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The Moment I Realized I Live Here! | JetSettlers Magazine

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The Moment I Realized I Live Here!

There is usually a moment when living in a new country that you stop feeling like a visitor and realize I LIVE HERE! This was a lighting strike moment for me. It could be because I live somewhere as well-known as London, and after years of seeing flashes of the city on TV, in the news, and on movies, it can seem a bit familiar. While on the other hand, I still had to learn how the familiar bits fit amongst the unfamiliar pieces in my London life.

For me, the I LIVE HERE moment happened after 8 months of being in London, during the Christmas party season. It had been an evening out on the town for a Christmas party of one of the television shows I work on. The party was at a bar in the Farringdon area of London,—an area I knew well by day because I had temped there my first 3 months in London—but I had never been out after dark in that part of town. When the bar closed, plans for where to go next were made, cabs were hailed, and off we went.

Big Ben

The route from east to west lead us along the Thames, past the London Eye, and then, there in the distance, lit up brightly as ever, was Big Ben.  Such a familiar sight, and here I was, part of a Christmas party, whizzing past it at 1:30 a.m. It was in that moment, seeing one of the most iconic images of London from the back of a cab late at night, I thought, I LIVE HERE!  Those in the cab didn’t seem to really notice where we were because it was all part of the norm for them, and now it was for me too.  There was a thrill in the realization, and shivers ran up my arms.

There are more everyday reminders that I am a resident of this new place I now call home, like when being asked for directions (and being able to give them confidently), or when I am on the tube on the way to/from work and  see tourists eagerly checking the tube map above the door at each stop (the map I don’t even glance at any more).  There are thousands of subtle things that when put together give me the I LIVE HERE feeling—having a local [1] to call my own, a favourite spot in the nearest park, knowing where to go to get a great curry, and just feeling like I am in rhythm with life in my new home country.


[1]  A local is reference in England to your closest pub that you frequent regularly/ your neighbourhood pub.

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