I’ve come to love London as though it were my own. It’s made me laugh, cry, laugh-cry, its stresses have broken me, the highs have changed my life. The city has been challenging, rewarding, blissful and harrowing in equal measures. I’ve gained a new career, a new family, a tiny fur baby (read: puppy), new friends, travels, experiences, hobbies… a new life, really. Although it’s “only” been five and a half years, I feel like I’ve been here my entire life. I definitely feel like London is my city. I know it like the back of my hand.
So what’s next? Well, I’m not heading home to Australia just yet. I love living in Europe too much to leave right now. This part of the world really just keeps me in my element and makes me so happy. Equally, I’ve been ready for something new for a while now. Since the day the Brexit vote was announced and all the mess that ensued, it really broke a part of me and I haven’t been able to put that feeling aside ever since. The extreme love I had for London just never came back, no matter how hard I tried. So, it’s time for a break and to try somewhere new.
And I hear it’s always a good time for Paris!
Funnily enough, I didn’t choose my soon-to-be new city. It chose me. Well, not entirely true – it chose my fiancé who got a job offer that we couldn’t turn down. Despite always chronicling my love for Paris and how much I wanted to live there one day, over the past couple of years that mindset changed and Paris fell off my bucket list of places to live. So, when it unexpectedly catapulted itself back into my life, well… I guess it must be a sign or something? Maybe I really was destined to live there at some point in my life.
I really didn’t know where to start with writing this post. I stared at a blank page for weeks – how do I even begin to explain what living in London has meant to me? So, I think it’s most fitting to end the way I started – with a list.
My time in London
- Meeting my now-fiancé and getting our little puppy, Slinky, the cutest thing that’s ever happened to me. And getting my sister back after living on opposite ends of the world for a few years, and seeing her marry the man of her dreams (yes i know that’s technically 4 things poorly disguised in one dot point)
- It’s a corny one, but… you can do anything you set your mind to. It doesn’t always happen first try, it isn’t always easy, but if it’s something you really really want, you’ll find a way to make it happen.
Things I gained
- A new family – literally, a fiancé, puppy, my sister and a new brother in law. But also a group of wonderfully brilliant friends who are like family to me.
Things I didn’t expect
- The annoyance of seeing the next tube is 4 whole minutes away (!); how much I’d want to catch and adopt my own squirrel; how little time it took for me to become one of ‘those’ people who lie out tanning in parks in the summer. No shame.
Things I learned to love
- RyanAir. Well…. love is a strong word here, but I learned to ‘get on reasonably well with’ Ryanair. Unless I forgot to pack my headphones to drown out the sales messages.
- Stairs everywhere. Good for the butt and all that.
What London needs to work on
- The cost of getting to an airport costing more than the flight itself
- More snow please, and ideally a beach.
- Safer cycling options
Better education about littering. Sounds ridiculous but throwing your rubbish on the ground is just not ok and drives me nuts!! (Especially now I have a puppy who tries to eat each and every piece of rubbish she comes across… everywhere).
What’s next for London New Girl?
I’m shifting the focus to YOU. After all, to me, you’ve always been the best part of London New Girl. The strong, tight-knit community that has grown from this little blog I started all those years ago astounds me every day. I love checking in and seeing everyone helping each other out on a daily basis.
So, I’m turning the focus to all of you and sharing your stories of life in London.
Plus, I’ll only be 2.5 hour train ride away after all, so I’m not giving up on London completely. I’ll still be posting bits and bobs about London, and launching an updated Moving to London e-book, so London New Girl will still remain a great tool for anyone moving to or living in London.
In 2018 I’m also launching quarterly London New Girl events – whether it’s a bottomless brunch, a networking evening or a supper club night – it’ll be the perfect way to get to know other girls in London and make new friends for life.
See you in 2018!
Well, that’s it from me for 2017. I hope you all had a relaxing Christmas and have a brilliant new year. The next time you hear from me will be from Paris, eeeep, so wish me luck with the move this week! If you have any tips, advice, know any interesting people or places, do let me know! Sadly there’s no Paris New Girl (…yet) so I’m starting out on my own here. I’ll keep you updated on how I get on, I’m sure.
Signing out for the last time as a London New Girl…
This post was originally posted on 31st December. Due to a technical glitch when switching website hosts, it was deleted and restored again 18th Jan. Apologies to those whose comments have been deleted as a result.