“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” —Joshua J. Marine
We all have good and bad days, right? Whilst I try to bring as much positivity as I can to this blog (it helps that I’m most inspired to write on my good days), you should know that I have really tough days/weeks/months too, when the London blues take over.
Why am I telling you all this, let alone dedicating a whole post to it? I often meet new Londoners and they’re finding it hard to settle in. I found it hard too. I just want to put it out there because I don’t want you to feel like you’re all alone when you first arrive in London, start on a massive high and then have a few shitty months and feel like you want to give up and go home before you’ve had a chance to make the most of this roller coaster ride that is London.
I tend to focus on the best things about living in London but the truth is it’s never easy being away from your family, friends, familiar surroundings and your own cultural norms for long periods of time.
Just because you’re living on the other side of the world doesn’t guarantee that your life will be one big adventure every day. That’s not real life and it’s so easy to forget these days when all we see is people’s biggest successes and highlights broadcasted to us every day on social media. No matter how much you love your life, it will never be perfect all the time, but that’s the way it should be!
It’s ok to feel homesick, sad or lonely sometimes. We’re all different and we react differently to every situation, but in the end we all made the decision to move abroad, move to a new city, a new country and we crave exploring new things, our emotions being one of them whether we like it or not.
Most often I miss my parents, especially when I come down with a cold or have a really bad day and all I want is a home cooked meal and a cuddle from my mum, or to hang out and relax with my dad.
Other times I miss the warm feeling of having my closest friends nearby, always having someone to talk to and be totally myself with. I miss the familiarity of home like actually knowing all the streets and suburbs of Melbourne or the regions in Australia, or just simply not having to use google maps or city mapper every single day of my life just to make it home (yes, it’s been 2 and a half years, it’s a big city!).
Yet no matter how sad, lonely or homesick I get, I always manage to snap out of it again because I can’t even begin to imagine how home sick I’ll be for London when or if I ever leave. Despite all the things that drive me mad about this city, I’ve really come to love it and it’s become my home. I’m coming up to three years in London this summer and while it may not sound that long in the grand scheme of things, it’s felt like a whole new lifetime for me! Life in Melbourne often feels like a distant memory and it’s scary how quickly and easily I forget what it was like.
“A bad day in London is still better than a good day anywhere else” – Unknown
What I want you to take away from this post, other than the fact that I ramble on too much, is that you’re going to have amazing days in London and you’re going to have really shitty days too. Don’t let the shitty ones overtake the good ones. You’ll have days when it feels like London is trying its damn hardest to make life in this city impossible for you, when you get fed up of how expensive, busy or grey this city is, and when you feel so home sick that you spend all day lying in bed thinking about the beach and flicking through old photos from ‘home’. It’s completely normal and OK, and we’re all in it together, all you have to do is reach out!
You may not realise it at the time and as much as I hate writing this next cliche, yogi sentence, these are the most crucial ‘character building’ moments on your personal journey from which you emerge on the other side a much stronger, wiser, more fulfilled person. A version 2.0 of yourself. You can never buy that kind of growth and whilst people may not see a physical change in you (well, except maybe the Heathrow Injection part), an experience like living abroad will change you forever in the most frustratingly marvellous way.
Well that got pretty deep, pretty quick. If you’re not already a part of the London New Girl Facebook group then please do join, it’s such a lovely way to meet new people and get some support from others going through the same things!
Let’s finish on little list, because I can never help myself!
Things I need more of in my London life:
- Storage space for aforementioned shoes.
- Storage space in general.
- All my Australian friends and family to come and visit me (hint hint).
Things I would never give up about London:
- Friends and all the amazing people I’ve met here so far.
- Pubs. They’re genuinely the best thing ever.
- Travel, so much travel.
- Career, the amount of amazing opportunities here is ridiculous.
- Summers in London. They have been (and will continue to be) the best summers of my life.