This weekend I experienced something completely new– showing someone else around the city. Despite living in London for about two months now, this was the first time I became the native. I was in charge of trying to explain the beauty and immense collection of things and places London has to offer to someone who has never been here.
There was something rather intimidating about it. My time here has showed me how much I love this city. The culture and architecture. The endless list of things to do. How do I possibly pack everything in and do the city justice in just one short weekend? Answer: You can’t (not as well as you want to anyway).
Well, you can try, but it’s impossible to make someone else appreciate the beauty of somewhere you’ve been for months when they only get three days. They can love it, of course, but they won’t have the intimate relationship with it you (in this case, I) do. No two experiences are the same, so all you can do is show them everything you can manage and let them foster the experience they will have.
Something will happen as you show this city off, though. By taking the time to pick out some of the most notable sights and most enjoyable places, you get to become even more richly acquainted with your new home. It’s like meeting an old friend again after not having seen them for a while. The last few weekends have left me outside of London, and I didn’t realize how much I needed time to hang out with home until I got some time to do it.
Showing someone a place you have lived and loved is like teaching someone a math lesson and it sticking more firmly in your own brain afterward. By teaching, you learn yourself, and by showing you get to rediscover all the old parts you had forgotten about; it’ll leave the city even more rooted in you. This past weekend has reminded me how fun it is in London, and how I shouldn’t let myself get so accustomed to living here that I forget it.
With only a little over seven weeks left before I have to say goodbye to Europe (it may not sound that short, but with the way time flies here it will be over in the blink of an eye), I want to make sure I not only enjoy the places I have already discovered in London, but also make the time to discover even more. With so many places at my disposal, it would be a shame to let them slip between my fingers.
I’m going to hold on for as long as I can.
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<p>Annie Lindenberg spends the majority of her year in Boston, MA where she is studying Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College. Along with her creative writing pursuits, she also writes film and television reviews as a staff writer for Emertainment Monthly. When not writing or exploring, you can find her eating copious amounts of guacamole and starting books she has almost no time to finish.</p>