What I miss about living in London

It’s been almost five months since I moved back home to Edinburgh after spending three and a half years in London.

At first I didn’t really miss anything, apart from the obvious – close friends. Now, as I travel back to London for the first time this year, I’m thinking about all the things I miss, the things I relied on and made part of my daily routine over the last few years, things I depended on and will be embracing for the few days when I’m visiting this weekend.

  • Fulham Running Club on my doorstep – I lived about 50m, maybe less, from my running club’s training meet-up and it was so easy, easier than not joining in, to rock up and run with my team mates and friends.
  • Living by the river with the Thames Path to enjoy for a run or just a stroll
  • Contactless travel – you have no idea how good paying for buses or tubes are with your card rather than £1.70 in change is until you move away!
  • parkrun – I never thought I’d say this, it took me a while to become a parkrun convert, but Saturday mornings aren’t the same with Bishops Park/Fulham Palace parkrun just round the corner and the sense of community it brings. Edinburgh now has two, soon to be three, parkruns, but they’re a drive or bus journey away. They also start at 9.30am not 9am and I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing but it’s different!
  • My city running/training communities – as well as my trusty running club I loved catching up with other like-minded folk, namely Wild Trail Runners and Never Stop London, for fun sessions and something a little different. Edinburgh has Project Awesome but I’m still on the hunt for some other friendly community groups to join and meet new friends.
  • Opportunities to attend events – there was always something going on in the city, a book signing, brand launch, fitness meet-up, new cafe/restaurant/space, I was spoilt for choice and sometimes didn’t have the time or energy to squeeze everything in. There’s a lot less going on up North, but maybe I’m just not connected yet and it’ll pick up as I get to know more people and try new things.
  • The weather! more accurately, sunshine! Of course I was expecting this, but I’ll be honest the shorts have only just come out this month and as a more fair-weather runner I was waiting a little longer than I wanted to pull out the vests and shorts and put my leggings, long sleeves, hats and gloves to the back of the wardrobe.
  • Yoga, more specifically the variety and choice of studios, classes and teachers compared to what Edinburgh currently has to offer. I know it takes a while to find somewhere and someone that fits nicely with what you’re looking for and I’m willing to give it a little more time until I find it.

Of course there are things I don’t miss too – like the busy streets and traffic, that constant buzz and hum, overpriced coffees, claustrophobic bus journeys, polluted air, giving away my savings to Virgin East Coast Trains every month and missing my family and boyfriend – so it’s always a case of balance, but let’s just say that I’ve found that my balance is improving with my move back to Edinburgh!

Are there things you’d miss if you moved out of a big city?

What are your game-changers for achieving balance?

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