Friday, October 28, 2011
Today is the four year anniversary of the day I moved to London. It’s hard to believe that I have been living in London for four years already. When I first moved here I thought I would be back in San Francisco after two years, but now it looks like I’m here for the foreseeable future.
Pending changes to UK immigration law, that is. Throughout my time in London, the laws determining my fate in this country have changed more times than I care to count. While those changes have caused me no small amount of stress and worry, they have also forced me to live every day in London as if it might be my last.
Over the past four years I have made it a goal that if I ever have to leave London, I won’t leave with any regrets. As such, I have made an effort to explore as many neighborhoods as I can, travel as much as I dare, and immerse myself in the culture of the city.
I think I’ve done a decent job. After living in London for four years, here are some of my stats:
1,461: Number of days I have lived in London
8: Number of times I have seen the Queen
52: Number of places I have visited in the UK since moving to London four years ago
1: Number of British racecourses of which I have been the face after randomly winning a modeling competition
Too many to count: Number of times I have eaten at restaurants in London
17: Number of times I have gone to afternoon tea
34: Number of London neighborhoods I have explored and written about in this London travel blog
1: Number of local Hampstead pubs I have helped save
75: Number of trips abroad I have taken since arriving in London
44: Number of new countries I have visited since moving to the UK (the total is now at 81 countries!)
Countless: Number of new experiences I hope to have in London in the future
A year from today I am eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, which would give me the right to continue living in London for the rest of my life. I don’t want to get my hopes up—there is still a year for the rules to change again—but no matter what happens, I certainly won’t regret the time I have spent here!