When people have asked me about my upcoming move to England, a lot of times they question me about London.
"Are you going to live in London proper?"
"What are you doing to do for work in London?"
"When do you leave for London?"
"Is Luke from London?"
No. Nope. No. Wrong again.
I imagine this is something that has been annoying Brits for years...decades...centuries, even! England is not all London. It's not even half London and half English countryside. (Though, that would be lovely, wouldn't it?) It's kind of like someone saying they're moving to the US and getting a slew of questions about New York City.
I guess it's a little harder to differentiate areas and regions in England since it's smaller. The US has multiple major world cities. We have vast cultural differences from coast to coast and recognizable regions. I'm not saying England doesn't have major cultural differences across the country. But it is significantly smaller, and us Americans tend to get our English geography knowledge from the Premier League. Or even more specifically, teams David Beckham has played for. The problem with learning geography that way is that Birmingham's most popular team is called Aston Villa and David Beckham has never played for them!
Luke isn't from London (though he was born there) and he isn't from Birmingham either. He went to University there, where he joined a campus ministry called Canvas in his second year. Last year, I went on a mission trip with my church to visit said ministry and we met playing pub quiz. Now, his job is based out of Birmingham and he has built his life there for the last eight years.
Birmingham is the most populous city in England outside of London. It sits in the West Midlands, about halfway between the east and west coasts. It was once a prominent industrial town and was heavily bombed in World War II in the Birmingham Blitz. It was redeveloped in the 1950's and 1960's, which we all know to be the Architecture Golden Age.
In two weeks, I'll call it home. Luke and I are subletting for the first month or two while finding a place to let for the next year. We'll buy a house once I get settled in my new city and can give a little more input into where we should buy. Because of my visa, I can't work until we're married, so I'm not sure what I'll do for work down the road. We're just considering it a blessing that I get built in time to settle in and get adjusted to my new environment.
In the meantime, maybe I'll visit London on a day trip. Certainly if someone comes to visit. But no, I am not moving to London.