Good-bye London, Hello Costa Rica

Posted in Monthly, Travel at 1:48 pm by Pasha

Looking back on my past seven-months spent in Europe makes me a bit weepy, absolutely satisfied and forever grateful.

For as long as I can remember, I dreamed about living abroad, in Paris or London. Last year, when it became clear that this aspiration would soon be a reality, I was a little scared but mostly excited.

What I learned living in London, and traveling to Italy, Spain and Ireland, was what I had suspected all along. People and places are all too similar, whether in the United States or abroad. There are foul people and beautiful landscapes in every community of every nation.

But, it is copasetic people and alien surroundings that make traveling and living outside your comfort zone such a lush experience.

Here in London, I found flatmates who are as different from one another as Antarctica is to Africa, but who each held a special place in my life. I even found lifelong friends.

In London, my career has evolved, yet went backwards. I did not scurry up a corporate ladder to reach a glorified title, salary included. I didn’t finish my novel. And truly, I only worked on one freelance project.

However, I found the time to write regularly and have had the opportunity to nurture my craft. I learned several new trades: public relations, marketing and store management. And I took a journey back to my roots, to the restaurant business. By my last day of work as a Sandwich Chef, my goal of opening my own establishment was renewed.

In Britain, as opposed to The States, the customer service is absolutely horrendous. One of the little quirks I won’t miss.

However, the proximity of the UK to other countries is marvelous. In around two hours and for about £50, you can be in a multitude of exquisite places, like Sicily, Zurich, Amsterdam, Dublin or Portugal. Each of these countries, although fairly close in distance, has distinctive cultures, food and traditions.

Also, being a citizen of the UK means being a part of the European Union, with interchangeable ability to work and live. This means a wealth of opportunities for citizens in its 27 countries. An Italian can work in Denmark and a Brit in Finland, etc. It is like they have their own little American dream, where a person can move to their prefered climate and lead the kind of life they choose.

In the end, I am thrilled that I chose to live in London. It has opened my eyes to the brilliance that is Europe and I have been stung by the world-wide travel bug.

And now I am off to experience another great continent. Tomorrow I leave rainy London on a journey to sunny Costa Rica, with a short stopover in my old favorite, New York City. The butterflies are fluttering eagerly in my belly and I am already dreaming of monkeys, mangoes, beaches and jungles.


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