Thursday, 6 August 2009

Tips / Advice for Relocating to London

This morning I found a To Do list that I had written upon my arrival in London and over it brightened up my day, as the top 10 things on my list… the top 10 things I considered important to me, I have completed. It has reminded me that I actually have achieved a lot since coming to London. I have done a lot, and it has not been a complete disaster.

London is an amazing city and I would highly recommend it to anyone. It is a fantastic place to live (unless you live central… ) but I thought I would write my top tips when moving to a big city.

- Pick a nice area to live
Do your research! Like all cities, London has its good areas and bad areas… You do not want to live in a bad area of town – it takes away your freedom! But then again, a very good area of town is going to be mega pricey. I chose to move to Acton – typically a rough neighbourhood but the area I live in is closer to Chiswick a middle class area and therefore I get the best of both worlds, a relatively cheap (by London standards) place to live and close to a lovely area (if a little too posh) I haven’t had any trouble whatsoever! And it has almost been a year!

- Find some great friends
Easier said than done in this city! Everyone is very concentrated on their own lives and will not look twice at you unless you make the effort first. But then they are very wary of this. I made friends through my second job and I wouldn’t change them for the world. A great mix of people - I love them all! Or use
(yes I am aware that the photo is awful!)

- Discover the ‘countrified’ things in your area
In London people are so bogged down in city life, they tend to want to be in the country. Therefore there are many farmers markets, gorgeous park spaces, canal / riverside cafes and bars etc. It really eases the stress of the city and works whether you are alone, or with a great bunch of friends.

- Have a regular place
If you head to the same cafĂ© at the same time every few days, you will tend to see the same people, meaning that you become a familiar face and then if you can, work up the courage to speak to them… another way of making new friends.
My place of work became my regular haunt... meaning I made mad friends, like the madman in this picture! :)
- Know what is 'close' by you
All of a sudden you have moved from somewhere that everything was familiar to a strange urban wilderness which at first can seem daunting… but if you need out of the city for a while, be aware of how close you are to so many other places! Head to Kings Cross / St Pancras and take the Eurostar to Paris for a couple of days. Or jump on a train to Brighton for the sea air, or even head to Bath or Bristol… it is all close at hand now!

- Learn to love the tube
By far the easiest mode of transport. But learning to love the people barging into you, or the 5 people squashing you on a packed tube at rush hour is far more difficult. Develop a thick skin and deal with it. If need be barge back… or say something! Believe, they sh*t themselves.

- After a while find yourself a lovely partner in crime
Whether that be a friend that you meet that you instantly never want to lose or a special man / woman.
Someone to share great things with, and someone to lend a shoulder to cry on when you are feeling down or homesick. I was lucky enough to find a great friend in Fiona… not so much luck on the man front… for a massive city with such a diverse population – I have had zero luck with men - Massively attracted to a man who is both inappropriate and emotionally unavailable… typical!

Like I said, London is a great city, I would go as far as to say London is the best city in the world! (That I have visited) This is probably due to the great friends and the great experience I have had.

Reading my list earlier today made me realise that while moving here and starting a new life has been difficult and while things have been mad the past couple of month, I have made the right decision. Moving to London was worth it and I love it!

Now the stressful things just have to ease up a bit and all will be well in my world :)

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