Life is so unpredictable! You never know what is coming next. And when “next” is LONDON, who would not love to explore this life?
On 5 February 2022 I landed at Heathrow after a long flight, during which I spent the entire time trying to remain calm while internally screaming “I AM MOVING TO LONDON!!!” My husband had just received his Skilled Worker Visa, and I was moving to the British capital with him on a “Dependant’s Visa”. Growing up in India, I had always been fascinated by the beauty of this city when it was shown in Bollywood films, and I couldn’t believe I was finally getting to see it for myself.
After two days of rest to get over the jetlag, I was finally able to start exploring the city of my dreams. My husband and I first went to the famous shopping district of Oxford Street. It seemed as though each and every brand was there – a shopaholics’ paradise! We then moved down towards more central London, seeing the bright lights of Piccadilly Circus, the fountains of Trafalgar Square, and the lanterns of Chinatown along the way. I especially enjoyed this last area, because who doesn’t love Chinese restaurants, bakeries, and supermarkets?
We also went to the main tourist sites that I’d long dreamed of seeing: Big Ben, then a walk along the river past Millennium Bridge, London Bridge, and Tower Bridge. Another day, we visited the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf before walking through the river tunnel over to Greenwich. Since then, we have spent weekends exploring Hyde Park and other green spaces. When we pass other people also out enjoying this wonderful city, we smile at them and they smile back. We all know how lucky we are to be here.
The best, most unique thing I have found about London is how cosmopolitan it is. As is famously (and rightly!) said, “in London everybody is different, that means everybody can fit in.” As a newcomer, this quote from Paddington has been a comfort. This international vibe has allowed for some of the best and most diverse food I have ever had the fortune of sampling: of course I have had fish and chips, but also gelato, croissants, gyros, tacos, kebabs, the list goes on. London offers an absolute heavenly number of options, especially for a carnivore like me!
It is not all perfect, of course. That famous British weather, for example, is a bit…uh, greyer…than the sunny Himalayan region from where I hail. But thankfully there are so many birds chirping here that it is impossible to not smile, even under the blanket of clouds. We also had to live in an Airbnb for over six weeks before finally finding somewhere to live in Harrow (otherwise known as Little India), in northwest London. Excitingly, this area is only a few kilometres from the Wembley Stadium! I have visited the outside once so far and cannot wait to get a chance to go inside.
It is also here in Harrow that I found my new job with Vira International. One recent morning, while waiting to sign the employment paperwork and get to work in this, my new home, I experienced my first British snowfall through the windowpane. As I watched the snowflakes twirl to the ground, I reflected on the past two months of this, our unpredictable lives. If I have had this many incredible experiences in such a short amount of time, imagine what more is in store for me. I cannot believe I get to continue to explore this magical city, and other beautiful cities like, Birmingham, Bristol, Bath, Cardiff, Manchester, that I have heard so many nice things about.