travel

There’s something beautiful about London.

Coming back to London is always a surreal experience.

Feeling the plane pull into Heathrow, disembarking into the airport, hearing that clipped accent all around me again – it always takes a moment for it to sink in that I am back in England, that I have finally made it here. And then it settles over me: home.

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Each time I go to London, I try to explain why I love it so much and why I am so happy here. Though I’m only here for a single day before I whisk off to France, this time I’ve settled on the quiet. There’s something beautifully reserved about England and about the way people interact with each other; it is not distance, as I think it is the most connected people I have ever come across, and it is not shyness. It is a silent acknowledgment, a politeness, an understanding of privacy and contentment. There is something beautiful in the fact that London breathes in unison but does not feel the need to speak.

London is the place where I don’t have to push myself to be someone that I am not. London is the place where I can be me in all my complexities and idiosyncrasies and be accepted and welcomed for them. London is the place where I get to relax, be myself, not have to worry that I’m not following the norm or obeying the rules. London is the place I feel real.

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My first night back in London, my best friend and I went to Brick Lane. If you tell me you are going to London, this is going to be my recommendation – it can be found in some guidebooks but not all, so it’s a good amount of tourist charm and genuine quality. It has the best Indian food I have ever eaten, the best bagel baker I’ve found, and the nicest markets I’ve shopped in.

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Brick Lane is also in the midst of East London, which is my secret hipster weakness. No regrets.

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Honestly… I hate to leave.

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