Tears for London

Posted on 15. Jun, 2012 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, expat UK, United Kingdom

September 11th, 2008. Despite emotional goodbyes, a rather turbulent flight across the Atlantic and a costly phone call home to tell my mom I was still alive, it only took a few seconds for the feeling to set in.

I hadn’t even left Heathrow and I already felt at home.

Cue May 30th, 2009.  I was the spitting image of, well, helplessness. I had booked my flight home and there I was, leaving a city I loved after a year of cider-blurred memories, tea-sipping afternoons and museum hopping, sitting in a black cab on my way to the airport - with mascara all over my cheeks, and short breath from crying too hard. Way to leave a place in style.

The cab driver didn’t utter a single word. For some reason weeping women make men uncomfortable. He just looked at me sympathetically when we got to Terminal 1.

“You take care of yourself, yeah?”

I managed to come up with a half-smile, and whispered a thank you (while he helped me unload my 35 kilos suitcase, all while carefully avoiding looking at my pathetic stained cheeks). And then just as if the year that had gone by was just a dream, I was back home, in my beloved piece of Canada, feeling restless and longing for my shoebox-sized flat in Camden.

That’s why I started my blog. So my friends would stop telling me to shut the hell up about London. And if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ve certainly noticed that I’ve never actually got over London

Years of memories in London

In fact, I adore London. Perhaps even more than I love Montreal. I worship every little thing about it (ok, maybe not the increasingly aggravating Tube delays, Boris’ haircut and the drunken pub brawls, but you know).

Now that I’m back in Europe, I try to indulge every now and then (but mostly it’s just another reason to get away from France). Needless to say that I am giddy with excitement whenever I plan a London getaway. And in the last year alone, there have been 5 of them. Every time I have met with great people (I’m looking at you the Bennetts), had amazing blogging opportunities, discovered new favorite hangouts.

And with every visit, I love London a little more, if at all possible.

The Bennet sisters, Dylan and Roma

I love it to the point that I’m considering a slightly drastic solution: not going back.

For leaving London is getting increasingly harder, and that I simply do not have it in me to do it another time. It’s just too goddamn hard to leave a place that naturally feels like home to me.

I happen to be a greedy young lady, and I want it all, or none at all.

The increasingly strict British immigration rules are making it close to impossible to anyone without a solid job offer to move to the UK permanently, even for me, a Canadian subject of the Queen. Living as an expat in London is not going to happen anytime soon, then.

So I’m taking a London break, dear readers.

I won’t be back in the city until November for a big travel blogging conference, and I’m already feeling a bit uneasy about that visit. I’ve only got a few more blog posts on the English capital (although slightly less sentimental and with actual travel content, I assure you), and then that’s it.

London, I love you.

But you broke my heart.

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17 Responses to “Tears for London”

  1. Nicole

    15. Jun, 2012

    Awww… beautiful post lady and it’s so sad that it’s so hard to get a permanent job (otherwise I’d probably live there despite hating the weather!)

    If you’re talking about WTM I can’t wait to officially meet you there. Otherwise I’ll be in London in November and hopefully we’ll cross paths. :)

    Enjoy your London break and I’ll prepare a cuppa for your return. :)

    Reply to this comment
  2. Laurence

    15. Jun, 2012

    I loved living in London when I was there, but I’m not sure I could do it full time without enough money to find somewhere incredibly nice with perhaps a roof garden to keep me sane ;)

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      21. Jun, 2012

      That’s the problem though - living in London isn’t an cheap move!

      Reply to this comment
  3. Love what you write…please keep it up! I nominated (and awarded you) the Versatile Blogger Award…thought it would be fun http://lifelessonsmilitarywife.com/?p=2810.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Andrea

    17. Jun, 2012

    I feel exactly the same way about New York City. In fact I am always thinking about it in the back of my mind - when will we be able to sort out our lives so that we can move back there. I know we will one day…not soon enough!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      21. Jun, 2012

      Fingers crossed for you guys :) NYC is a long way from Stavanger, haha.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Marie-Julie

    18. Jun, 2012

    Same feeling… for Taipei. A little more expensive to get there. ;-) I plan to go to WTM too, this year. Maybe we’ll meet there?

    Reply to this comment
  6. Abby

    20. Jun, 2012

    A beautiful post… Strange, my geographic turbulence started exactly one month later.

    Reply to this comment
  7. I loooove London… I can’t wait to go back on my way home from Australia

    Reply to this comment
  8. Agness (@Agnesstramp)

    10. Oct, 2012

    Had same feelings for… China. Tears in my eyes and I had to leave but guess what… I’m coming there back in January ;-) so don’t cry for me China :) I love London each time I go there. Are you planning already to get back there?

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      31. Oct, 2012

      I visit regularly, but living there again isn’t in the plans right now. But who knows!

      Reply to this comment

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