Return to the Plague Island
Sane Mind United Kingdom

Return to the Plague Island

After six months in Belgrade, I decided to call it a day and return to the UK. Back in January, when I came back to London, the foreign press referred to it as the plague island. They were reporting more than 50000 new coronavirus cases every day, with many people ending up in hospitals and dying. Perhaps, it was really the best way to describe the UK at that time.

 

 

WHY DID I LEAVE BELGRADE?

 

I left Belgrade because it no longer made sense for me to stay there. But let me explain in more detail. My original plan was to stay in Serbia for 3 months. In the end, I was there for 6 months. I did some major dental work that lasted much longer than I had originally thought that it would last. However, that didn’t bother me a lot as I arrived to Belgrade in July, in the middle of the summer. I enjoyed my stay in Belgrade until approximately the end of October.

Then, the weather changed and it became much colder. I spent most of December at home, alone and doing nothing. Undoubtedly, it wasn’t the most exciting period of my life. Although I went for a walk every day, I usually stayed out for no longer than an hour, it was simply far too cold.

So, as soon as it was practically possible, I took the flight back to London. I didn’t want to stay in Serbia for the rest of the winter, it would’ve been a waste of time and money. I was renting a flat in Belgrade while, at the same time, I was doing nothing at all.

 

 

ARRIVAL TO THE PLAGUE ISLAND

 

I arrived to the UK in early January. At that time, the only requirement was for me to stay at home in quarantine, for 10 days. I did that. A week after my arrival they introduced a mandatory negative PCR test for everyone arriving to the country. Later, they came up with some further requirements which luckily I completely evaded.

The journey from Belgrade to London was smooth. There were no queues at the passport control and I was back home in no time.

 

Kensington Palace - Return to the Plague Island
Kensington Palace

 

 

WINTER IN LONDON

 

One of the main reason why I came back to London, in the middle of the winter, was the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the fact that it was impossible to travel anywhere else. In fact, it’s still almost impossible to go anywhere.

As I’m now a non-EU citizen, I can’t go to any EU country without a valid reason. Travelling for tourism is just about now starting, with some countries tentatively opening their borders. But I have to say that those countries are not necessarily where I’d like to go just because they are currently the only option.

Furthermore, I’m in my flat in London where I only have to pay the bills. So, one more objective for coming back to the UK was to cut expenses to the minimum. This certainly made more sense than paying a rent for a flat in Belgrade where, in the end, I did nothing.

 

Albert Bridge - Return to the Plague Island
Albert Bridge

 

 

SPRING IN LONDON

 

There has been no spring in London this year. At the time when I’m writing this post, it’s still cold with temperatures around 11 or 12 degrees C. Additionally, there were very few sunny days, it’s grey and raining almost every day. In other words, the weather couldn’t be worse. It’s a shame especially because such weather prevents you from doing nice and enjoyable things.

I try to go out for a walk with my friends whenever possible. But, the only enjoyable part of these walks has been the company of to me dear people, whom I missed a lot during my stay in Belgrade.

Also, pictures¬† that you can see in this post, I took them randomly during the rare sunny moments. In fact, I wanted to go around the city and take some more interesting photos of London’s famous landmarks. So far, that was simply impossible. I don’t really want murky and depressing photos, especially not for a post like this one.

 

Holland Park - Return to the Plague Island
Holland Park

 

 

WHAT ARE MY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?

 

Frankly speaking, I don’t think that anyone can make any plans for the future at the moment. The situation with the coronavirus in the UK is much better now, compared with how it was when I arrived. But, will it last?

Here in the UK, everything should go back to normal on the 21st June. It means that absolutely all restrictions will be lifted, including international travel. Unless of course, there is a sudden increase in new coronavirus cases, which is quite possible. They are already talking about the new “Indian variant”.

So, the same as everyone else, I’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Once things become clearer, I’ll start making plans depending on what happens in other countries. Of course, I’m not going to consider going to far away destinations just yet, such as Asia or South America. I can always go back to Serbia. But, I’d also like to go back to Turkey and see the eastern part of the country. One other option that I was thinking about are Romania and Bulgaria.

In any case, it would have to be somewhere from where I can quickly return, either to the UK or to Serbia. These are the only two places where I can stay without any limitation.

 

Albert Bridge by Night - Return to the Plague Island
Albert Bridge by Night

 

I also have some other projects in mind, but I’ll write more about them in the future. To quickly mention, I’m thinking about selling my flat and buying something bigger, in a different area of London.

Or, if things with the coronavirus pandemic turn for the worse and no meaningful travel will be possible, I may look for a part-time job. Otherwise, I’d feel like I’m wasting my time, sitting all day at home and doing nothing. It’s really strange how things have changed in just over a year, how all previous ideas and plans simply disappeared.

Anyway, we all have to be patient for a bit longer and, hopefully, this dark period will be behind us forever.

 

 

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