I never thought I’d find myself saying I have a London bucket list. I’ve lived in the U.K. my whole life, dipping into the nomadic lifestyle here and there as I travelled the world year by year, from a week right through to three and eight months away at a time. So for me, London has always been here. Whether it was visiting exhibitions, getting first-hand inspiration for my textile design degree or going out with and visiting friends; that motion of going back and forth to the city throughout my life was normality. London has always just been there in the background, a little comfort blanket of hustle and bustle to dip into when I needed it.
But when I moved to London from the English countryside real life hit. And it hit hard. 21 days of holiday. Just enough money to pay the rent, gym membership and shop for my favourite foods. Being able to afford to get away became tough – I couldn’t afford the time let alone the money. It wasn’t just a comfort blanket any more, it was a harsh reality and this concrete jungle had to become my home as well as the place to get my adventure thrills.
Leaping into London
I’m from the countryside, from a life of travel and adventure… I even lived in the jungle in Malaysia when I was 19! So moving to – and living full time – in a city where the air itself is enough to turn your bogies black was a thought that never really appealed to me. Until the whole idea of a bigger and better life completely seduced me. The combination of a break up with a boy, a job I thought I’d love and some tough loving from my sister telling me I had to move away from that small town where life had become comfortable, meant that at the age of 27 I made that mega leap from visiting London to being completely immersed in it daily.
I always say that for me to feel out of my comfort zone is my most comfortable feeling. That feeling of the unknown, being somewhere completely new, weird and wonderful, something new to shock and surprise you every day. Hence the consistent urge to travel the world from an early age. So, I uprooted my whole entire life, left my job in travel, my gym and my family, found a room on Spareroom and re-planted myself in England’s big, badass concrete jungle. And it was only then that things felt so uncomfortable and wrong, that they also felt so incredibly right.
In the now
Fast forward 2 years later and I’ve been on an incredible journey… I live in east London and work in Soho, I’m kinda clued up on the fitness scene and coffee shop scene, I know backstreets, I’ve chosen the best places to practice yoga and the best places to eat burgers, I cycle (I never ever thought I’d cycle in London!). I even met the man of my dreams. I’m like Aladdin showing Jasmin the world, only I’m showing you London. But every single day there’s still more to explore. Another fitness studio, another new yoga class to try, wellness festivals, coffee festivals, new faces, new friends, a different park to bike to, another coffee shop to try, the latest ice cream trend… I’m living the ultimate London dream version of my life! Adventure in a city full of vibrancy, hustle, and bustle.
But most of all a place brimming with a motivational fitness scene ready to rival that of it’s global counterparts. Empowering & inspiring fitness instructors are at the top of their game, and day in day out they are there for you, ready to show up and remind you how to kick some serious life ass.
The wild calls
But the call of the wild, weird and exotic was always going to call me back. The urban jungle was always going to give way to the real jungle. So here we have it! I’m curating my very own London bucket list because for the foreseeable future after December, London will no longer be home. And the truth is, we plod along sometimes in every day life, getting along with the routine, so tired on the weekend that exploring is sacrificed for sleeping and those things you think you’d love to do become a distant memory of that one moment of inspiration, that you just didn’t do anything with because it could wait for next week or next month. London has this insane ability to wear you down just as much as it can hype you up.
If there’s one poignant thing I’ve learned, it’s that the moment is now. I recommend you to totally YOLO the f**k out of your life. Because one day there won’t be a next week or a next month. There will be 3 months left and too many things you always wanted to do which you just don’t have time to make happen. If you find it, live it and love it! Enjoy every weekend, embrace the weird and wonderful of your city, try that yoga class, go to that smoothie bar your colleague recommended to you and make that extra time for yourself to find something new and feel fulfilled by it. Stop yearning for greener grass. Stop thinking about the can’ts and think about the cans. And now for me it’s time to enjoy what London’s big badass heart has to give.
The Bucket List
So I never thought I’d find myself saying I’d have a London bucket list – partly because I never thought I’d move to London, partly because of those times I’d lie on the sofa unable to move on a Friday night from a tough week at work and partly because I never thought I’d really have big enough balls and strong enough reason to leave London once I got here.
Now I have 3 and a bit months left in the big smoke and it’s time to start YOLOing at every available opportunity. So here’s I want to experience before I quit life, uproot myself again and go on a completely new journey with my soulmate. And these last months couldn’t start in a more exciting way. I’m moving in with my boyfriend, pretty much just the two of us, not too far from our current home in Bethnal Green, but far enough to have an entirely new area to explore. And I’m ready to get fully stoked on London.
Are you a wild one living in London?
If you are, I’d love to know! How do you deal?
Stay wild adventurers!
with love, L x
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