Saturday, 31 May 2014

The Hyper Reality of London

A lot of people come to London with the view of using it as a base to travel around Europe. Coming from Sydney the main weekend travel option is Melbourne. But here you're only a few hours from a whole myriad of interesting and diverse countries. Isn't that a romantic idea?  Whisking away to foreign lands for a Bridget Jones style mini break. All your friends in Australia will be insanely jealous as you flood their facebook newsfeed with you eating seafood on the Almafi coast, lounging on deck chairs in Santorini and drinking wildly at Tomorrowland. It's not real life but some form of hyper reality.

The reality of the situation is travelling is tiring. And people who do those weekend trips on a regular basis are REALLY REALLY tired. They've had to work all week just to rush to the airport on a Friday night, run madly around a new city for 36 hours, then catch a late flight home before flopping into bed at 2am just to wake up 6 hours later to start the working week again. There are countless tales of expats booking all these wildly ambitious trips only just burn themselves out after a few weeks or months at best.

Don't get me wrong, I love travelling and I'm really enjoying London. But after spending 6 months around the America's, spending 36 hours in a city doesn't seem enough to get to know it. To build up bonding memories and feel like you're discovering something new. One person even told me they weren't sure which place they liked best because they all just ended up blurring into each other.

So I've thought through my London game plan and decided that what I really want out of London is not to travel out of it but to enjoy living in it. Take a week off every now and then to go to gigs and try different restaurants and just sit around in parks when it's sunny. Sure I'll go on the occasional trip away but only if I am actually interested in the place and for at least 5 days at a time. It's a luxury but I think in London, you can get away with it. And if  I want to see more of it then I'll do it after our Visa runs out for a good few months. To slow travel. Just how I like it.

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