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I have lived in London my whole life, I went to school in South London, I have worked in many places in central London, I spent the majority of my teenage years at gigs in various locations all over the city. It is pretty safe to say that London is a massive piece of my life and who part of who I am today, but over the years, the last few especially I feel I have taken for granted that I have one of world’s greatest cities on my door step. I spend forever researching what country I want to visit, adding new additions to the bucket list, telling anyone who will listen that how I much I wish I lived in San Francisco or whatever city I adore the most that week that I ignore the amazing city that is constantly evolving around me.
Yesterday I was on a train into Waterloo to meet a friend, the journey was spent engrossed in social media on my phone (ironically looking at snapchat updates of a person’s day in London?!) or reading my kindle not paying any attention to my surroundings, until the train came to an abrupt halt pulling into Waterloo and I noticed the sun starting to set over the Thames. Like every girl/traveller, I love a good sunset and I wasn’t about to miss this one, after dodging my way through the commuters in the stations and even ignoring the guy giving out free pizza I made my way on to the Golden Jubilee bridge for a pretty stunning view of Westminster. While admiring the view,and lets face it – getting the instagram shot, it struck me that of all the people crossing that bridge at that time during rush hour, I was the only one that was looking, everyone one else was just like me on the train – too busy looking at the their phone to realise what was around them. It has made me think, how many Londoners are like me and completely overlook our city?
Yes it is expensive in comparison to the rest of the world, yes we have a very poor attempt at that thing the rest of the world call summer, and admittedly most of the people who get on the Underground are incredibly annoying but on the grand scheme of things I think we are doing pretty okay. Where else can you go to a silent disco in a Zoo or have a sleepover in the Natural History Museum surrounded by the skeletons of prehistoric creatures? London is constantly alive and trying something new, every night venues play host to musicians of all genres or showcase upcoming acts, pop up restaurants are opening and bringing us new tastes and ways to experience food.
London is incredible and home to such a diverse group of people, a place where you can express your differences and celebrate your originality, a place where people are so passionate about what they believe in they stand outside their government in Parliament Square so their voice can be heard.
So many of us are guilty of wishing away our days counting down until the next city break or holiday that we forget how much there is to explore right here. London is home over 200 museums; a lot of which are free, central London is home to eight royal parks filled with our very own incredible wildlife, there really is no excuse to be bored in this city even if you are short on money. It is time we started becoming tourists in our own city again and explore everything that it is waiting to offer us.
Find time to stop and admire the view. I cannot wait to start falling in love my city again and I cannot wait to share with you all what I find.
Of all the cities that I have visited, I am glad that this one is mine.