I recently travelled up to the big smoke (or London if you like), for a few work commitments, and to explore the city a little more. Since blogging full time, it’s a direction I find myself being pulled in more and more. I haven’t ever really thought as myself as either a ‘city girl’ or a ‘country girl’ – but rather somewhere floating in-between. Nothing stresses me out more than being in a huge unknown city with crowds of busy people and endless traffic – I like a happy-medium, and I can’t say that London has ever really offered me that. Paris for instance, appeals to me like nowhere I’ve ever been – I love the mix of big gardens, museums, and little side streets that make it feel intimate and homey. I don’t feel that Manchester often offers me everything that I look for in an ideal location, but it definitely has an atmosphere that makes me relieved to call it home…
Especially after a hectic few days in London – awkwardly pushing up against people on the tube and fighting my way down Oxford street in an attempt to have a pleasant shopping experience. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bad mouthing London in this post as there are many beautiful parts, but maybe I just don’t see the big attraction of living there. I think as someone who suffers with anxiety, an atmosphere where everything seems to be pretty go go go can often make me feel uneasy and out of place. Thankfully – the train from Manchester is a mere two hour direct affair with zero changes, easy peasy for meetings or a weekend of catching up with friends/discovering new places. Not so easy for events as it means sitting on the train for four hours – so I’ve learnt to be a little more selective to make the most out of my time. For my recent visit, we travelled up just for the night and stayed at the Hoxton in Shoreditch – I’ve also stayed at the one in Holborn and I’d give my right arm to stay at the one in Paris! They are really cosy hotels with amazing breakfast menus might I add – so worth checking out if you’re planning a trip to London anytime in the future (don’t let me put you off).
I sometimes battle between whether it’s a confidence and anxiety induced opinion that I’ve manifested, or whether London just simply isn’t a destination I see myself ending up. I guess I haven’t really found the place I’d like to ‘end up’ for the rest of my days, settle down, buy a house, a puppy, all those kinds of things that I’m working towards. For the immediate future – Manchester is my base, and all I want to do is travel as much as possible and make memories. As cheesy and as cliche as that sounds – I really do want to see more of the world, and part of that is figuring out what you like and don’t like, but also what makes you tick, what makes you happiest, what makes you homesick for a place before you even pack to leave. Those are the kind of places that I want to uncover more of next year – I feel as though I really want to make the most of being twenty five and being lucky enough to freelance, I definitely don’t want to look back and just have memories of working and taking Instagram images. I love what I do, but I also want to really cherish the opportunities that it presents me with and remind myself to switch off and treasure real experiences…
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I have stayed at Hoxton hotel in Shoreditch and I loved the vibe of that area of London, esp. the unique and lively Brick Lane street.
I think that we don’t need to necessarily “belong” somewhere or “end up” somewhere like big noisy city or small, calm city outskirts… Wherever we feel good is where we should spend most of the time at. 🙂
Totally agree! But I guess it’s more in terms of having a home somewhere – realistically we all have to have a base that we return to in-between travelling etc x
London is my one of my fave cities, mainly because it has big parks (Greenwich park, Hampstead Heath), museums and cute little streets (Little strips of shops in Greenwich & Blackheath). Isn’t it funny how people perceive each city so differently. Also love Hoxton hotels!
I agree! There’s definitely parts that I feel more attracted to, but I’m always glad to come home afterwards! I just think it feels a bit more impersonal than Manchester which is often a shock to the system x
It’s so hard deciding where to live! I have lived in London for 6 years and regularly go through times of loving and hating it! At the moment I have been really craving a slice of country life but then the thought of leaving all of the pop-ups, friends and convenience scares me! If you visit London again, West London tends to be a little less busy/cramped on the streets as they are much wider roads 🙂 Steph x
Yeah I feel that way too! East London is definitely where I lean towards in terms of preference x
I can completely see why visitors would feel that way if they only go to Central London but London is huge and there are so many great places further out of the centre. Obviously even those places might be too busy for some people but if you like Manchester, I reckon you would definitely find some other parts of London appealing 🙂
There are parts I like as mentioned in the post – I’m mainly referring to central London/the tubes etc. It’s just not my cup of tea 🙂
As someone that originally hails from just North of Birmingham, and also loves to be within reach of the bustling, artsy city and rolling fields of quiet, I can totally relate to your thoughts on good old London. Ive worked there in the past and enjoyed the city on many occasions as a visitor but I’m pretty sure living there would tarnish any joy I find in it’s vast corners. Sometimes it’s better to keep hold of the novelty and enjoy something as a treat now and then.
This really resonated with me. I live in Manchester too, and have visited London loads, but never really fancied living there. It is just too big! (And obviously ridiculously expensive). If you’ve not been you should really make a trip to Copenhagen, it is beautiful, has loads of parks, and it just more chill. I would definitely move there if I could.
Yeah totally agree! I just find the standard of living so much nicer in Manchester and having experiences doesn’t break the bank. Plus it’s so easy to travel to new places. Copenhagen is amazinggggg! Couldn’t agree more, it’s so fresh and clean and everybody is so beautiful haha xx
David Lynch chose LA because of how beautiful the light is there. Nick Cave chose Brighton because he kept being drawn back to the place. I’m originally from London but live in the north of England now. I’ve moved around a lot and haven’t settled anywhere until now because I believe some people are sensitive to a sense of the land in the area and feeling in the air. It’s strange but I completely get that. I could never go back to London – even though I grew up there none of it feels right to me. Definitely best to follow that feeling.
Exactly! It just doesn’t give me that special feeling that makes me excited to go back – it’s nothing personal, just doesn’t seem to excite me like it does for a lot of people. I also think Nick Cave might be right – I’d love to live in Brighton! xx
Great post! x
This is really funny because I’m the complete opposite. I’m quite anxious but nothing made me more happy than to spend a day in London, even if it meant to be in the busy streets or tube, I just loved that. But when I think of Paris (which I’m going to next week) it makes me really anxious because of the people and the rush there. I live in a quite big city but it does feel like home, and going to a bigger one can really be stressful I understand that.
Great post anyway,
Yeah I totally get what you mean! I think it’s just what you connect with personally – I love Paris because it feels more like ‘me’, whereas London just always leaves me feeling really unsettled. Let me know if you want any Paris tips! xxx