Four things I learned living in London for a year.
August Bank Holiday 2016: I moved to London. August Bank Holiday 2017: London is my home.
The above is something I never thought would be possible for me. Either because of expenses or courage. But within a week and a half a year ago, I had packed up my life in Southampton and moved it to Surrey and London. I was astounded at how easy it was, and nervous about living in a city with such character.
But fast-forward a year and London has become just like any other town I have lived in.
So to anyone who thinks they can't do it, you so can:
1. Make connections. London is a huge city and things move quickly. Like really quickly! And I'm just going to say it how it is, the majority of the jobs and houses I got were because I knew people. Spare Room is great and eventually LinkedIn paid off, but starting out, all of my contacts came from contacts. Even the Fashion Week stuff came from a friend referral.
Tip: find groups on Facebook before you move and meet groups early on for the best connections and opportunities.
2. You might have to budget the F out of your salary. It's pretty obvious that London is super expensive. What with it being such a key player in the world/such a desirable city to be in. However I was always good at saving until I moved to this city... Then somehow my money sort of disappeared... I can't even blame irresponsible behaviour on a weekend anymore.
Tip: have a good budget of what you can spend a week. Do your weekly shop! Then the dinners or nights out can be justified.
3. The hype of living near the London Eye and other tourist attractions will wear off. Sure from time to time you'll be super grateful that Oxford Street is a twenty minute walk from your office. Or that you can visit places and not have to worry about cramming lots of site-seeing into one day. But then, suddenly tourists become a pain, the tube is your worst nightmare and you wonder why people are so fussed about travelling all this way to see a large scale Ferris wheel.
However, it means you get to delve deeper into a city that thousands pay thousands to come and visit. You can find all the spots that others are inspired by to come and visit. You find the character and the essence. And that's what makes it worth visiting. You can choose to become the elegant Londoners who weave in and out of the crowds and leave visitors in awe.
Tip: no joke, yoga breathing helps with the frustrations of the tube, slow walkers and any other delays. Learn to walk with purpose, even if you have to fake it to begin with. You'll find yourself swooping through crowds in no time.
4. The first year is the hardest, stick at it. Now this is not just me saying it. Others have said this to me too.
You begin with the fluttery excitement of a brand new adventure. Three months in you'll feel adjusted. Six months you'll wonder if it was all worth it. A year later you'll realise it totally was.
Tip: lean on friends and family. Remember why you started.
I've felt like a broken record at times, but I've grown up a lot from one year in London. And experienced so much that others can only dream of. It really has been a dream come true.
You want it? Go get it! And remember: you got this 💖
Where would you like to live most in the world?