobello road, I love our local pub, I love our neighbours! I wish we couldn't be in two places at once.
Vancouver will always home HOME - home base - but London has completely stollen my heart. I really feeling like I belong here.
Looking back on the year, I wouldn't change it for the world. Of course if I had stayed home, I would have a lot more money in my bank account, we would have saved a TON on rent and living expenses, I would be much further along at work, I wouldn't have missed out on tea time with the girls and nights out with the gang - but nothing can replace the life experience Ken and I have gained living in another part of the world.
It's only been in the last few days that Ken has said he's starting to feel excited about moving home. All this apartment hunting has made the move seem much more real. You start to imagine yourself in these apartments, what our weekends will look like, how life will change - again! It's all good stuff but sad at the same time.
Today we are really starting to wind things down. Getting rid of things we don't want to take home, making a final visit to spots we love, slowly starting to pack things up, cancelling contracts, ect.
In a few hours we plan to walk down to Portobello for the last time. Have a pint at our favourite pub and say goodbye to Portobello and hope to see it again sometime soon.
In the evening we have to get packing because we haven't done a thing yet! The movers come to collect our boxes in the morning so we better get filling them! I'm really trying to soak in every moment of our life here - and by delaying all the packing - I feel like I'm holding onto it just a bit longer.
PS. We filmed a "London Flat Tour" yesterday! That is up on my YOUTUBE channel today! Make sure to SUBSCRIBE HERE to be notified of future videos!
And thank you to William from Vitae Photography for the photos!