Monday, 7 May 2012

Brian's Visit + Dealing with Homesickness

I apologise for yet another lag in posts, I can say that it has been due to a combination of both being extremely boring and very busy. 

As I mentioned before, my friend Brian came to visit me (and okay, London) before we jetted trained off to Paris for a few days. I want to write both about his visit in London, but also how I've been dealing with the inevitable homesickness whilst being abroad. The reason I am lumping these together is because my number one piece of advice for remedying homesickness is to contact someone from home to talk to!

Recently I've been stuck in this sort of place where I miss home, but I don't want to leave London by any means just yet, so seeing a dear friend from home proved to be a great way to get a little of both worlds together. Brian arrived on Friday, April 27th and we met by the Gherkin with much excitement and a giant hug. I took him to a pub I'd heard good things about and we began lots of traditional British eating before heading to meet one of my roommates and her friends for birthday drinks.

The following day, I took Brian to a few markets, including Borough Market (which is becoming a favourite of mine), and the markets at Camden, because even though Camden isn't my favourite place, I believe everyone needs to see it. We then walked around Shoreditch and went into Rough Trade which is what I consider to be Shoreditch's only redeeming quality, before having proper fish and chips for dinner and meeting a friend at a pub. I hope Brian enjoyed my quest in getting him to do more local things, like heading to the pub frequently, whilst doing some more expected things!

The next day we went to the Tate Modern which was short-lived due to the fact that it was crazy busy, and only one area was free. We wandered around Abbey Road, and then along the Thames to see the Globe and other classic London features before having a big traditional English Sunday Roast dinner. I had to work Monday and Tuesday which gave Brian plenty of ground to see all of the typical tourist stuff that I was less keen on seeing. On Wednesday I worked a short day and met Brian in Paris, but I'll write more of that later!

I think a good reason for why I've been feeling perhaps more nostalgic than usual about home is because I've come to realize how much I've fit into life here, which of course means the newness has worn off a bit. This of course leads me to remedy number two, which is explore my favourite (or new) parts of London! I mean, if I'm feeling sad I just need to get out and touch some old amazing buildings or read some historic plaques before I feel a thrill for the city I have the opportunity to live in and experience.

One other contributing factor to my missing home, has been the fact that our cute little home is kind of a dump. We have been dealing with a few typical issues like the fact that our windows are garbage and let in cold air, and that green mould loves to build up in our bathroom, but more recently we have had the pleasure of dealing with mice. This is very common for old London homes, and I won't go into any more detail, but it has been stressful and sad all at once! And of course, living in a hole makes me miss the safety of home where I did not have mice but it also makes me appreciate how much worse things could be. Me and the roommates are certainly frustrated but it gives us something to laugh about, and I can really only be grateful that the worst of my issues here are honestly that we have mice in the walls!

And so my third tip is to be gracious of the opportunities at hand and try to live in the moment as much as possible, because I know that soon I will blink and suddenly be back home. It's incredible to me, even four months in, that one can pack up and move to one of the world's top cities totally alone and have a blast doing so, even with little bumps in the road like mice and homesickness.

Enough reflection, though, the next two posts should be pretty exciting as they will be packed full of pictures and love and gushing words over Paris!

1 comment:

  1. hahaaaaaaaa I have been battling ants and a shitty bathroom all year.

    I think, also, homesickness goes away the longer you live out your new routine. When I first started getting a bit homesick in Korea, which was about a month and a half into being here, it was because I was adjusting to my new routine but I was still conditioned to my old one (dinner times, falling asleep with my cats, etc.)