“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust
I first met Di in Melbourne over a year ago, and we clicked immediately, both of us at a similar stage in life and with a shared and deep connection for nature, photography and finding life meaning.
We maintained our friendship, both in person and on our blogs, before Di and her husband Tony left for new shores to begin the next chapter in their lives.
Settle in and enjoy Di’s story, the fourth of my guest bloggers in this series where I aim to bring the world closer together.
Our kind friend Miriam has kindly invited me to share a few thoughts pertaining to a relocation to the other side of the world.
A very quick background first…
My husband Tony and I are currently living in London, after spending our lives in Melbourne. It’s thanks to his career that the opportunity to move to London arose.
So we arrived mid-September, with the blessing of our adult children.
Living in London especially, but somewhere abroad, had always been high on our agenda. I’d be in high school writing about the ‘Mary Poppins’ kind of foggy London, and I never let go of this dream. Yes, I’ve always been a dreamer.
In the words of Madonna, I hope you enjoy my take on ‘seeing the world from a different vantage point’.
I’ve discovered that we need so much less than we could ever imagine in the way of possessions. This is a picture of about two thirds of the things we packed to ship over. I saw this as a chance to run away from our accumulated clutter and start again, this time buying only what I felt I actually needed.
At this point, I’m still making do without a vegetable peeler. Why peel when you can scrub?
My mantra is ‘make do or do without’…
I looked up to see this… as if it were meant for us, saying, ‘you’re where you’re meant to be right now’. Dreams are beautiful, but when you make them a reality, the fear can set in and you question what you’ve done.
I think it’s natural to feel confused and a little fearful about this new direction. I felt like I was leaving the previous ‘me’ behind to discover a different version of myself. But we both knew the time had come to put ourselves out of the comfort of the very familiar, to grow as people and expand our view on life.
Tony went off to work the next morning while I hit the ground running.
I chose not to look behind.
Before we moved, I’d researched some places I wanted to discover, and had planned to start a new Instagram page to share my discoveries. It became clear that I also had to find a new way, a new purpose to my different life. It could so easily be overwhelming without a small plan or purpose. I believe it’s helped me settle in enormously.
I’ve since enrolled in courses, attended talks, and generally been very curious about the way of life here.
Please meet Tim. He tends to the gardens of my local park and was more than happy to stop for a chat and show me the result of his physical labour job. Moments like this become my most treasured of days.
Tony is at work Monday to Friday which leaves me to spend a fair bit of time alone. I think it’s essential to be able to become comfortable in your own company, and there can be much magic to discover there.
Alone, I find I smile more at strangers, take more notice of my surroundings, and will be open for a micro-moment of conversation, such as with Tim.
We had the coldest winter in a few years here in the UK. I’ve learnt that I can withstand far colder temperatures than I’m used to. There is a reason and a beauty to every season and I wasn’t about to complain about the cold when I’d always wondered what it was like to live through snow and zero degrees. I decided to call it ‘invigorating’ instead of all the negative words for cold weather, as I think it gives you an advantage in dealing with it.
As my dear dad said, ‘you can’t appreciate warmth until you’ve been out in the cold’.
And I can tell you those quaint pubs with cosy fires and a glass of red make you realise the beauty of the season!
I’ve learnt to seek out, and appreciate with wide eyes the delicate differences between countries and not to compare with the ‘home’ we left. I was planning on jumping straight into life as a Londoner as soon as possible. To live with your heart in two places at once would detract from this experience and as I know the time will fly, as it already has. I want to squeeze every ounce of the UK existence while I can.
My mantra here has been ‘Be where you are’.
I found a London radio station, watch the BBC news, subscribe to the emails of what’s happening in the city, bought flat shoes everyone wears for walking, and…cross the road without the green man; you haven’t truly lived in London until a bus has sounded his horn at you!
To finish off, I’m grateful. Very, very grateful every day, to call London Home. It’s been more than I could have dreamed of, even on the simplest of days.
In a way, they’re the days when it means the most to call this city, Home.
I can so far reveal for us all that dreams can be just as beautiful in reality as they are in our heart.
Thank you so much for reading, and thank you again Miriam for this amazing chance to share my story.
The picture below was ‘foggy’ London this morning…
Thanks Di for sharing your story and for reminding us to never let go of our dreams.
She’s proof that if you follow your heart and take inspired action, dreams can become real.
You can find her on Instagram on her two accounts, one which focuses on London life:
and her more personal and creative posts on:
Stay tuned for another story from another travel lover with a new twist next month.
Stay happy, dream on and enjoy the journey.
Stay in touch and connect with me on Facebook.
Come check out my new group for like minded travelers
Outanabout YOLO “You only live once”