I grew up in South Wales where the golden sands and rolling hills seem to go on forever. Life revolved around being outdoors and exploring the gifts of Mother Nature. However, as I got older things changed and work became my priority. I pushed my career as far as I could in my home town but as much as I tried to fight it, I knew I would have to move to London if I was to progress.
I thought about the big city and tried to gear myself up to be more of a “city slicker”, but deep down I knew I would miss the sense of freedom I felt from living in the countryside.
Fast forward 6 months and I’m as happy as I’ve ever been! No I didn’t stay in Wales, I’m very much living in London. Although I must admit, I couldn’t bring myself to live in central London. I found a small apartment in one of London’s most elegant boroughs – Kingston. Many would argue that Kingston, which is in the county of Surrey, is not really London but I would have to disagree. I can jump on a train and be in central London in under 20 minutes. I suppose it’s all about perspective.
Life in London has been far from what I had imagined. I spend every weekend exploring the beautiful parks and following the river Thames as far as my legs will carry me. Wildlife is everywhere and I laugh every time I run through Richmond Park with the wild deer and foxes. It’s as green as Wales (minus the mountains) and there are countless outdoor activities available to those willing to venture outside of the city centre. Rowing has replaced surfing but I still get out on my mountain bike as often as I did back home. Staying outside of central London offers the best of both worlds – the freedom of the great outdoors and the culture and entertainment of the city hub only a quick train/taxi ride away.
My girlfriend is originally from California and her family are coming to visit us this spring. We’ve found the BEST WESTERN Reigate Manor Hotel for them to stay at and are excited to show them how versatile this area really is. Even they laughed when we told them to pack their wellies but I know they are going to be amazed with what London has to offer for the adventurous.
By Ben an avid London adventurer who works at a London advertising agency which specialises in Taxi Advertising.