Well, here we are.
I’ve officially been living in London for two years. And I’m officially leaving.
It’s been an interesting year, to say the least. I’ve heard other expats say that it takes them around six months to a year to feel at home in a new city. Although I found my feet in Doha in a matter of weeks, it did take me that full twelve months to settle into life in London.
I didn’t really help myself all that much, during that first year. I struggled with living in the city – with the volume of people, the noise and the general chaos. Rather than sticking it out, I chose to leave town and go travelling, every chance I had.
At the start of this year, I made a promise to commit myself to London. I would enjoy it to its full potential, so long as I called the city home.
Looking back over the year, I’m pretty happy with the progress made.
I ticked a few touristy things off my London bucket list, like visiting museums and taking a cruise down the river. I saw the Harry Potter play during its opening run. I queued up for three hours for twenty seconds of art.
And I finally found a flat in the south east of the city that I could call my home.
I’ve been having a lot of moments where I wonder if leaving is truly the right choice. There’s always the chance I’m making a mistake.
One of my mother’s favourite sayings is who knows what’s good luck and bad luck? By extension, who knows what is and isn’t the right thing to do in life. We’re all put here on this earth and expected to fumble our way through our years here. Making decisions, crossing our fingers and hoping for the best.
So, that’s what I’m doing. I’ve made the decision to leave London and I’m sticking to it. Maybe it’s not forever. Maybe it’s just for now. I don’t know what the future holds. No one does. That’s what makes life so much fun to live.
Either way, I’ll always be grateful to London and everything it’s given me over the last two years. Particularly the knowledge that I can move halfway around the world with little money, nowhere to live and no job prospects… yet everything will somehow work out better than okay.