Ever since I was 10 years old and visited London for the first time I knew I wanted to one day call the city my home. Fast forward 13 years (scary!) and I was a few months away from finishing my degree. I had already purchased my one way ticket and was eagerly awaiting my move. Funnily enough, I wasn’t too scared, sad or nervous to leave; I was definitely more excited! As I’m quickly approaching my 6 month Londonerversary I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my move thus far. What was easy, what was hard and most importantly, am I loving the London life?
You may have noticed a slight absence on my blog over the past week. I had been feeling really flat and unmotivated and as a result couldn’t bring myself to write anything of value. I quite literally had writers block. I have never considered myself a home body as travelling is my biggest passion in life but since I have been in London I have experienced the awful feeling that is homesickness twice. Once on my birthday (I was sick and alone so it wasn’t ideal) and again this week. Don’t get me wrong, London is a fantastic city but those that live here will know that visiting London and living in London are two completely different experiences. I’m going to talk to you about the things I’ve found particularly difficult and the things that I’ve enjoyed about my move so don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom!
The Hard Stuff
Living in London has undoubtedly been the most difficult thing I have ever done. I have moments where I love it but it also has moments of intense loneliness that I have never experienced anywhere else before. Back home I had a large social circle and a few friends in particular that I was very close to. Moving to London alone was a big step and due to the nature of my work and me moving around a lot, I’m unable to make friends through work colleagues. Strangely, I was never worried about making friends when I first arrived in London due to the fact that I’ve never had any trouble making them before as I’m a chatty, bubbly and social person. In a city with so many people like London it can actually be very isolating and hard to meet people. Don’t get me wrong, I’m trying to make friends and put myself out there but it’s definitely not as easy as I first anticipated.
Money is without a doubt the most stressful thing about London because let me tell you now, London is incredibly expensive. In fact, there’s no other way to describe London than a total rip off! Rent and travel is extortionate and it’s not long after you get paid that you find yourself completely broke again. I guess that’s the price you pay when all your savings are dedicated to travel!
The final thing that I find really difficult about London is, you guessed it, the weather. Being from the eternally sunny Perth I had been spoilt for life and knew that London isn’t exactly known for its weather. It’s incredible the effect that the weather can have on your mood and I had never really felt this first hand until I moved here. Although it doesn’t rain nearly as much as I thought it would, sometimes all a girl wants is to be able to wear a T-shirt and call it a day.
The Good Stuff
Due to the fact that I’m writing this section when I’ve been having a slightly off week, it’s going to be difficult to remain positive. Homesickness will do that to a girl! However I’m going to dig deep and be honest about the things I’ve enjoyed about London as I’ll be the first to admit that it can be a pretty great city.
Although I absolutely adore Perth and definitely want to live there when I’m slightly older I have to admit, I was bored. I was going to the same places and doing the same things week after week and I felt as though there wasn’t much opportunity for any kind of growth for me, both personally and professionally. London, even as overwhelming as it can be, will never get boring. The sheer size of it means that there are always new areas to explore and endless things to see, do and try; take for instance a junk yard mini golf course and a ping pong bar that I recently visited. London is a fantastic city for exploring and the fact that you never know what is around the corner is exciting.
One of my favourite things about living in London is that it’s on Europe’s doorstep and this enables me to feed my hunger for travel. Since living here I’ve visited Barcelona, Lisbon, Paris, Edinburgh and Marrakech and that’s only since January! Soon I’ll be off to Croatia and Greece and I know it wouldn’t be possible for me to travel like this unless I lived here.
What I’ve enjoyed most about London is how independent I’ve become. I would have always considered myself quite an independent person especially in an emotional sense but having lived at home all of my life I knew it was time for me to move on and go out on my own. I kind of did it big (I’m a bit of an all or nothing person) by moving out and moving to a foreign country at the same time but despite my struggles I have no regrets. I enjoy doing my own thing and being completely in charge of my own life, even though I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time. Oh, and my room is still a complete mess. Sorry Mum.
Have you ever moved overseas? What did you find hard and what did you find surprisingly easy? Let me know in the comments below!