“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
How appropriate these words are for this post. I’ve been traveling all over the world, it seems, just doing the next big thing. Over the past 6 months I’ve lived in London, England and also, Austin, Texas. Quite the stark contrast.
I’ve decided to make a comparison between the two large cities, because, after living in Austin and London for 3 Months, you start to see things differently.
- Not particularly pedestrian-friendly, but the public transportation is great– we would walk and take trains or the Tube to get places.
- Good selection of foods; except for the fact they lack one necessary component for life, Tex-Mex.
- There was a myriad of people and accents– although, I felt like the one with an accent. For the first two weeks I tried my best to speak like a Brit but not only did that fail, it made me sound “mental” apparently.
- There were a lot of parks. And loads of places to go running. I loved this part a lot.
- Allegedly “pedestrian friendly” but I’m still not used to driving around, holding up traffic when a bicyclist is putting along down South Congress at 7pm. Driving here is really bad. You don’t know how many times I’ve been flipped off…whoever said Southerners are friendly drivers, I don’t know what you were thinking!
- It’s a Foodie’s paradise here. There are so many food stands and local, quirky shops that offer things like Sunflower Cheese, and Spinach-and-Rhubarb smoothies, and other random items that will leave you feeling like you just traveled the world using your tastebuds alone!
- in Austin, Tx… there are a myriad of people from all over the world, but the local accent is the Texas twang. I love hearing Asians speak with a Texan accent at Whole Foods…
- The terrain is spread out. A lot. I’d have to drive like 5 miles to get to Zilker Park (I’d bike there if I could but I don’t have one). Zilker Park has amazing things going on though, such as Blues on the Green each Wednesday night this summer, as well as a show of the Sound of Music.
Those are just a few geological and physiological differences between the cities. They are pretty similar, but that’s because of the fact they are large melting-pot cities. They say Austin is the Paris of the South!
But living in London was a totally different experience than living in Austin. Its not just the people. Its not just the culture, or the history… its something deeper, almost. Its like a heritage. A legacy of each city, as its thousands of inhabitants leave their marks daily in many ways.
In both places, it had been a struggle and a challenge to stay afloat and stay encouraged, despite the culture shock. God is with me– always. But sometimes you feel like you can get lost along with all the other people drifting along in the big city life.
But not everything is bad about the city. If I had a choice, I would live in the city, or near it, because I love being around so many people and so many places. I wonder if that’s just because Im young and naive. In each city I have discovered new friends, a new way of life, and a new adventure. I would not take back my time for a second– I have grown so much as a person, and it’s all thanks to God who guides it all. He’s my adventure.
Now, for a treat: Can you guess which photo was taken in England and which one is from Texas?
No worries… I bet you got that, easy. Just in case, one is St. Paul’s Cathedral, built by Christopher Wren, and the other is the Austin State Capitol building.
What are some things you like about your city? Where would you like to live for 3 months if you could?