The days are getting longer, the posts shorter and the deadlines closer, so I must apologise, both for the long gap since I last posted, and also apologies in advance because I suspect this post is rather rambling. I have become quite fond of taking long walks, and it seems like my mind is off on a ramble of its own as I write this. And so, indulgently, I decide to put down those musings.
After a couple of weeks away on a short spring break, it’s back to London for me. Back to LSE, the daily grind (no, not the café!) and the trials and thrills of everyday life. The time I spent away, though brief, got me thinking about home and routine. How easy it is to fall into one pattern – from hall of residence to campus, from campus to hall of residence. Walk down Sussex Gardens, then Edgware Road, then Oxford Street. Or the other way around, if I’m coming home. Breakfast at 8 am, dinner at 7 pm. Busy, busy, busy. This is not to say it is boring or mundane; in fact, there is an odd sense of comfort and of familiarity to the routine.
Which is what makes travel so exhilarating, I think. Waking up in a new city each morning, seeing new things, meeting new people and simply … simply letting go. Ambling down cobbled streets instead of marching purposefully down, no longer feeling the need to increase your pace for fear of slowing others down. Laughing for no reason, eating ice cream at seven in the morning and having pizza for breakfast. Staring out of bus windows, heading from one new destination to the next. Absorbing the sights, sounds and smells of a strange land. Savouring the taste of adventure. And after a time, even adventure can become the routine. A new thrill each day, each excitement trumping its predecessor.
Yet, somehow, when I arrived back in London, I could feel that feeling one experiences at the end of a journey. Mingled with the sorrow of the journey coming to an end was relief. As I walked down the now-familiar Praed Street, back to my tiny little room, to my own bed, I felt like I was coming home. I don’t know how, in six months, London has achieved ‘home’ status in my head, but seemingly, it has. This much I know though: I love both sides – the home ground and the unfamiliar terrain, the known and the unknown, the thrills of adventure and the comforts of the routine.
Home, if that is what London is, seems to change so quickly. Spring is well and truly here, and the city is in bloom. I come from Kenya, where there is no shortage of natural beauty. In Nairobi, the streets are carpeted with jacarandas, their purple hues forming a lovely contrast against the brown earth. Yet, I am blown away by just how beautiful London is. Bright sunshine is no longer a pleasant surprise. The leaves are back on the trees, bare boughs replaced by shiny green leaves. Flowers are in bloom, with cherry blossoms lining the roads and the yellows, pinks and purples of newly blossomed buds bringing colour to the gardens again.
London or Nairobi, rain or shine, it all seems so beautiful now, and why not – it’s a wonderful world we live in!
Happy Easter! 🙂