Even though London is one of my favorite cities in the world for sentimental reasons, I can’t bring myself to go back and revisit it. When Rolf Potts’ Vagabonding posted an argument on return travel, for those who enjoy traveling to the same place over and over again, I couldn’t help but disagree. I am constantly thinking of traveling to places I haven’t been to before not only because I want to see as much of this world as I possibly can, but also because I’m just plain old scared to go back to London and here’s why:
My Old Travel Mates Are No Longer by My Side
I lived and worked in London with my two closest friends for six months and if I go back it will most likely be without them. The three of us reunite in our stateside hometowns from time to time and always reminisce about everything we did in London from the parks and pubs to the museums and theatre. We have so many memories there that only we and we alone shared. I feel like they are the only ones who understand just how special our time in London was and to go back and revisit our old haunts, mostly yummy restaurants and food markets, without them wouldn’t be as much fun as it was before.
I Won’t Be Showing Up to the Office for Work
I could have worked any old job while in London but I had the chance to work in the best office a girl could ask for. My co-workers were so welcoming and encouraging and became good friends to me that I still keep in touch with and if it wasn’t for this job, I probably wouldn’t be working in publishing today. While I could still see some of these people if I were to go back, others are no longer there and the small cozy office I commuted to everyday is now vacated by some other company. I can’t just waltz through the door now, say hello to everyone, and go about my day – the consistency is missing.
The Housemates Aren’t Home
I could certainly go back to my home away from home on Cranhurst Road but the housemates won’t be there. My house mates were a great mix of people from all over the world including South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, France, and Germany. These people became an instant second family that were always around for a laugh, a drink, and a Christmas dinner. They have all since gone back to their hometowns and thank God for Facebook that allows us to stay in touch but when I go back to London, I will now leave my bags at a random hotel devoid of the comforts of a home.
The Little Things That Make Me Wince
If I go back I will inevitably engage in the small mundane activities that I used to do all the time in London and those are the things that will be the hardest to bear. Simply topping up my Oyster Card, walking along the cobblestone side streets from Soho Square to Covent Garden, reading trashy newspapers on the Tube during rush hour, and popping into Sainsbury’s for a quick snack all have the ability to make me miss London with a hurt so bad that it will cause me to cancel my return flight and stay there forever. These things seem unimportant to others but they are the things that made up a routine in a life I created for myself there.
I know that I can’t hold onto the past and that things have to change and that I should just appreciate what I had in London, right? I believe all that and could not be more grateful of my time in that wonderful city, but I am going to let myself miss it a little bit more and wish I could relive the past all over again. I’ll go back when I’m good and ready so for right now I’ll go somewhere new if that’s alright with you.