Leaving my family for the second time in my 13 years of marriage has added a new learning experience, a unique inner growth, and further maturity as a mom of five. Being the realistic person that I am, who refuses to subside to weakness, I kept myself and my mind busy in order to have my emotions well maintained. The fact that I terribly missed each and every one of them made me overcome and control my sentiments, especially because they are well taken care of by their super dad and their amazing granny. I always tell those who wonder how I manage my family, home, blog, and work that I have a distinctive support system whose presence in my life is a great relief. Furthermore, when a person knows how to enjoy the present moment, she/he will be able to flourish in any given action. So my personal solo mission trip to London can be summarized in a few points below:
I won’t be talking about the endless places a person can visit, or what I mainly did. Instead, I will share a brief overview about the richness and exceptional learning experiences this country offers. Like most, if not all European countries, England carries along its historical tides thousands of writers, poets, royal history, and antiquity.
Of the many places I went to, I mainly loved visiting The Shakespearean Globe and Covent Garden. Those are places that took me back in time to an era I adore. It was more like a real fairy tale lived once upon a time, as I was strolling down the old brick roads where My Fair Lady was filmed back in 1963.
Other day to day experiences added to the affluence of this city, were simple incidents which had boundless effect on me; I saw a little 6 year old boy riding his own bike on the road along with his mum. I could not but admire the way children are raised and the nourishing lifestyle they adopt. Unconsciously this little buddy is learning to become healthy and respectful with a high self-esteem. The fact that he can cycle to different places on the roads, boosts his self-confidence and directs him into being a responsible young man in the coming years.
That is one of many parenting methods followed in first world countries since the system by itself supports and aids in a child’s growth and well-being.
Another remarkable fact is seeing business men, in sportswear, jogging around during their lunch break right next to their offices. In fact, many firms in Europe provide their employees with a gym and other sports facilities where stress is released. Thus fostering more focused, efficient, and content personnel.
Ever since I left Paris, I have always enjoyed commuting via the metro – or the ‘tube’ as it is known in London. It is the only place where a person witnesses the actual daily life of people with various backgrounds. From those heading to work, others to lunch, a mom with three or more children coming from a birthday, tourists, business men and women, to those moving furniture. It is incredibly amazing! Educational signs and advertisements indicating proper behavior are found in almost every corner in stations. That is how new generations learn about respecting people’s space and privacy even if the ‘tube’ is jammed! As a matter of fact they acquire tolerance, patience, and acceptance of others.
One of the incidents that stood out on the tube reiterates the attention and thoughtfulness of strangers towards pregnant women, the elderly, disabled or less able to stand individuals and young children, who out of respect give their seats and stand aside as we move from one station to the other!
What adds to the beauty of this underground world are the talented musicians, street artists, and singers whom I greatly cherish and value their work. Their struggles, dedication, and the will to live and move on in life is extremely inspiring.
Fun after Work:
It is remarkable to witness how people enjoy their time after working hours. Whether it is for a warm tasty cup of tea, or a drink with some friends, you always see busy families and individuals happily socializing after work. London is such a vibrant city at night as it is during the day, which I found to be very lively!
The Welcoming Feeling:
On the streets and in the shops, one is not judged by a social status, skin color, a nationality, a certain accent, or any other cultural differentiation. In fact, London embraces and welcomes people from all walks of life which is reflected in every corner of this glamorous city. Venders, attendants, taxi drivers – to name a few – are all friendly, helpful, supportive, and polite.
The Tough Real Life:
Being a tourist is completely different than living the everyday routine wherever you are in the world. However, despite the fact that people serve themselves, living in London reflects reality. Life is not only about happy moments, fun, and carelessness. There is more to it, and here people do learn to be responsible at an early age, giving the coming generations a wider opportunity for their future. It is not easy to carry your grocery shopping and walk home, fill your own car with gas, take the public transport, run to catch your train, and even bear the cold bitter weather almost all year round. However, such experiences, in my opinion, introduce genuineness which aids in having sturdier, mature, resilient, and well established citizens.
So what did London give me? Not the fancy clothes, the sparkling jewels, the tasty food, the endless shopping, but the rich culture, the sensible real-world life I appreciate, the dense greenery, and the knowledge one can attain in the simplest forms of exposure! But most importantly, London gave me the unique chance of becoming an aunt for the first time to my treasured niece! The infinite preciousness of motherhood is astoundingly experienced in miraculous life occurrences.
Thank you London for helping me realize that I am still that down to earth girl and to appreciate again and again the many blessings I am bestowed with.