london, uk: reflection
The first thing I wrote day 1 in my journal as I arrived in London was: I'm HOME!!!!! (a million exclamation points, underlines and hearts). This was my first time being back in London since I moved away 14 months ago. Even though I only lived there for 3 months, it truly became home and has forever been a part of me. I am in love with London's entire essence and the international presence of the city. I feel like I'm experiencing the entire world at once with people, languages and food (:)) from all over.
The reason I was most excited to return to London was to see my amazing friends that still live there! I am so grateful to have had the week to spend time with them at some of my favorite places. No matter the distance and miles in between, I am so thankful to have these incredible and inspiring people in my life.
Favorite places: Dishoom, Brick Lane, Shoreditch (anywhere), Boxpark, Borough Market, Spitalfields Market, any and all street art, London Grind, walking the south side of the river from Tower Bridge to Big Ben, Soho food & vibes, Pimlico Fresh (favorite cafe in old neighborhood), riding and reading the paper on the tube, Southbank/Oxo, Notting Hill, Hyde Park, lights in Oxford Circus & Carnaby Street, newly found Baker St (thanks, Graham), high tea (Dean's Tavern- thanks, A!!), Ministry of Justice (thanks, M) and I'm sure the list goes on and on!! :) I loved seeing my old places but also finding the new!!
Photos: 1. Shoreditch street art a la city 2. More street art! 3. Me where I first took a photo upon moving to London! 4. @notestostrangers- LOVE this messaging across the city 5. Good Deed Feed in the Metro on the Tube! Love people!! 6. Hostel blog spot 7. Pimlico Fresh- chutney :) 8. Graham's favorite street by Baker St- the flowers are coming in and out of the store!
So yes, my theme for London is home :). In the midst of solo backpacking, it was so calming and refreshing to be surrounded by so many people and places I love. Having moved 6 times in the past 4 years, I have adapted to making a lot of homes in different places. I am so grateful for all of these experiences and each home holds a special, unique place in my heart.
As I walked through Shoreditch on my first day, I immediately thought of my best friend Natalie's @wordsmeetwalls post from Shoreditch a few months ago. She wrote about how every time you return to a city, you are a different version of yourself. This resonates so much with me as each time I revisit, I reflect on the self-growth and change that has occurred. I am so appreciative for my time in London and how it helped shape me into who I am today.