A Letter to London and My Lifers

London… it’s been a little over a month since I’ve left, and I miss it so much my heart actually hurts. Of all the places I’ve had the opportunity to travel, London is easily my favorite. When I reflect on my time there, I honestly can’t believe it’s real sometimes. And I really stop and think I will probably never be that young, and free, and literally on a three month vacation with practically no responsibilities ever again. I don’t think I’m usually a cryer, but I am actually tearing up as I write this.

We lived in an apartment building in Tufnell Park, a seven minute walk from the tube station, which is just a couple stops on the Northern Line up from Camden town… and a few more stops down to central London, Shoreditch, Knotting Hill, Kensington. Honestly, it was the perfect location. It was quiet and residential, I felt incredibly safe, and it was so easily accessible to all parts of the city.

London is such a special city. It’s so big, and there’s the obvious hustle and bustle, but I love that you can pop into a tiny pub in Camden or Shoreditch, sit and read at a quint cafe in Kensington, and then you can hop a few stops down on the tube and see the London Eye, Westminster, or Buckingham to name a few. It has so much history, yet is so modern. And I think if I went to a different bar/restaurant/or shop in London every day for the rest of my life… I still wouldn’t hit them all.  The public transit is amazing, and an added bonus, there are five airports in the city making it a hub to travel practically anywhere. And the people are absolutely lovely, it was so easy to make friends.

But of all the special things in London, the most special about my time there was the people I was with. Traci, Lea, and Maggie, you girls are lifers. Y’all made the experience everything I hoped it would be and that much more. I’ve said it a thousand times, and I stand by it, of all the incredible bucket list things we did, my favorite memories will always be with you girls goofing off in the kitchen, cooking dinner, drinking liquor we picked up at the convenience store right by the tube where the owners quickly began recognizing us in the first few weeks.

Traci and I cheered together at Lindenwood, but there are a hundred cheerleaders there so it is easy to know everyone…. but only REALLY know a couple people. We were never close before and she was the only person I knew going to London so it was honestly a wildcard how things would work. I will never forget when I first arrived in London at 9am, so incredibly nervous for the adventure I was about to embark on, and there her and her dad were ready to help me find the grocery store, navigate the tube, and provide that extra comfort I needed those first few days. I knew pretty instantly that she was going to be a good friend. The more I got to know her the more I realized that she is one of the kindest, most dedicated people out there. Even when we where traveling, she went to the gym EVERY DAY without fail, and would eat so healthy to stay on track to return to cheer. She is so inspiring and always so positive. But more than that, she is funny and kind, and the kind of friend that always helps you find the brighter things in life.

Next came Lea.  Traci and I got along so well I was honestly nervous to bring anyone else into the mix, spoiler alert: it turned out pretty freaking great. Lea and I had chatted in the group chat (first “Froomies,” then “London Crackwhores,” and now “Lifers”) a few times before but never actually met. I got good vibes, but you never really know someone until you meet them. Instantly I realized that she is one of the kindest souls out there and cares so much about others and their feelings. She is selfless and puts others before herself, and she’s freaking smart (this girl wants to be a paramedic in helicopters). Lea and I were on very similar pages, we wanted to pack as much into our time as possible. I could  always count on her to try a restaurant I found on Instagram, go to a show (Magic Mike Live baby), get cocktails with the Dusk app, or pop into a museum. Going on our random adventures after class was the absolute best. She shared so much with me about who she was as a person, and she helped me grow so much.

And last but certainly not least came Maggie. We called life before her, BM (Before Maggie) and boy where we missing out. Funnily enough when I first met her, she made a few sarcastic comments and I literally called my mom and told her I didn’t think we would get along (I can write this because Maggie and I joke about it now)… I quickly realized her sense of humor is one of her best qualities and we actually shared more in common than I do with most. Maggie is the kind of girl that will shoot it to you straight, but she always has your best interest at heart and it is so refreshing to have a friend that will be honest and hold you accountable to your own standards, but still knows how to have a good time. She was the most in tune with self growth, and I think because of her I am better at expressing my feelings and doing self reflection. She too is an adventurer, and is always down for some live music and a drink (my favorite kind of people). She loves art and music, and going to museums with her was the best because she would always point out little details I missed or try explaining the brushstrokes or history to me. She also is a freaking chef and I can’t wait to be a customer at her five star soup restaurant one day.

All three of these people were vulnerable, open to self growth, and the kind of cheerleaders you want in your life. It was so refreshing to be around three women who just genuinely want the best for you and it was never a competition or dramatic, just pure fun and cheering for the other’s success. If you can’t tell by now, I am obsessed with all of them and I know these aren’t our last adventures. In fact, we’ve all agreed that once we have a few bucks for our names we will be planning a reunion trip ASAP!!

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