I was back in the States last week for the first time since moving to London three months ago. I was in both DC and St. Paul/Minneapolis for work, and it was really good to be back and see colleagues, take care of work stuff, catch up with friends and enjoy some American/DC things. It was a really good trip, yet it also cemented for me how happy I am to be living in London.
It was a little surreal to be back at first, and quickly felt almost like I had never left, as I became immersed in work stuff and returned to my old routines from living in DC for five years. At times, the fact that I actually live in London seemed almost unreal, like a dream. I am grateful already for the experiences I’ve had so far living abroad, and already know that it has changed me.
But putting aside the introspective stuff, I had to enjoy some favorite little things while back in the States. First up was a venti iced coffee (2 pumps classic and soy). Like heaven. London does not do iced coffee well, and iced Americanos are not the same. Enjoyed in Union Station on my way to the office. I don’t know who Kay is.
Later, a salad as big as my head from Chop’t, sitting in my office. It was so nice to be back in an office, which may shock people who long to get away from their desks, but I really missed having an office environment to work in.
I went to SoulCycle! It was amazing. Hands down the best spin class I have ever attended. The first class was $20 with free shoe rental. Everything about this class was awesome: the quality of the instructor, the motivational mantras, the smooth spin cycles, the friendliness of the employees, the music, the rides timed to the beat, the fantastic showers after, fully stocked with great products. Weirdly, almost no one else showered after the 6am class. I had forgotten how small DC can be and how easy it is to get around, and I guess most people had time to go home to shower before work. In London, that never happens.
Anyway, it is worth the hype and I bought into it big time. Also literally – the second class was $30 plus $3 shoe rental! So I am glad I don’t live in DC since it would be way to tempting, and I am half-excited, half-dreading Soul coming to London next year.
After just two days in DC I was at the airport again to Minnesota, but that felt like nothing after a transatlantic flight. Three days in Minnesota were work-heavy. I did get to go for an early run along the Mississippi River, but it was super dark. Meetings were good and it was good to see people, and I returned to DC late on Friday night.
Saturday morning started with an early yoga class and coffee with friends, followed by a nice walk in the sun around the city, a kombucha (is this in London? It must be, but I haven’t seen it) and salad from Sweetgreen.
I also enjoyed other only-in-America things like pumpkin beer and pumpkin ice cream (God I miss Trader Joe’s), tacos and margaritas (sorry London but your Mexican craze doesn’t quite hit the mark) and lots of catching up with friends and more yoga and SoulCycle.
DC may win on pumpkin and Mexican, but London definitely wins on yoga. I went to two classes in DC that I used to really enjoy, but they have nothing on The Power Yoga Company in Fulham. DC wins on being compact and relatively easy to get around, but London absolutely wins on public transport. I don’t want to get into how long I waited for single-tracking metro lines on the weekend.
I also enjoyed an early morning run around the monuments on Sunday, followed by brunch with friends and more walking around the city.
And finally, the loot of American goods I brought back, with things for myself, Andy, Leah and Stephanie:It really was a great visit back and I was happy to be in DC, and now that I am back in London, I am so thrilled to be here. I feel lucky to live and have lived in so many great places.