The first time I saw snow, I was a small but curious seven-year-old, playing on the front steps of my uncle’s townhouse in central London. I ran around and tried to catch snowflakes with my tongue. I squealed in joy as I created snow balls in my hands, throwing them playfully at my mother. I built a meager snowman next to the mailbox.

Since then, I have loved London.

When I returned from that city, I tried to emulate a British accent. I succeeded for awhile, but eventually grew tired of it and moved on to other things, like most children. I dreamed of visiting again and would oft ask my mother when we could return.

“Soon,” she would say. “Very soon.”

I fell further in love with London by reading Harry Potter. In fact, my love grew like a contagion, spreading out from the city to the whole country. While other children focused on the magic, I was focused on the scenery and the descriptions of trains, alleyways, and buildings. When I started to watch the movies, I was overwhelmed by the British accents and the coolness that each actor inherently possessed. I tried again to do a British accent but it was too late for it to truly stick.

I visited again when I was about 15. This time, I was a full-on tourist. I wanted to go everywhere and do everything. Harrods, the Eye of London, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben… My energy seemed to be never-ending whereas my mother’s had quickly emptied by the fourth day of our three week vacation. I loved the city. The city loved me.

The last time I visited, I was 22. Recently graduated from college and without the same intensity that 15-year-old me had possessed. I mostly wanted to sleep for the time I was there. Sleep and enjoy curry, tea, and the telly. I didn’t want to do much and later, I regretted this. I should have done more, explored more.

So next time I come back to you London, whether it be for a visit or a more permanent stay, I plan to live like it is my last day. Because you are the place where I plan to spend my last days.

Tourist Trap

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