So our short time in London has come to an end. I can hardly believe 18 months has gone by. While living abroad, I’ve learned about myself, others, nations, culture. I’ve seen the pyramids in Egypt, the hills of Ireland, countless castles and was whisked away on the two hour Eurostar train to Paris for the weekend. My daughter talks often of the “great big world we live in and how many places there are to see, like Egypt, and Spain and California and London.” My challenge now will be keeping the perspective fresh for her, and instilling this perspective in her younger brother as he grows.
As much as I miss my family, travel is what makes me tick. It is what I love, what I live for. Sure I also missed many of the American comforts, like large washing machines, clothes dryers, “lazy boy” like driver’s seats, even driving a car. But I love travel. Folks may say it has made me more worldly or smart (clever, as they’d say in England), but really it has been an education. To live in London, as cosmopolitan as it is, has been an education on people, culture, nations, races. I was lucky to have the opportunity and hope to have the chance to live abroad again. What a fantastic way to learn!
Sitting in a café as I wrote some of this, I was thinking how I’ll miss my cappuccino and pain au chocolat, our lovely child care provider who has given me the freedom to write (and exercise regularly!) a couple mornings a week, who the children absolutely adore.And there are more practical things I will miss: Walking everywhere; more free museums than one can imagine; finding green parks everywhere; groceries and milk delivered to my door; my daughter’s fabulous pre-school.What I will not miss: Walking everywhere; traffic jams all hours of the day; our tiny flat; finding no grocery stores open past 5pm on Sundays.
While this is the end of living abroad (for now!), it is not the end of my blog, as I have so much more to write about, like our Eurostar adventure to Paris; our beautiful long weekend in Ireland, and quirky things like what the heck are “man size” tissues? And some new topics to talk about too. I hope you’ll keep in touch as we re-acclimate to American life.