I read this post by Kim in Dublin on expat frustrations and it just clicked with me. Living in a place long-term is far, far different than spending a week there. Real life -- miles from your family and everything you're used to -- is often hard work and, once the shiny glow wears off and routine descends, sometimes downright lonely.
It takes awhile to make your home in a brand new place and to build up a network of friends. One of the things I find most challenging is that London's a revolving door. Often the good friends I make leave to go up North, back to Canada or America or Australia or Spain or... you get the picture. I've been here for six years and in that time more friends have come and gone than I can shake a stick at (not that I can find a stick to shake in central London). Of course it's better to have loved and lost, but still!
Life in a new country is exciting and a wonderful experience. But that doesn't mean it's always going to be easy!