london calling.

24 Dec

As our time here in London draws to an untimely close, I wonder how I can leave this city, and I wonder, when I will be back. Next year holds a whole lot of mystery for me. I have so many decisions to make about the direction of my life. This is the first time, in the longest time, where I am totally free to actually make choice. What I decide now will shape the course of my life to come.

For years and years, the future has been fairly predetermined for me, for all of us really. You spend almost all the years of your life that you can remember, at school. Firstly primary, and then onto high school – probably a decision mostly made by your parents. Beginning high school seems like the biggest deal at the time, and then all of a sudden, there you are at the School Certificate. For me, whether to leave school or not after year ten, was never a decision to make. Long ago discounted, I had lived with the assumption that I would complete the HSC ¬†for most of my life. When it comes to deciding what to do after school, well now that is a decision. A huge one. But after that hurdle, it’s back to having a predetermined outlook. Uni took me three and a half years, and I have never worked so hard in my life. Finishing six months early, kind of left me in a little bit of a limbo, but proved highly useful, being able to work and save for this trip, in that time. Even then, there was no real choice about what to do with my future, since I knew I would be away for two months. It made getting a permanent job difficult and a little bit futile, it made plans hard to make. The time has been defined almost entirely by this trip. It was my reason for doing all the things I had to do. But now… When I get back. What exactly?

One option lies in coming to London to work for a while, and I guess now, it really is an option. Before this trip, it was a bit of an unknown. Now London is like an old friend. It is such an easy city to be in, it’s so much like home, but still different enough to be interesting. There is so much to do and see here, more then we could possibly ever do in two weeks. And if London or England isn’t enough for you, try Europe. Just next door really. Flying over the channel, between France and England, it took just minutes. I watched the lights of one city melt away into the ocean, only to shortly be re-lit as the winter skies of London. It’s magical, and it’s crazy.

How do you possibly try and comprehend this part of the world? The British love Australia for it’s space (and weather), but Australians love Britain for it’s proximity (and homely qualities, hard to come by overseas). I love London for the winter,for the accents, the tube, for Banksy and Invader, for the way Londoner’s do winter fashion so well. I love London for the cute IndieBrit guys, for the diversity, for the culture – the galleries and museums, the exhibitions and the sheer quality of what you have access to. I love it for the history, and for the snow, I love it for the Great British designers, Oyster cards, for the mayhem of Oxford Circus at Christmas, for the Tower of London, and for the Thames. I love walking the streets, imagining who walked there before me, what history has passed before me. And I love the way it is such a central hub, there are literally people from all over the world here. It is a true and great international city.

Boxing day sees the start of our tour, and a real eye opener to Europe, the rest of the world really. I can only hope that it clarifies a lot of things for me. Other options next year are endless, I won’t bore you with the details. All I can say, is that I am sad to see the end of our time in London. Tomorrow is Christmas Day, the only day of the year, where London shuts down completely. And that is it.

It is all over.

But Paris waits.

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