The first time I lived in London, I was interning with NBC News and sharing a flat with four girls in Bloomsbury on Great Russell Street next to the British Museum. Even though the Covent Garden Piazza was only a half mile south of my flat, it took me a month to figure out how to walk there and back without getting incredibly lost. I blame the halfway point- the Seven Dials.
Each time I made it to the Seven Dials, I felt like Dorothy staring at the Scarecrow and wondering which road to take. They all seemed paved with yellow bricks leading to Oz. The combination of side streets I could choose was endless, and each one was lined with specialty stores, restaurants, spas and entertainment venues. It also didn’t help that there was a pub blurring my vision every 20 meters.
In 2012 I was planning for my second move to London when a colleague, a British expat in America, gave me sacred advice. She felt that for a permanent international move, a person should find a location in the foreign city that serves as a “happy place.” On days when I felt homesick, defeated or in need of motivation, I should have a location that provided inspiration and a reminder of why I made the choice to live as an expat.
I chose Covent Garden.
It’s the place where, regardless of the weather, I always feel sunshine.