What can I say about London after spending a summer there? Do I like London? What to do there?
Even if it is just for day, a week or for all the summer, London is always in our plans! Some people can love/like this city and tell you million of stories that happened around its streets. If you asked me a couple of years ago, I would never imagine I’d be living in London. Some can believe it is because London is so far from home or because Latinos are usually more into American cities like New York. And well yeah, I love New York City but it is not just about that.
London was never a city I wanted to visit. I mean it was never in my goals, in my to-do list. My mind and dreams surrounded Paris and New York, Amsterdam and Milan. Do I regret it? the answer is still no.
I’d say that I “met” London by accident and I never expected to live in this city. If you asked 9-years old Daira, she would never imagine she’d study in the UK in first place but I think this makes this city and this country even more special. Because sometimes unexpected plans are the best ones.
As London was not in my “dream” cities’ list, I was more open minded to get to know it; in other words, I had less expectations of it which it is good to not get disappointed and also good because you can get impressed.
The first time I came to London was on June 2021. A Peruvian friend was my tour guide around the city and I had the best time with her. She made sure I did my 3 top (and in those time only )things I wanted to do in London: go to King Cross to the 9 3/4 station (As a massive Harry Potter Fan), go to Abbey Road (as a massive The Beatles fan) and go to the first Hard Rock Cafe (as again a massive Hard Rock Cafe Fan). I still remember the first time I saw Piccadilly Circus, my face, my expression and what I said: ” this is like Times Square”; my friend told me: “I should have recorded this moment”.
From those days in London to live in this city a lot has changed! and of course, I am not the girl who came to the UK for first time in the middle of the pandemic, who has never ever studied in fully English before and never met so many international people; but I am still as brave as that girl who left everything, our “lovely comfortable zone”, to explore something new. Living at London is a new experience. It is easy to go back, to see my friends at Peru or just the people around there and say: “why I am overthinking, why I am complaining about life; come on Daira, you are living in London” And of course London is not perfect but I know so many people that would do anything to visit this city for a couple of days and to move here if they can afford it.
London is not perfect, it is really expensive, maybe too crowded and full of tourists sometimes; however, I do like crowded and busy cities. I like that many museums are free: British museum, National Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum and many more… have already seen me around. I enjoy running around st James and Green Park, walking around Hyde Park and Notting Hill.
Can I say now that I like London? well, after watching Hamilton (My first Musical in West End!), some friends and I walked around South bank at around 11pm-midnight and then we stopped near embarkment. I am pretty sure I will never forget the view I saw that night. I told my friends: guys I just fell in love!
Maybe I just love those moments like films and some people have told me: “Daira, you know that life is not like the films/series/books right?” and I told them that my life is like one, in the sense that I have many of those unforgettable moments that seem so ideal, perfect!
Now, I guess I can say that I have lived in London and probably in the near or distant future, I will tell people about the time I lived in London, the people I met and the good stories there.