Coming from the seemingly drab depth of rainy England, emigrating to Australia’s sunshine state was the ultimate dream. I’m not sure if it was the radical time different, or that I had officially been renamed ‘pomme’ which I found hardest to adjust to. But regardless, waking up to the delightfully coloured parrots on my windowsill and the sunshine pouring through my blinds was paradise. I was blissfully content with my new life down under – why would I ever need to go back to the dull UK?

Needless to say, a few years past by and I had underestimated how much I’d miss my family. So with my old English winter wardrobe pressed into my suitcase and my flight tickets in my hand, I was en route to London. After a few days of being reunited with my loved ones, I quickly found myself bored in my old life and I decided to explore my motherland.

Wandering the streets of London again was bizarre, and not in a bad way. The oddities of Londoners as I had remembered them now seemed quirky and refreshing. I found myself in awe of their creative way of dressing, their wacky hair styles, the look of absolute on their faces – influential, powerful, fulfilled. I couldn’t help notice the pleasant cultural atmosphere that surrounded me. Had London changed, or had my perspective?

Travelling through the famous underground tube stations felt rather like a rat race. The distinct smell of damp earth and burnt coffee filled the narrow tunnels as people swarmed from all directions. A sense of warm familiarity filtered through me as the big man on the speaker announced ‘Mind the Gap’ and I couldn’t help but laugh as the tube doors closed in on the mound of people bulging out of the carriages. It wasn’t stressful as it had seemed all those years ago, it was exhilarating!

I revisited my favourite monuments and iconic scenes of London; Big Ben (has he really always been that big?), the London Eye and its breathtaking views, the thriving buzz at Covent Garden as stunt and mime artists entertained the streets. My favourite part was the enthusiastic expression on tourists’ faces as they pointed at fascinating characters walking along the pathways, took photos of the unique old cobblestone buildings and examined the magnificent history of London.

I discovered that at some point, during my years of living in the UK and emigrating to Australia, I had grown oblivious to London and all it’s beauty. My next trip to England won’t be in the too distant future. I know now I will always return, always appreciate it, and always highlight the joy it has to offer.


Written by

Riana Horner

Guest Travel Writer

Feature Image Credit: Pexels