When I said “See you soon” to friends and family and moved from Copenhagen to London, I suspected I’d be gone for 2 years. Today it’s been 10. Ten years.
London has been incredibly good to me. I’ve met so many amazing people, had the best colleagues one could wish for and I’ve made some amazing friends. London is where I found my grown-up self, as much as I’ll ever grow up. It’s where I started my first company, met the love of my life 9 years and 8 months ago. It’s where we bought our first flat together. It’s where I’ve owned my first home. Yet, London is never going to be home home. Home is Sweden and nothing can ever change that.
Being away from my parents, my friends back home, my siblings and my little nephew, it hurts. And today it hurts a little bit extra. As much as today is a celebration and bow to everything that London has given me, it’s also a reminder of what I’ve missed out on back home.
I’ve got no regrets with my life. I’ve experience so much. I’ve travelled across the world, had crazy adventures, done stupid things, lived and laughed. But I have spent the last 16 years living abroad. During those 16 years I’ve followed my dreams and I’ve done what I’ve wanted to do with my life and I really don’t have any regrets about that. But, I have a lot of “I wish I could…”. Like just pop around for dinner on a Sunday. Take a stroll over to my sister’s and friends’ place for a spur of the moment breakfast, fika or chat. I wish I could go for more walks with mum and go cycling with dad and do all those other everyday things that you seldom get to do when you’re just home for the weekend. Everyday life stuff. That’s what I miss the most.
Anyone who lives in a different city from their parents and friends experience this, so it’s nothing that in any way is unique to living abroad. I’m incredibly lucky and have made work and career decisions that allows me to travel back to Sweden often. Last year I went home every 5-6 weeks and I know this means I see my friends and family back home more than most who still live in the same country as theirs do. Yet, there’s just that something that hits home on a 10 year anniversary like today for me. And that’s fine, to be a little upset and freaked out about, I reckon.
I still love living abroad and being in London. It makes me feel like I haven’t yet grown up. Like my adventure is just getting started and in many ways that’s actually true. London is the place for D and I to be right now. I’m not ready to move back home just yet, but I am ready to have the cake and eat it and luckily the doors that allows that to happen are just about to open.
Happy 10 year anniversary you crazy big rollercoaster of a city.
Image of Karin – who I moved to London with – and I