Being in a new place is hard. No matter how exciting it is or how distracting it can become, being in a place that you have never called home is heartbreaking at times. It is in human nature to miss what you don’t have anymore. Furthermore missing your home, turns into a biggie some days. This is how I felt some days. Although I knew it would pass, it didn’t make the feelings any less raw.
To this day, there are times when I realise that I am on a completely different continent to where I started life, and it sometimes can throw me off course a bit.
When this happens, it is good for me to remember where I came from and the reasons I came to London. Re-evaluation is never a bad thing, even if done in excess.
I was lucky enough to have my childhood friend come over for a wedding not too long after I had left Cape Town. There is nothing like having a piece of home with you in a strange place. She has always been a part of my heart. We got so much closer in the months before I left and it hurt so much leaving her behind. We knew we would have August together and that helped. When the time came, I was so excited I could pop!
Taking Amber and her partner, Gareth, around town was such a great time. Being a tourist is more fun when you are doing it with people who are just as excited about the new sights as you are. There were so many things to see that it was impossible to choose. When you only have a week, it is so hard to choose what to pack into those limited days. Especially when these are limited days you have to share with everyone else from friends to family. My favourite day of their trip here was when I had Amber and Gareth to myself, it felt just like the time leading up to my departure from Cape Town.
We started off at London bridge and took the obligatory selfies with Tower Bridge in the background. You don’t realise how hard it is to get the perfect picture until you are there. You have to navigate through the throngs of people to get a “stranger free” shot. After the push and shove of London bridge, we took a stroll along the river bank toward Tower Bridge.
Walking past workers on their lunch break, soaking up the rare bout of sun before heading back to the office. Stopping to pet the many dogs being taken for a stroll by their loving owners. Watching the birds, launching at the river or happily perching in the tree tops. It is amazing that in a city filled with concrete and glass, there is still so much nature that can be seen. You only need to know where to look.
There is something so soothing about walking along a river bank. Although there are all sorts of noises and absolute chaos around you, you still feel the breeze off the water and can admire the steady push of the tide rushing toward its end. You start to enjoy the walking, instead of thinking about the place you are walking to. Being a tourist for a day really teaches you to admire the small things. It emphasises leaving the not-so-important things behind.
This was something I was starting to forget in my quest to find a job in London. It was great to have a reminder that I was in a new city and I shouldn’t slip back into my old habits.