Revelations from Shoreditch: 'I suck at London goodbyes'

I got to show Bailey around London on her inaugural visit to the city today. And we instantly fell into the swing of things, even though we hadn't properly seen one another in two years {almost exactly}. She had heard of a sort of food park called Dinerama in Shoreditch, so that's where we headed towards the end of the evening for some dinner time bites. It is the perfect place to try different foods and split them with friends. Together we shared donuts topped with ice cream, pizza, Chinese dumplings, and a slushie. 

As our Friday afternoon progressed from a new piercing in Camden {not me, Momma} to high tea in Chelsea {post on this soon} to food stalls and street art in Shoreditch, our conversations also progressed. We caught up on one another's travels, relationships, and the status of our {current} future plans. We had the best talk about how being runners has shaped us. We laughed and it felt both like old times and like something new. 

Of course, seeing Bailey meant saying goodbye. 

We sure do have a track record for goodbyes, London and I. Really England as a country and I aren't very good at saying our 'farewells.' I suppose it's because we've shared so many of them. 

During my time living in England, I had to say goodbye time and time again {as military kids do} to my friends. Every year without fail, someone I had grown close to had to leave for the next base their parent was stationed. When it was finally my time to leave, I struggled so hard that I spent my entire first South Dakota summer in 'mourning' listening to too much Evanescence {which is any amount of Evanescence if we're being honest}. When I left last summer, I went shaking and sobbing. I barely made the final call of my Emirates flight to Dubai en route to the wonderful little life waiting on me in Laos. 

Bailey and I aren't in constant contact the way we used to be. We had two years worth of catching up to do. We aren't the same girls we were in high school {thank goodness}. And we've grown even further into ourselves since Uni. We move from deep and heavy to light and hilarious. We are different and we are similar. She's making her own way in Portland. I'm navigating mine...wherever it is I am. 

As I walked her to the station to catch the train back to Surbiton, she asked, 'Want me to say goodbye right now?' I avoided eye contact. "You know I'm terrible at goodbyes, especially here." We both started laughing hysterically and then hugged each other. 'Yeah, I should probably go quick.' "Why on Earth do I feel like I could actually cry?"  We laughed as she swiped her Oyster card and hopped on the train with a few seconds to spare. 

As much as I love this beautiful city, there are a lot of things I would change about London. The amount of people who smoke. The reserved nature of those people. The cost. The heat and the smells on the underground. And of course... many goodbyes are attached to it.

Goodbyes are never easy, even with practice. Leaving loved ones is always hard, no matter how many times you do it. Luckily, 'goodbye' doesn't have to mean 'goodbye forever.' And people are only ever just a plane ride away if you want them to be. I suppose what I realised walking home from the train station is that I am lucky to have people that make me want to jump on planes to see them {again and again}. That makes saying goodbye hard. That make Fridays more fun. 


Street address: Columbia Rd, London E2 7RG

Cost of admission: Free if you enter before 7 p.m. {holla!}

Hours of Operation: 12 p.m. - midnight

Nearest tube station: Old Street {Northern line, approx. 12-minute walk} or Shoreditch High Street {Central line, approx. 6-minute walk}