Has it been that long? That’s what my passport stamp says, that it has already been eight months when I left the desert life for good and started my adventures in the land of greener pastures (quite literally!). Eight months of living in bliss, it still feels so surreal to me. I know it might not mean a lot to some and it could somehow sound shallow but let me tell you my story.
When I was a kid living in a small town in the Philippines, London is a far-fetched dream. It didn’t even cross my mind because the mere thought of it sounds preposterous.
Me: Someday, somehow – I’d live in London.
Life: Yeah, when pigs can finally fly that’s when that will happen.
That’s how impossible it was for me back then. I wouldn’t even waste my time of dreaming about it because I know it will never happen. It’s something that only happens in movies, if your life’s a fairy tale.
When I moved to Dubai, traveling around Europe was a dream come true. During that time, I was able to visit London and while I didn’t really love it that much at first (I was traveling solo and was followed by a drunk man in the tube) – it was still something that I’d remember for the rest of my life. Visiting London is one thing, that was feasible for me specially since my airline job in Dubai practically opened up the whole world for me to explore. But even then, it still hasn’t crossed my mind that I will someday write this very blog post sitting on a couch in our London apartment with the sound of the pitter patter of London rain on our window.
I do still pinch myself sometimes just to remind me that this is my life now, I am actually living in London and no, pigs can still not fly. I have come a long way from the small town girl that I was who couldn’t even begin to imagine about the life that I’m living right now. It’s far from perfect but perfection, I think is subjective. Anyone’s life can be perfect because it’s just a state of mind.
It doesn’t matter where you are because you can choose to focus on the negative or you can embrace it and see the positive light to it. A lot of people have told me before when I moved to London that it’s just a matter of time before I start moaning about the cold weather of this place. My response to them would always be “have you experienced the 48-degree summer heat of the desert? Because I have, for 9 years.”
I don’t really know what’s so wrong about the weather here that is worth moaning about. Yes, it can get cold but it’s not like Antarctica cold. Personally, I’d rather live in a cold place like London which enjoys a bit of sun from time to time than live in a hot place. Why? Because it’s much easier to warm up than to cool down. You can layer your clothes when it’s cold but when it’s hot, you can go butt-naked and it’ll still be hot. See? Perspective! Everything is just a matter of perspective.
Some people have warned me about the expensive cost of living here but seriously, you have no idea how much I was paying for fruits and vegetables in Doha. It was so expensive that when I first did my grocery here in London, I bought a bunch of avocado just because it was so cheap! (It was a bad decision, I wasn’t able to eat everything before it’s expiration date.)
We may not be living the luxurious lifestyle the Middle Eastern cities that we once lived in introduced us but you know what? I actually couldn’t be happier. We have given up a lot of things when we left the Middle East, let’s just say that we could afford to live comfortably there with only The Greek Mister working while we can’t afford to do that now here in London. Yes, we sacrificed a lot of things but I can honestly say that it was all worth it. Cliche but there are some things money can’t buy. Absolutely.
I am reminded every single day of how far I’ve realized these once-upon-a-time far-fetched dreams. Who would’ve thought that a small town girl from the Philippines would be able to go this far? Figuratively and literally. If there’s one thing I learned from the turn of events in my life it’s that dreams are much closer to reality than you think it is. Never ever underestimate it.
And to you who’s reading this post, I hope you’re happy and contented wherever you are in the world because you never know, there might be a little girl somewhere across the globe dreaming to have the life that you have right now. It’s all a matter of perspective.