Having lived like a true Londoner for a whole semester, I feel as though I have a pretty good grasp on what it would mean to live here full-time. It becomes more difficult though to imagine a life here without the comfort of knowing I’ll be returning to home and familiarity after the end of a set time.
Homesickness aside, if I wanted to and was presented with the opportunity to live in London, I would probably want to make a few changes. Assuming my job is well-paying enough for me to afford to do so, I’d probably want to live in Camden Town. Shepherd’s Bush is fine, but Camden’s atmosphere and daytime offerings are unmatched throughout the city. Between the market and a great collection of unique restaurants and pubs, I think Camden would make for a more exciting neighborhood environment (and cut down the commute to central London).
In terms of my supposedly high-paying job, I’d probably look to work with a company that more closely aligns with my interests. I’m aspiring to work in the business end of healthcare, which would definitely take some adjustments to get used to as the government-sponsored system is so different than what we have in the US (and would probably put a damper on the whole high-paying situation). As for my commute, I definitely feel like riding the tube for an indefinite period of time would put a little more strain on the already-tenuous feelings I have for it.
I think the best part of living in London full-time would be the access it provides to the rest of Europe. I feel as though I’ve done a good job making the most of my time here, but there really is never enough time to explore all of the world’s most storied continent. The great thing about the experience I’ve had here is that it’s otherwise unheard of for an American to live four months in a foreign country to travel; something that has truly been the privilege of my lifetime. The only way I’ll ever be able to experience something like this again would be to settle down here for awhile. Though I don’t feel like that’s likely at this time, this program has done a great job of making a case to.