Big Ben & The Thames

Goodbye, London

It’s finally arrived, my last evening in London. As I type this I’m surrounded by a flat full of stuff that needs to be sorted and packed but all I really want to do is absorb everything. For a few weeks now I’ve had the sensation that everything’s out of my control, like we’re hurtling full speed towards our departure date and I’m most certainly not the person in the driving seat. We may have finished work and said our goodbyes, but I still feel like I’ve yet to come to terms with leaving my city.

Thames Festival 2012

London – The City of Dreams

That’s what was written on my leaving card at work and it’s a pretty accurate description of how I feel about this city. For however dirty, grey and congested it can be, to me it’ll always be the place where your wildest dreams can be realised.

When we came to live in London over three years ago we were penniless ex-students. I had a Masters and a deep-rooted determination to write, but what felt like no hope of finding a job at the height of the recession. We’d just come back from a month of backpacking in Thailand and were fuelled with an itch to get back out on the road, but our bank accounts were empty and we could barely afford the rent – we thought our travel dreams would stay just that, dreams.

Somehow, though, things worked out. I got a job writing, we earned enough to save for this trip – we got where we are today. I know though, that I never would have survived or enjoyed these last few years of working and saving had we not been living in London. I cannot fully articulate why I feel the way I do about this city. I’ve tried writing about it before, but I can’t get to the heart of why London connects with me like nowhere else.  Maybe I’ll never understand it; maybe I don’t need to.

As much as it hurts me to leave, I hope I carry that connection with me while we travel and most of all, wherever our journey takes us, I hope it leads us back here one day. Until then:

Goodbye, London – I’ll miss you

 The London Eye
Big Ben & The Thames
Amy & Andrew in London

  • Patti
    Posted at 23:22h, 15 February Reply

    I think it’s better to leave someplace that you love, rather than someplace you can’t wait to get the hell out of. You’ll always have really nice memories of London to carry with you and that’s an awesome gift! So many exciting things ahead of you!

    • Amy
      Posted at 00:09h, 16 February Reply

      Very true Patti, I’ve loved living in London and I’m excited to see what’s ahead of us now – maybe I’ll even find somewhere I love more, who knows?!

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    Posted at 01:41h, 16 February Reply

    Maybe it’s better to think of this as a “See You Later” rather than a full-on “Goodbye”? After all, there’s nothing stopping you from returning to London one day except yourselves, so if you want to end up there, you always can! Saying farewell to a place you have lived is always hard, but once you start traveling, I’ll be curious to see if you are so sad about having left your beloved London after all! 😀

    • Amy
      Posted at 10:29h, 16 February Reply

      Hi Steph, I’m curious too about how I’ll feel when we start travelling; I’m half worried I’ll miss London and half worried I won’t. I think after these last couple of weeks of visiting family and saying goodbye I’ll be relieved to finally start travelling. Leaving is really sucking the life out of us at the moment but I know everything will change once we touchdown in New Zealand – only two weeks to go!

  • Curious Nomad
    Posted at 20:23h, 17 February Reply

    This is getting exciting for you guys! London is an amazing city, but it will always be there. I’ve moved away from my home city of Chicago years ago, but every time I go back to visit it’s like it hasn’t changed much… our travels will transform us. Cheers to embracing uncertainty!

    • Andrew
      Posted at 22:39h, 17 February Reply

      I’m sure that one day we’ll be back to live in London, although there’ll be plenty of places between now and then. Over the next couple of weeks we still have a lot of things to do.

  • Where To Stay
    Posted at 16:58h, 22 February Reply

    Amy, my wife and I left London nearly three years ago to embark on a new life in South Africa and we havent looked back. Yes we do miss certain things about London but we tell ourselves that it isnt going to go away and it will still be whenever we want to go back and visit. Once you start travelling you will find yourselves embarking on a whole new chapter where you will meet new friends and experience new things. Will look forward to keeping up with your travels as you go. Bon Chance!

    • Amy
      Posted at 12:39h, 23 February Reply

      Thanks for the reassurance, it’s so nice to hear from other people who’ve been through the same experience. However much I miss London I’m sure once we’re on the road with lots of new places to explore it’ll be worth it!

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