Dear London,

I am writing this on my phone at Terminal 2 at Heathrow airport while I am waiting to get back on a plane to Germany. The sun is shining through the huge glass walls and I have never felt more miserable in my entire life. This will be my last blog post and I thought a lot about what I was going to write and how to write it. The first thing I came up with was a sentimental summary of the last couple of weeks, a flashback to all the wonderful memories I get to take home with me, but that seemed rather impersonal and just not like me. That’s why I decided to write this very last post the way I would write it if I were to leave a dear friend behind – by writing a letter.

Dear London, you are – quite frankly – an amazing city. I always suspected as much due to my many holiday trips, but over the last six weeks I got to know you in a completely new and different way. You have been more open, more friendly, and more welcoming than I could have asked you to be and I will miss this unconditional hospitality when I’m back in Germany.

I will miss the underground staff at Victoria station who turned into motivation coaches every morning, shouting “This is a beautiful city, today is a beautiful day, and you are all beautiful people” or “Go out there and spice up your day, Ladys and Gents”. I will miss being greeted with “Hello, love” when I enter a shop or the occasional “Take care” upon exiting. I will miss the smiles people casually threw my way despite the hurry of rush hour. I might even miss the uncomfortable train rides among far too many strangers to safely fit into one carriage.

The truth is that I feel more at home here than I ever did in Germany. Here, I feel like I fit in, like I can be who I am. Thanks to you, I have overcome the last nine years of constant self-doubt and insecurity in a matter of days and for that I cannot thank you enough.

My flight has just been announced for boarding and here I am, blinking back the tears, physically forcing myself to walk towards the boarding pass control. There’s nothing in this world I’d rather do than stay here. Right here. I’d be happy with sitting on my suitcase in the middle of Heathrow airport for the rest of my life, for all I care.

In terms of my career, this internship has been the best experience of my life thus far. In terms of London, this has been the biggest mistake I’ve ever made because now I know what kind of life I’m most likely never going to lead and it breaks my heart to leave it behind.

The first few days were overwhelming, frightening, scary at times, but beautiful altogether. The last few days have been a misery of goodbyes.

I’ve just passed boarding pass control, and I wonder how many people are sitting on Primrose Hill right now, enjoying this beautiful spring evening. I wonder if they are eating Ginger Nuts or Vinegar Crisps and whether they know how lucky they are. London, I don’t know when I’ll see you again. But this time, it will be a much longer wait until our paths cross once again – of that I am sure. Thank you for the best time of my life!

Love,

Leonie

WhatsApp Image 2017-03-24 at 22.06.48

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