It is dark outside and the weekend is over. I just had a great barbecue with friends and flatmates. Best burgers of all time. Only a couple of hours until my flight back home, sweet, sweet home. Family, friends and love await me (hopefully) and I look forward to going back. This trip to London has been a huge adventure. Quite precisely nine months ago I set foot in the City which would shape me in many ways, all the things, people, moments, good or bad would teach me lessons of life. Invaluable lessons that helped me develop, understand and express myself.
The first day at work, I arrived with Converse shoes, a t-shirt and some casual jeans. That had to change, it was one of many things to come, I still own my Converse shoes but also a heap of shirts, some suits, shoes, cuff links and a tie. I adapted. My internship ended last Friday, nine months with an overload of the world’s beauty. Parties, people, exhibitions, concerts, food, extraordinary! I came to the best city of the world with the innocent age of 19 so that for the rest of my life everything would be compared to this Petri dish of great people, their dreams and their lives. A DJ, journalist, banker or bar tender you name it. A place that makes travelling obsolete because people escape to London to discover and fulfil themselves.
This city also bears some rather fascinating facets that statistically speaking cannot happen that easily. Coming from a village with only 3000 living souls I found that it is indeed sometimes easier to run into people you know in London than anywhere else. I met a Spanish friend who was on her way home waiting for the coach at Liverpool St station on my way home. Amongst hundreds I spotted her. Another case, I was in Bank station, left a pub and ran into a Russian guy who was on his way back to Malta, this man was a participant of the same debating course I went to, I saw him in the middle of London’s underground, what are the odds? 7 million people, yet such things happen. Magical.
The magic changed me, if it hadn’t I would be disappointed, I learnt a lot about other people’s cultures, South America, Korea, France, Australia, Ireland, I made good friends with all of them. The Swiss people I met here were great too, the so-called Röstigraben does not exist for me. It should never, anywhere. Speaking to people is a gift. It is free and can be illuminating, just overcome your unjustified fear and start randomly speaking with strangers in pubs, clubs, parks. I love pubs, not for the drinks (not only) but because it is the place where people of all ages celebrate, discuss and spend time beyond the grey, monotonous, pile of papers at work to find out what really matters. It should be people after all, not your telly that shape your leisure time. I am happy I experienced London as I did, challenges were there and I mastered them as well as I could, if I failed I just as well learnt a lesson which might be worth even more.
Tonight, however, I have arrived at a point that I knew would come but I never would have wanted to come during my time here earlier. This point is when I start to miss home and want to go back to say hello, hug my family and laugh again with them. I am happy to go back. There are things I will most certainly miss but for now I am eager to deeply breath in the fresh air of Switzerland, put my feet back on Swiss soil, commute on reliable public transport, enjoy pressure-rich showers, quality super-market food and many other treasures of this little country in the heart of Europe.
This has been the first of many great times to come, I am hungry, hungry for more, I tasted the tempting sweet of multiculturalism and the joy of exploring the unknown in the ununravellable streets of big cities and the rest of the world. I need a break, though, focus on studies, enjoy life, recharge and then I will strive for more adventures. Carpe diem is written all over my smiling face, the world is there and it is treasure chest. It is a great time to be alive. Things only a realistic optimist could say.
I will fly back tomorrow, sleep, relax, unwind, rest, find my routine. I urge, however, everyone who reads this blog, his and her friends and all the people they know to endeavour to see what the world has to offer. A gap year, exchange term abroad, au-pair or an internship are worthwhile opportunities to broaden your horizon. Sometimes people think they are happy with what they have without having the faintest idea of how much happier they could be. Do not be lazy! You will never find out how happy you can be, unless you make the effort to find out. Go out, have a look at the rest of the world to find out and become who you are.