As I may have mentioned once, or a hundred times really, London is my favorite place in the world. I’m completely in love with it. Yes I’m fully aware that it’s not a perfect city – there are even things I hate about it – but I still love it as a whole. After studying abroad, I missed my life in Europe immensely. Now that more than a year has passed by since my return, a lot of the memories are starting to fade. However, my love for London never seems to cease. Here are five random things I miss about it:
1. Hot Beverages
As much as I love getting coffee here, it’s much more special to settle in at a cafe on a cold rainy day, sipping on a hot chocolate or a latte. I loved watching people pass by on a busy street as I worked on my journal. I also particularly loved getting a English breakfast tea at every train station. There was something really calming about holding a hot drink during those busy commutes.
2. Escapes from the City
Like any other metropolitan city, London is noisy and hectic. No matter how fast you walk, there’s always someone walking even faster. In fact you really can’t do anything less than a power walk in tube stations. Yet with all the craziness, London has some of the most serene spots right in the heart of the city. Regent’s Park is meticulously kept and nothing short of a piece of paradise. And if I needed more than a few hours escape, London is at the center of.. well, everything. I could easily hop on a train and find myself in a quaint English town.
3. West End
I’m a big musical fan. Needless to say, I’ve seen as many musicals and even plays as I could during my visits in London. I love how a theater experience could range from casual and spontaneous to a fancy date night. Tickets are accessible and last minute ones can be super affordable.
From the farmer’s market next to UCL to Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park, I must have gone to 10 different markets during my study abroad period. Eating out in London is extremely expensive, but farmer’s markets were totally different. Everything was more affordable, delicious, and fresh. Other than food, Brick Lane market opened my eyes to how creative and “hipster” London really is. We met a guy who made personalized posters after having a deep conversation with someone. I got one at the end of my trip and still treasure it to this day.
I took a game theory class at UCL, which was a utter mistake because it was so hard and all I thought about was traveling. I was feeling particular stressed before the final, but came across a sign three minutes from my dorm that said John Maynard Keynes, a famous Economist, used to live there. That was so striking to me. I couldn’t believe I was standing so close to such legend, and felt instantly encouraged. Not only does London have beautiful landmarks that almost everyone in the world knows about, but it also has a story at every turn of the corner, making it endlessly fascinating.