Right when you start feeling low, there is one thing you could plan to fall in love again with the city you live in. What’s that thing?
I’m writing this article after having spent a weekend with my dear childhood friend and his wife. We haven’t had the chance to meet for quite a few years. Well, the truth probably is that we didn’t make enough effort (but that’s another story). Anyway, their various plans led them to visit London and they stayed at my place for the weekend. And, oh my, if only they knew what positive impact they had on me!
There is a point in your abroad life when all the new things aren’t that new anymore, when there are still some things that bother you in the host country, when you have ups and downs but mostly ups and the whole idea of living abroad becomes a bit meeeh. That’s a point where you have probably adjusted (more or less) to the new reality. And that’s when the new city, new country, stop being so exciting as at the beginning. You almost wish you could arrive there once again and be excited by everything around you. Sort of go back to being a child who finds most things interesting and needs to stop and examine every new thing they encounter.
Do you remember the article about culture shock? – how it works, what states of mind we can distinguish, how they overlap and are almost never the ideal U-shaped process? I came back to the honeymoon phase over the past couple of days for sure and (at least for now) got rid of the autumn blues that started getting to me.
One thing that you can do to fall in love with your city once again is spend some time being a tourist, ideally with friends/family who are visiting. Such a great feeling to just see someone admiring your city, walking down the streets with you, noticing things that you started ignoring and took for granted as part of your typical surrounding.
If you live somewhere far away from your friends and they don’t have a chance to visit – start being a tourist yourself. Just go out there and make the effort to see a new place somewhere near or take a day-trip during your time-off.
This particular weekend we took a walk by the Thames river during the evening when all the lights were on and buildings were beautifully illuminated. I forgot. I managed to forget how beautiful London is. In the everyday rush to and from work, then to the other activities, I forgot what it’s like to just walk around, look up to see all the details of the buildings and take photographs of everything that you liked so that you can capture these moments.
With a slightly colder weather, light rain and/or wind, we were walking down the main streets and in my mind I was thinking “How lucky I am to be able to see this city in the pre-Christmas time, when all the streets are illuminated, when the decorations are on and various Christmas-y events are happening. I am grateful for that”. Although I admit that September is probably slightly too early to be seeing Christmas decorations in the shops, November and December months are really a nice run-up to the Christmas break (whether you do celebrate the religious part of it or not) and makes the dull, cold and dark season much brighter 🙂
I know that many of you might be feeling away from home at the moment and not be able to switch on the positive thinking just yet. But guys, when you’re ready – do it! Open yourself up to short trips and getting to know the local customs and community. They don’t necessarily need to be expensive and will help you be amazed by the location more and more as you get to know it better.
Go on and be amazed by the city you live in!!! Share with us what you love most about where you live!