London has always held a special place in my heart. I fell in love with the city on my very first visit after high school. The history, the vibe, the hustle and bustle all exposed my 17 year old self to the fact I was meant to be a city girl.
I fell in love a second time when studying abroad in London during college and met my future husband. London was the backdrop for an English boy and a California girl to prove that long distance relationships really can work. My feelings for the city were permanently colored by those early memories of newfound love.
Our kids had their first passports at 4 months old. The very first stamps came from Heathrow airport as they made the journey to meet family members for the first time. Over the years, we’ve watched their love affair with London begin with trains, taxis and double decker buses and grow to include football/soccer, Cadbury’s chocolate and exploring the streets where their dad was born.
Now, the next chapter in this London love affair is about to be told.
After 14 years in North Carolina, a job transfer is taking us (back?) to England. It’s exciting and scary all at the same time. The explorer in me is ready for the new adventure. Easy access to the city I love makes me want to squeal every time I think about it. Playing tour guide for family and friends who come to visit already has me looking forward to a house full of constant visitors. Knowing I’ll get to explore other cities and countries in Europe makes my heart burst with anticipation.
On the other hand, I can barely think about leaving the friends we have made here who have become our family. Those we’ve celebrated holidays with over the years. The girlfriends who have held my hand as I’ve shed tears through the rough patches in life. The moms who have scooped up my kids and treated them like their own. My fellow soccer parents who have cheered just as loud as I have for my kids on the field. All of these people have made North Carolina a very special place and make it very hard to say goodbye.
The good news is I know these friendships will persevere through the years. The better news is I don’t have to say goodbye quite yet. The best news of all is when this journey is over I will get to call London home for a few more years. I can’t wait to see how this very unexpected journey unfolds.