‘Rachel, will you be going home for Thanksgiving?’ almost everyone in my midtown Manhattan office inquired last week. ‘Yes’, was immediately my answer. I mean, technically I was not going home for Thanksgiving. Not the home with my parents, a perfectly cooked turkey, and an abundance of holiday cocktails. But I was going to London. And isn’t that the same thing?

From my new home in Brooklyn, a flight to London takes less than seven hours. As soon as I knew I had a few days off for a holiday in which we eat a bird and relay that we are thankful in the spirit of taking life, property, and hope from an entire population, I begged my parents for forgiveness after purchasing a flight to the UK.

Better to beg for forgiveness than to ask permission in life folks. Or is that just in New York?

And then I forgot about it for a few months. Until last week when it finally hit me I would be returning to my favorite city, a year and a half later. I had zero nerves, and zero plans. No, seriously, I didn’t book accommodation until a few days before boarding my plane.

It’s London. It’s home. No need for plans. Just being there was enough, I figured.

And I was right.

I was satisfied with my trip the moment I took the beloved, and all too familiar, Piccadilly line into central London from Heathrow airport. I didn’t even have to leave the tube. I could have just remained perched on the blue, cloth seat, and gone straight back to the airport there and then.

Lucky enough for me, I had six full days in the most magical city in the world.

I visited old haunts, sipped cuppa’s in new cafes, brunched with familiar faces, and walked until the soles of my shoes were worn down to nothing {a walking tour of London coming soon!}. I was reminded what life off the radar was like. My phone was there to play the soundtrack of my life and assist with taking photos on my GoPro. That’s it.

I had no use for Google maps, which honestly surprised me. I couldn’t believe how accustomed to the city I was, even eighteen months later.

I did, however, have to tone down my ‘big apple, city attitude’ to adapt to London pace. No, it is not accustom here to elbow someone on public transportation ‘kindly’. Rolling your eyes at the barista is also frowned upon. And god forbid, not every single individual is out to get you when they randomly smile as you cross paths. I remembered what casual conversations were, and delighted when people showed interest in a conversation about anything other than money and status.

Okay, so maybe that is a bit dramatic.

But after living in New York City for the last year, I forgot how soft a place can be. And let’s be real, I’m a big softie. So it’s no wonder I felt a sigh of relief when I returned to London. I threw out all of the ‘norms’ of my current life, and lived in my fantasy for a few days.

Each time I ‘return home’, a tinge of sadness enters my body knowing my stay is only temporary. London, once again, did not disappoint, and allowed me to embrace everything I loved about my time in the UK.

I desperately miss it already.

Stay tuned over the next week for stories from across the pond and some big changes occurring this month.


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