London: Searching for a Soul City

London is a city for bankers. It is hard to afford a comfortable life here if you don’t think, live and love money. Don’t get me wrong, it is a beautiful place to stay in, it just isn’t for everyone. Not in the long term at least. 


I am constantly on the hunt for my soul city. And when I finally realised what I want to do for university – research sustainability – I realised that London is not a good fit for me. There are occasional recycling bins, there are discounts in cafes for reusable cups, there might be a latte levy. But at Boots (the pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer), there are still only two menstrual cups to choose from, you can find plastic cutlery in M&S (the truly British marketplace) and a symbolic fee on plastic bags. On the contrary, Japan is fighting overpopulation, ageing citizens and natural disasters. Japan is where I want to be, to help and solve the challenges that are making the country stronger than before. Ambitious? Of course, that is how I make my dreams come true (for now).

“Only a real-life experience can open up my eyes and tell me what the true is”

I used to look up to those people who live in London and thought, wow, they are living a dream. Today, I know that they are either tourists or migrant workers. Having said that, I love London and I have been lucky to have lived here for over three years. I will miss it, that’s for sure. But right now, I feel ready to face the next challenge and make a move (literally). Thank you, London, for raising me up and turning me into the woman I have become today. I will look forward to returning here one day but right now, I cannot wait to complete my last year of university and start exploring new cultures, far away from everything European-related.


My parents would not hear it but I am moving to Japan. Sooner or later, I will pack my bags and fly away. Yes, right now I am dreaming of eating sushi everyday and meeting geishas on the street. But only a real-life experience can open up my eyes and tell me what the true is – either you silly, London is a thousand times better than Tokyo, or well done, Japan beats the UK in every sense (100% naive, 0% likely). Either way, I need to face this challenge and learn from the potential mistakes.

What is your soul city and where did your journey take you to discover the dream place?


Image credits: Karolina Kubickova (FB)

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