Wednesday, 3 October 2018

WHAT LIVING IN LONDON HAS TAUGHT ME


was scouring through my facebook photos earlier and have seen some of my pictures last 2014. It brings back so much memories. I remember that day quite vividly. It was Easter Sunday and the plane landed at London Heathrow. You can tell it's not Manila because it's colder compared to the weather I got used to. I finally settled in my hotel room and told myself "Okay Kristine, this will be your home for the next eight weeks."

Four years later, I'm still calling London my home.

London has taught me how to be independent
It's borderline shameful but there's a lot of things I cannot do before living abroad. To my shock, I suddenly need to do it all as soon as I settled in my Kingston flat. I have to do my laundry, cook my food, make sure I have enough groceries and take care of myself especially when I am sick. If it's any consolation, being domesticated in the west is not that bad. You have all that you need to make household chores easier. I have washing machine, dish washer, hoover to help me.  Even so, it's no easy feat especially for a sheltered only-daughter like me but looking back, I wouldn't have it any other way. I am so thankful that I can cook tasty food, exercise and do so many things I would not do otherwise if I didn't leave the comforts of my family's home.


London has showed me Love
It was a Thursday night. Waterstones Picadilly has a special place in my heart because that's where Gab and I had our first date. Yes people, in a bookstore. I didn't know back then that he is the one, all I know is two hours have passed and we both didn't notice how time flies. There's so many ebb and flow in between but I am beyond grateful that our paths have crossed in this side of the world. We both love to travel and enjoy simple things in life. I have an entirely different plan years before, it drives me crazy how things panned out. It's better, God's way is always much better. I remember one of the quotes I've heard: Tell me your plans. Make me laugh. -God

London leads me to live a healthy lifestyle
You'll never run out of healthy options in London. It is very liberating! For example, if you fancy a non-dairy alternative for your coffee, you will get it from most shops. Gyms, free magazines, pop-up booths, wellness classes... they all abound in this side of the world. When I first moved here, I can barely eat spinach. I've learned to try and love most vegetables as I stay - and if only for this reason, I think London has a positive impact on me.

London confronts me with the fact that "I have not yet arrived, and that's okay."
I won't lie - the competition in London is immense. Be it in a corporate setting, fashion, lifestyle in general. If you are not careful, the proverbial 'rat race' mentality will eat you up, sapping the joy out of your life. We're all human and sometimes, I find myself getting so hung up with a seemingly big thing but if I take a deep breath and evaluate what's truly important, it turns out that I am just comparing myself with others. I am coming to terms (it's a process) that there are things that are not meant to happen yet and whilst waiting, one must enjoy life. God has proven himself to me so many times. And you know how the song goes... If you can't see His hand, trust His heart.

Between a choice of being nice or being an asshole, London has taught me that being nice is always a better option. Most people think that London is a place for grumpy, slouchy corporate slaves who thinks about money 24/7. Now, don't get me wrong there are those kind of people here. However, there is also a Pret A Manger barista that gives you free coffee just because, a busker in the underground that sings as you are walking to and fro and also some random guy who helps you carry your luggage as you walk up the stairs.

I am excited on what are the other lessons that London has for me. At the same time, I am cognisant of the fact that I'll leave this beautiful city at one point in my life (who knows, right?). For now, I'll embrace whatever this vibrant city has to offer... all the good, the challenges and everything in between! -CMK

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