Living in London is great. It’s fast, it’s vibrant and it’s busy – a far cry from the quiet serenity of the North Shore of Auckland. There is always something to do and that is part of my new homes beauty. You can never really claim boredom in England’s capital, however sometimes it gets exhausting, draining even.
When I used to feel exhausted at the end of a long week back home, I’d head home from work, cross the harbour bridge and escape to one of the nine beaches within a few minutes drive or walk from my doorstep. Whether it be walking around the rocks, sitting on the sand, or going for a swim; the beach was always my escape – my haven. Over here it’s a lot harder to escape. Firstly, I don’t have a car to jump in to and drive off in to the wilderness in – but also, I’m now miles from a coastline – which although is something I knew I would struggle with, my prediction being correct doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.
I’m lucky enough to have some amazing family who live about an hour out of London in the county of Hampshire, to whom I can jump on a train and escape to. I try to get down here around once a month – and this weekend Hampshire was definitely calling my name. It might not be the beach, but the suburban countryside is definitely a welcome vacation for the new-found city slicker I have recently become.
This weekend has been nothing but pure relaxation, I’ve spent more time horizontal than vertical – which is not how I could describe the usual mayhem of my London life. My best friend has come down with me, my surrogate mother, father and sister figure have been home and the sun has been shining. We have done nothing but explore the woods, book and research some travel, lay around reading and eating from delicious platter. Our most difficult decision has been whether we drink red wine or a gin and tonic at the end of our less than strenuous days.
Family, friends, sunshine and being out of the city – does anything really beat an escape? Getting out of the city really does me the world of good. It brings me back to reality and reminds me of what life is about. Sometimes you really do need a gentle perspective rebalance. Down here, I feel obliged to slow down, to chill, to rest – it almost feels criminal to be concerned about what you’re going to do for the day. The beauty in my escapes to Hampshire is doing nothing. I know it’s not recommended to runaway from your problems – but if it’s not a problem you’re running away from, just the strain and drain of everyday life – is there anything wrong with running away? To me, a true Karen Walker loving Kiwi (I knew there was a reason I have always been in love with this item of hers…), I’m definitely a runaway girl who see’s not only the beauty of an escape, but the need of an escape.
Don’t worry London, we love you and we’ll be back (tomorrow) – similarly, Hampshire – we love you too and we’ll be back down for our next escape soon!