Barring any major hiccups, I’m leaving London tomorrow evening, which will bring an end to this particular (far too short) chapter of my life. My company hasn’t reserved my ticket to Brussels yet, but I’m booked into a flat-hotel on the Toison d’Or for a week, which should give me enough time to find a place to live on a more permanent basis. So… well, that’s it.
I’ve said before on this blog that I’m as sad to leave as I am happy to move back to Brussels. That still holds true. While I haven’t had enough time to fully enjoy this wonderful metropolis, I’ve tried to wander around and see the sights a little, meet up with one or two people and grab a few final pints and curries at some of the places I love. So I think that I can safely say that I can leave without too many regrets, having reconnected at least a little with the city in which I spent most of my childhood and my early teenage years.
I know I’ll be back. While my natural wanderlust will no doubt push me to explore new cities and continents, London is home for me, more than any other place in the world. It’s perhaps the best city on the planet, or at least the best of those that I’ve experienced until now: a stunningly beautiful conurbation filled with a sort of boundless energy and enthusiasm that can’t be found anywhere else on the European continent (not even Paris, which is a city I love dearly), and rivalled only by New York in the Western world. It’s astonishingly diverse and constantly changing and evolving, though also extremely friendly and welcoming. It’s expensive, and the morning tube ride is one thing I definitely won’t miss (though I had an easier time than most, living just 25 minutes from the office), but it’s also full of ways to enjoy oneself for no money at all, not least its many museums, which are once again rivalled only by a handful of cities around the world.
I love London, and I will definitely miss it, as well as its seven or eight million inhabitants. But, once again, I have few regrets. London will always be there for me, beautiful and welcoming, the capital of Europe and the centre of the world.