Sunday, August 9, 2015

Why London?

at russell square gardens

By far the question we get asked most is, "Why London?" Most people who ask it are fellow residents of our borough, which we love, but which isn't in any way the kind of borough most people expect Americans to flock to. They can understand choosing the neighborhood for economy's sake, but that we moved to London on purpose, and then chose this neighborhood, also on purpose, is beyond the scope of their reasoning. Surely we are just here for a short time because we were forced by my husband's job circumstances? They seem confused when I say no. Sometimes I just give a weak little, "Oh, we like it, we want to stay..." and allow my voice to trail off as we exit wherever we've been trapped under the questioner's skeptical gaze. But sometimes I explain.

Here's the explaining bit.

We are in London for two reasons: first, because we like it, and second, because we feel it is the place where we can best meet the needs of our particular family. Both reasons are equally important. Otherwise, we'd still be in San Francisco.

For a short time, we'd laid aside the dream of moving here. It became "Maybe, if it works out," instead of "This is what we want." We thought that we might put down roots in San Francisco, see about buying a house, making a long term life there. But then we came here in the autumn of 2013, and we started to remember why we wanted to move here. It is truly an international city, and it's evident. We see all sorts of people all sorts of places, hanging out together. And that is what we want for our family, what we tried so hard to get in the United States but couldn't seem to find. Here, we can live in a neighborhood where my children see people who look like them, who look like J and me, and who look completely different from any of us in our immediate family, all on our block. Walking home from errands tonight, I heard at least four different languages being spoken on the way. This is normal. Normal and amazing.

And then, to put the icing on that cake, there's so much more to living here. We love the parks, the palaces, the museums, the food. We love that we can go to Paris for a day trip and that we flew in and out of Ethiopia without the crippling jet lag we've always experienced in the past. We love that we live in a quiet neighborhood, but J's commute to work is easy and not too long, and we can reach most of our favorite London spots with just one Tube ride. We love that nearly all the places we want to travel are both easier and cheaper to get to from here. We love that there are so many places to do our homeschool learning, whether it is history or science or literature that we are studying. London has more to offer us than any other city does. It only makes sense that, given the opportunity, we would choose to live here.


  1. glad to find you here friend. wish I could join you there...

    1. Maybe just join me for a little visit? You always have a free place to stay on my sleeper sofa.

  2. I look forward to reading more. And if you ever make it up our way we need to introduce our tiny terrors. I have no doubt Elise and E will get on like a mischievous, chaotic incredible house on fire.

    1. I fully intend to grace you with my presence at some point. ;)


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