Candied Almonds and White Peppermint Tea, or Welcome to London

Caitlin McGauley

It’s been a very long day preceded by a very short night.

Even though I have made frequent work trips to the UK over the past three years, and even though I have developed such a warm regard for London ever since I first visited in the winter of 2003, I nonetheless a bit fearfully boarded the plane last night that would take me away from my home country and into my adopted one.  I surprised the Mister and myself with my own tearful farewell.  After all, I am so excited to be here, indeed, I have wanted to return here ever since I left in 2005 when my student visa expired.

I couldn’t understand why I was freaking out!  I kept telling the Mister before we said goodbye at the airport security line.  It’s no big deal, I’ve traveled to London so many times, and I’ve been parted from the Mister for many times due to school and work.

It is a big deal!  It’s your new life.  You might never be the same again, he contradicted.  And I think he might be right.  I remember, when I first came over to London to live a full seven years ago, I was so terrified that I could barely eat for weeks.  Everything felt so foreign, and I felt so alone.  I missed my friends, the security of my home-y college campus and, of course, the Mister, who I had just begun to date at the time. Everything about living in London seemed harder, more difficult, from opening a bank account to going grocery shopping, to paying the gas bill.

Of course, this time is different. This new chapter begins with a familiar city, not a foreign one.  Coming to London is like reconnecting with an old friend after many years.  I am no longer an angst-ridden 22-year old art history student with absolutely no career prospects or direction.  And I am finding traces of home-y feelings everywhere, from the new Wholefoods in Soho to the flowers that my new London co-workers brought me for my first day, to the beautiful sunny weather (very unseasonal for London in October!).

Let the adventure begin!

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2 thoughts on “Candied Almonds and White Peppermint Tea, or Welcome to London

  1. SO excited for you, Marcie! Glad you had a safe trip & I am looking forward to reading more about your cross the pond adventures. Where did you end up living? Can’t wait to see pics of your flat & neighborhood! All my best!!! (oh p.s. Will says he will send some pics to you soon.) Bisous, -E

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