Why I Left Northern Ireland For London And How I’ve Been Enjoying It So Far.
I’ve been asked plenty of times why I made the big jump over to London so I’ve done a little bit of explaining here.
Why I wanted to move.
I think the biggest motivating factor in my moving over to England was all of the half marathon races over here. I figured that I was spending £2,000 a year on trips across to the UK mainland.
I wanted to be able to travel to races by train or bus and make life easier for myself.
I remember thinking that it was really fucking cool you could just take the train from London and be in Belgium or in France within 2 hours and run the Paris Marathon by just catching the Eurostar.
Pretty fucking cool.
So why did you leave for London now?
I’d been boring my friends for years about my plans to head out to England. I’ve wanted to do it since I graduated in 2008 but I never had the gall to do it until now.
Nothing bad happened to make me want to leave, in fact I was happier at home than I’d been for a long time.
I just wanted to create a new life for myself.
So I decided to book a one-way flight from Belfast to Gatwick with nothing waiting for me on the mainland except a one week Airbandb flat share in Wimbledon (which turned out to be great).
I didn’t think I’d go through with it. I assumed I’d just wasted another £75 on a flight I wanted to take but wouldn’t go through with.
That next morning was frantic. I’d set my alarm for 5am and the airport cab was picking me up at 5:30am. What followed was one of the worst ever packing jobs ever. I brought 4 pairs of running shoes with me and 1 pair of shorts.
And forgot all of my fucking running t-shirts.
I got into the taxi and headed to the George Best City Airport with a small bottle of whiskey mixed into a larger Pepsi bottle, partly to overcome my fear of flying and mainly to try to steady my mind at going through with my plan.
The taxi driver noticed that I was nervous and thought I’d been thrown out of the country.
“So mate, what have you done? Been selling cigarettes to the kids?”
Ah fuck off! I don’t need this now!
You’ve done it this time you daft cunt.
I got to London and my accommodation, unpacked my rucksack and the gravity hit home. I wept like a cunt for maybe 16 minutes.
Then I had a Creme Egg.
I still had no idea what the fuck I was doing. I tried to put my trust in whatever was guiding me, whether it was my intuition, a God or Jameson’s Whiskey.
Or quite possibly all three.
My first night in London was full of shitty self doubt.
Ever since then I’ve enjoyed living here. I’ve ran 5 times and my most recent runs in Greenwich have been great. I love running up around Greenwich Park. It’s beautiful.
I still miss the hills back home but I’ll be able to run around there again soon.
Today I was in St James Park next to Buckingham Palace and saw a woman in a burka feeding a rich tea biscuit to a squirrel.
I don’t know what it was about that particular situation but I heard the following 4 words in my brain.