After one year, I have returned to London for a week. Most people have been asking me whether I am back for good, as of course the Londoners think that there is no other city better than London. The week in London however is not a holiday break, neither is it a move back, but a necessity to organise my affairs. It was also a week of reflection to understand how I feel to return to a city where I spent many years living and working and to validate or not validate my decision to stay in Asia.
In the midst of the business and madness of the city, travelling and meetings I did not have much time or mental space to reflect on the next steps. This is exactly how I remember it. Whilst the city offers huge opportunities to personal development, creativity, cultural and re-creational activities, it has always consumed me – leaving little time for personal reflection. When I lived here, I increasingly realised that I had to find time to reset and had to ensure that I create the much needed personal space for myself through regular walks in London’s amazing parks and through yoga and meditation. Because it is only when we find the time for ourselves and create space is when we can listen to our hearts; realise what needs changing and create a plan on how we can achieve the changes.
What makes this visit different is that I am back in London for the first time since the UK voted in a referendum to exit the European Union. Like to many people this came unexpectedly and as a shock to me. After spending so many years in the UK as a European, the referendum result triggered a form of an identity crisis. Like many European nationals in the UK, also I face uncertainty and whilst the UK will always remain part of my identity – this uncertainty on whether I will be able to come back and live and work here at some point in the future has induced a feeling of anxiety.
What I enjoy about my short visit to London meeting old friends, new friends and colleagues. For me London, like no other city has a mix of people from all different backgrounds, nationalities, beliefs and professions. This is what has always made this city great. It is the non-judgemental, cosmopolitan, liberal spirit that prevails in London. When people speak of a term ‘melting pot’ – London is a truly one. And whilst I am struggling to find time for reflection, the visit has certainly helped me to become clearer in my choice and my journey. The encouraging words from friends and family are priceless, and I realised that my heart is currently in Nepal.