Listen While Reading: This Must Be My Dream // The 1975.
I distinctly remember walking the streets of London on a foggy and misty May morning and feeling completely serene and content with my life.
London had always been a dream; a place I had ventured to only in my dreams or through my endless assortment of books and historical movies. I would talk about London like I had travelled there multiple times, when in reality, the closest I had gotten to the city was through pictures on a computer screen.
One day, as I was finishing up my third year of college, I was sitting outside one of the main buildings on campus. I had my earphones on, listening to one of those songs that easily stir up all your emotions. And as I watched cars speeding by on the streets and students hustling to their next class with books balancing in the hands, a sudden and rather irrational decision came to me: I was going to London.
You can only imagine the look on my parent’s faces when I told them. They didn’t believe me, which was understandable. There I was, a poor college student attending classes full time and working any other days I wasn’t buried in loads of papers at school. But I had reached a time in my life where I knew that I had to go. I had to go anywhere. I needed to travel. I craved exploration and to see the one city that I had fallen in love with way back when I was a little girl.
Even when I began planning where I would go, it still never felt real. I hadn’t bought a plane ticket or booked hotels. Deep down, I knew it was only one of my impossible dreams.
Then the strangest thing happened out of the blue. I was talking to my mother and father, and London had been brought up. Of course I mentioned that I was going, even though I knew I wasn’t and couldn’t, especially on my insanely tight budget.
But then my dad looked at my mom and he told her to go with me. Believe it or not, next thing I knew, I was standing at LAX airport with my passport in my hand.
I went to London.
I saw the dreamlike city appear before me. It all still seemed untouchable and unreal. I felt like I was walking through my own dream. I had high tea at the Ritz, I walked up to Big Ben, I strolled around Notting Hill, and felt alive. I felt so alive. And it is one of the happiest memories I have.
The last morning in London, I strolled out of our hotel by myself. Even in May, I had my black coat on. And I walked around for a while, breathing in the chilly morning air that surely doesn’t exist in the sweltering desert of Southern California. My heart no longer ached, and I found myself smiling as I walked down the quaint streets.
I think about London every single day and the joyous memories that are embedded in my head and soul forever. I’m even planning to move there now after I graduate!
It’s true that you must always follow your dreams, for dreams don’t always have to be dreams.
They can be real, and in the best way possible.
Words by Jacqueline Lindeberg // Photography by Grecia Villa.
© 2016 Reef Magazine