Things I’ll Miss & Things I Can’t Wait For

london, Travel

As my time in London comes to an end, I’ve started two lists: Things I’ll Miss and Things I Can’t Wait For. I’m trying to keep it positive; so rather than thinking about how much I won’t miss living in a room with 16 housemates and no air conditioning, I’m thinking about how nice it was to live so centrally, etc.

My list of things I miss about home really surrounds comfort. I’ve missed the ease of walking into a Target or Walmart, or hell even a CVS, and having every strange little thing I might need available to me at every hour. Convenience based stores aren’t quite as popular in London and I miss getting lost in the chaos of American consumerism.

Speaking of convenience and comfort, I’ve missed having a dishwasher (and no, I’m not being snarky. I don’t mean my mother. I’m referring to the actual machine…) and laundry in the same building. No one will be surprised by this, but I miss air conditioning being the norm and I miss sleeping in my big, comfy bed with a fan running. And as much as I’ve loved the public transportation that London and the United Kingdom in general provide, I miss my car and the freedoms it allows me.

Obviously I’ve missed my parents and my friends and being “home,” which is a very particular feeling that I’ll get even once in a while here, but my childhood house is always going to be home. I miss knowing exactly where everything is in my room, in my house, and in my neighborhood. I’ve lived in London for so long and, as much as I love still wandering into new places or finding new spots, I miss the familiar.

The last things I can’t wait for when I get home are all things that the U.K. has tried very hard to replace and just hasn’t quite managed: my favorite foods. I’ve already got my menus planned out for the first few weeks I’m home. I want Popeye’s chicken. I want properly crispy bacon. I want my mom to make me mac and cheese from the box (because mac and cheese always tastes best when your mom makes it for you). I want bagels with cream cheese from Panera. Should I go on?

On the other hand, a lot of what I’ll miss about living in London is about the freedoms afforded to a 20-something living centrally in a major city with next to no responsibilities. I’ll miss late night wanders through the city with no destination in mind and no worries about an alarm clock the next morning. I won’t have that same freedom when I move back to the suburbs and get a job (hopefully).

I know I mentioned it before, but I have absolutely loved the public transportation. Being able to hop on a bus or the tube and get where I need to quickly and efficiently is amazing. Even when I’m not on taking public transportation, being able to walk everything is so nice. Currently, I can walk from the Queen’s house to my school, passing by my former place of employment, through Covent Garden and Leicester Square to the top of Primrose Hill to see all of the city, back through a massive park next to the zoo, and still make it home for dinner. The history tucked behind every corner and the access to it, you can’t get that in the suburbs.

I’ll miss breakfasts at Dishoom and afternoons spent in a pub after class. The people I’ve met here are pretty cool and I can’t wait to see what they do next. I’ll miss having my friends so close by and always being able to convince someone to go on a mini adventure with me.

I’ll miss having a seemingly endless bucket list of things I want to do and places I want to go. I regret not seeing more of the city and the country sooner, but I also know that every time I cross something off my to-do list, I add two more. I’ll just have to come back and see it all.

For now, I’ve got to finish a dissertation. There will be time for plotting my return to the U.K., for creating a bucket list for D.C., and for reminiscing, all in due time.

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