For those of you that know us in real life, it might surprise you to hear us say that we are thinking of settling down in London. When we first moved here, we thought we wanted to just do our time in London to establish ourselves career-wise and then hurry back to France (or jet off to some new, unexplored land). Maybe it’s because of the baby, the sunny skies, the gourmet fare, or plain old age, but neither of us really wants to think about moving out of here.
Sure, Paris has many things going for it: it’s a very walkable city, the food is generally pretty good, and it feels very continental. London is expensive, sprawling, and a bit grayer.
So why do we like it here so much? First, compared to Paris, we have a lot of friends here, including English friends. It Paris, I went to the same bakery for months before the owner said more than a cursory greeting. And while we had some French friends, the majority of our friends were other expats.
London also feels a lot more cosmopolitan, mainly because of the mix of people that live here. In the mood for some Uighur food? Try the place down the road. Want some fufu? We have that nearby too. As Diego likes to say, London is really an airport with a city around it. For cultural mutts like us, living in a place with such a mixed identity has meant that we don’t feel like outsiders. Ultimately, too, finding a place to call home is about finding a place where you belong and that accepts you just as you are. And for now, at least, London is home.