I’m a big believer in the little things of life and always have been (see my Twitter bio for proof). It’s all about taking a step back and appreciating the small moments that just make you smile and happy to be alive.
And I never would have guessed how much more London would make me appreciate those little things.
Over the past two weeks I’ve welcomed those moments as I have acquainted myself with areas of London close to my temporary home on Stamford Street. The walk across Waterloo Bridge every morning leaves me breathless (they do say it’s the best view in London at street level for a reason people), but I look around and see no one else taking it all in. Businessmen and women rush by hurriedly with headphones in, children create stories deep in their imaginations to tell to friends walking by their side, and others I guess just don’t have an excuse.
I get a moment of awe when walking in the original Twining teashop on the Strand or Hamleys, the oldest toy store in the world, but others shopping rush by me like it’s just another Tesco on the street corner. They don’t feel the privilege I feel to be in that moment, standing in a place with so much history.
I especially adored my stroll through Kensington Gardens this week, where I was finally able to walk through a real field of grass for the first time since arriving in this big city, which was surreal. My friends and I took time to sit on the benches among the flowers near Kensington Palace and just take in the beauty surrounding us. Later, in Hyde Park I literally took time to stop and smell the roses in the Queen’s Rose Garden, and if that isn’t the ultimate little thing to appreciate I don’t know what is.
However, while appreciating the little things in London, I have also begun to be reminded of all the things I take for granted while at home as well.
As I start to get homesick in the quiet moments of the day, I miss being able to walk out into my gravel driveway, hop in my car, and drive to a place where I am actually alone on the dirt roads. Not alone as I am when in my flat here, with the noise of people and vehicles always present outside my street-side window. I miss the ample availability of Dr. Pepper in the states, as I dearly crave those 23 refreshing flavors all in one glass. And I miss the luxuries of a fully equipped kitchen that I can throw together whatever my little heart desires (which usually ends up to be something super delicious and unhealthy, like cookie bakes or brownie mix) instead of relying on pre-prepared food.
Regardless of these missing parts of my life, I continue to start each day with the attitude that I will enjoy every aspect of this experience, and I truly do, taking in each and every step. However, I have also resolved to do the same when I return home.
After all, it’s all about the little things – and London has reminded me that.
Until next week,