27 July 2015

A cure for London-itis; stop, breathe and Listen

I think I have an adventure itch. Our generation always seem to be chasing the end of a rainbow, whether it be travel, career, relationship or that one perfect meal. Maybe it's because our heads have been filled with the dreams of Hollywood; an idealised cornucopia of a world where you can have everything; glamour, stability and dahling ah-mazing cultural experiences.

I think I've been experiencing the hangry equivalent of being cooped up. It's been six weeks since our last slightly madcap adventure in New Zealand and Los Angeles but despite a couple of day trips out of London, we haven't yet got any longer time fun inked in the diary. It isn't for want of thinking and planning, but simply pushing that 'go' key. Really, it is ridiculous - see what I mean about our generation? Enough isn't as good as a feast.



It could also be a touch of London-itis. Every so often the busyness becomes too much, the fast pace machinations becomes soul-sapping and the culture a tough egg to crack. This happens sometimes living in the fastest old city in the world, and based on years of expat life all we need is a day or two to listen to a brook bubbling contentedly, a moment of soul quiet seated on a country church stone pew or an afternoon lazing in the sunshine.



Or, perhaps I needed to visit South Kensington Tube Station on a Saturday afternoon. Yes, this is a slightly strange cure but waiting for a catch-up with a friend and having 20 minutes to chill out was a blessing (the transport gods were shining on me and I got there super early). The noise is quite cacophonous as trains full of holiday makers disembark from 4 busy platforms, but if you lean back against one of the pillars, refreshing drink in hand, it can be therapeutic.


5 minutes of excited children's voices tugging their parents towards Dippy, the (soon to be moved) prehistoric star of the Natural History Museum.
2 minutes of old friends hugging and crying after years and continents apart, talking over each other in the way that only chums can.

5 minutes of listening to gigging teenagers congregating in packs, intent on wandering the beautiful corridors of the V&A Museum, before stopping for a leisurely cuppa in a nearby cafe which most likely takes longer than the initial museum visit.
3 minutes of the Dad enthusing to his grown up sons about the ingenuious folds of the London Tube Map before they eventually grunted to him in agreement.

1 minute of giving directions to a frazzled Mum toting a toddler and two suitcases.
4 minutes of American tourist enthusiasm at discovering the Kensington Mews Houses - the London of Hollywood silver screens.



After all of that joy, how can you leave in a twitchy mood? London-itis is a common expat malaise, and reoccurs every so often when you least expect it. But, my cup runneth over and all it took was 20 minutes on a sunny Saturday for a speedy recovery.


Oh, and then the cherry on top was the smile of a good friend as we made our way accidentally over to the V&A for a cup of joe and a much overdue gossip. 

Do you ever find yourself itching with wanderlust?

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