Coming up to my one-year anniversary in London, I thought it was about time that I spruce up my page, update any outdated information, and just give it the love and attention that it’s been craving.
My first year in London has been amazing. There have been some big highs and lows, and a few home sickness moments, but life has worked out pretty well for me here. It’s funny how easily one can fall into the general day-to-day grind of life, even on the other side of the world.
Once I got a bit of routine happening, with a permanent home and a new job, I settled into this crazy city pretty quickly. Then add to that some great new friends that I’ve made along the way, London now feels more homely than ever.
If I’m honest, it did take me at least 8-10 months to really feel comfortable here. Many friends that I speak to have similar views – some say they only really came into their own after 18 months of living here, others are similar to me with 8-12 months of mild awkwardness. There’s no set rule, but it does generally take some time to feel settled, comfortable and at home in a big, new city.
The biggest factor in this, for me, was making a new network of friends. Once I started meeting new people and building strong relationships, it gave me the confidence to do so many other things. Knowing that I have people here who I can call great friends, whom I can talk to and spend time with is invaluable and definitely made this move so much more fun!
Another big reason for coming to London was to follow my passions and grow into myself a little more. I must admit, when I look at the person I was a year ago, to who I am now, I feel so much happier, more confident and much more accomplished. My new career has made me feel so fulfilled, both personally and creatively, and it has opened up so many other doors that I didn’t think possible. I had a small glimpse back into my old life in the corporate finance world the other day, and it brought shivers down my spine. I was never unhappy in that role, it was perfect for me at the time and exactly what I wanted, but I’ve just changed so much as a person and with that, my priorities have also completely flipped, so the thought of going back into my old life brings me chills. I’m all about growing as a person now, rather than growing my bank account, and it’s made me a lot happier (although growing both at the same time would be nice too).
I’m currently writing this post whilst sitting outside in my garden, sipping on my Monmouth latté from my local French café, eating breakfast in a summer dress and flip-flops, soaking up the delicious July heat wave. Apparently this is likely to be one of London’s best and hottest summers ever!
If I was to sit down and write this post in February, March, even April this year, it would definitely have a different tone – mildly depressed, somewhat homesick, most likely I’d have been literally sick (stupid flu), and with what one could easily mistake for a hint of remorse.
Luckily, the cold, dark days of one of Britain’s longest winters are behind me, and now I’m experiencing one of Britain’s hottest summers, almost as if Mother Nature is trying to make up for it. It’s funny what a bit of sun and hot weather can do to an Australian’s attitude towards life. Here I was thinking I was more than prepared with my experience of Melbourne’s crazy weather, but nothing could have prepared me emotionally for these last 8 months of constant winter. If I ever look at my green jacket again (the only warm jacket I had all winter), I will burn it!
The cold days really make you appreciate the warm ones though, and I must say, coming into late Spring, when the weather finally started reaching 15 degrees +, I’ve never seen a city so alive and buzzing. There was so much happening, everyone was in a fantastic mood, people came out from hiding and London became amazing! Now that we’re in full-blown summer, I’m out every night after work and, along with the rest of London, we all hop from one outdoor activity to another. Picnics in the park, rooftop bars, outdoor cinemas, shopping at the markets, beer gardens galore, this has really been one of the best summers of my life, and it’s really only just begun.
I’m looking forward to what the next year in London has in store for me, and for those of you who are planning to move abroad yourselves, I’m looking forward to hear what your first impressions of London are (or wherever you end up). Do you have similar worries/hopes/expectations of life abroad? What is/was your biggest reason for moving to another country?
The London New Girl