Two months into this whole experience and it’s weird to think that I’ve actually grown accustomed to living in London. When I first arrived, everything was so new and daunting. I never knew where I was, where I was going or what was going on. I was stuck in a place of confusion and awe.
Don’t get me wrong, I still get lost and I still get confused sometimes, but the difference is that I’ve become more sure of myself. No matter where you’re going, surroundings and people may change, but you still have yourself. It all becomes easier and the overwhelming feeling subsides the more time you spend in a place.
I often think about this when I’m on my way to class. I wake up and quickly get ready to head to the Tube. I walk amongst all the commuters on their way to work, school, etc. I no longer need a map to know where I’m going, so I put my headphones in and listen to music as I wait for the tube to come. I’ve started to realize that amongst all of these people with I travel everyday, I’ve never seen the same person twice.
I get off the cart I strategically chose because it’s closest to the exit I need to go through to transfer. Even though I’ve transferred multiple times, it still feels like a journey. The Underground is intricate, filled with twists, turns, and stairs. When you know where you’re going and you don’t have to constantly check a map, you start to notice the amount of noise that surrounds you. People talking in different languages and volumes, the musician playing, hearing “Mind the Gap” in the distance. Sometimes I pause my music to listen to the sounds around me. They may never be the same, but they have a particular beat to them.
All of this has become familiar. Commuting is always hectic, but it’s oddly calming when it has become a part of your routine. The transition was hard and I still miss home, but for now, London has become a new home for me.