Memory Lane in London

London's Waterloo Station

When it comes to choosing a destination, I have the eternal challenge: go somewhere new, or visit somewhere I’ve been before and loved? More often, I choose to try something new. But of course there’s always something special about visiting past places — primarily to see old friends, but also to enjoy a stroll to old places and awaken merry memories.

This week I traveled to London, a lively city just brimming with memories. First of all, it played a big role on one of my first travels abroad, and THE first one in which I traveled partly solo. It also paid a big role after college, as that’s where I spent six months living and working in the city.

In just a couple days, I was able to meet up with a handful of old friends — what a treat! These included my old boss and coworker (of a trendy gourmet food shop), along with others I met through the social connections trail.

I also went to landmarks across the city that jogged some pleasant memories like locations where I worked on my second job (doing shoulder massages across town for a company), spots where I indulged in a pint with new pals, favorite food stops, and the likes.

I like to describe London as an idyllic, hectic, busy, crowded, charming, powerful, amazing, top-of-the-league, electric, quaint city that always has new opportunities to offer. It’s more than a capital city, it’s an epicenter of culture and business. When compared to cities in the U.S., I see it as this:

It’s the Broadway and Wall Street of Manhattan, the Hollywood of L.A. (this is debatable now with the BBC’s move up to Manchester), the government central of Washington DC, and it’s a multicultural melting pot for foodies that includes some of the most raved about restaurants in the world.

The more I go on about this, the more I’m convincing myself of other reasons to visit London more than once. But aside from all the reasons to see the city itself, I’d say the most important is the joy of revisiting a city that made an impact on my life. That walk down memory lane is a healthy reminder of where I was in my life when I first visited, where I am in my life now, and all the adventures I have yet to come, the next time I explore a new city, and the new memories I’ll make the next set of people I’ll meet.

Life is grand.

London river view

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