The battle of the continents

The constant battle in my head. It’s like a never ending comparison of the tiniest things put together to try and make a case out of nothing.

The ambulances are too loud, people don’t know what side of the path to walk on, and the dip selection really is appalling. These are the stupid details that I linger on when I feel I’m getting too comfortable in London, when the idea of moving back to Australia becomes less of a reality and more of a bad dream.

The truth is, I want to ‘want to’ go back to Australia one day (I didn’t double up by accident just there). I feel like I’m always trying to talk myself into wanting to return one day in the not too distant future, but my heart is just nowhere near ready for that yet.
There’s so many things that feel would be impossible to give up, now that I’ve had a taste of them.
The endless amount of galleries and exhibitions. The constant stream of new bars, cafΓ©s and restaurants opening. The shopping, so much shopping. The amazing public transport. The fact that getting to Italy takes less time than getting to Perth. The constant buzz on the streets and all around me. Always being surrounded by people, from all walks of life, and never being afraid to walk home at night. Incredible culture and diversity – hearing 10 different languages in one train carriage. Cheap booze and groceries. The house parties, so many house parties. The dinner parties too. Everyone coming together to catch up over Sunday roasts at the pub. The exciting career opportunities. The fact that I get to do what I love for a living, and on such a grand scale for the whole of Europe, in over 25 languages. The parties on the last tube home, or that unspoken acknowledgement of your fellow drunk passengers on the night bus. The idea of holiday houses in France or Spain. That feeling of really living your life exactly the way you want to, not having to make excuses for anything or anyone, just really letting go and being who you want to be, and learning a shit load about yourself along the way.

Australia is a very beautiful country. I can day dream about the sun and beaches all day long, but the fact is that my life in London is just so stripped back for me. Ok I’ll always need nice clothes, but I feel like my priorities are so different here than they are back home. Here I’m living life purely for the experiences. I love not driving a car or not having the latest gadget soup maker at home. I don’t need a fucking soup maker. I can make it myself. I crave the feeling of trying something new, of seeing a place I’ve never seen before, of opening myself up to meet amazing new people, and discover new hobbies and talents that I never knew I had. This is 100% ‘me’ time, and it’s very rare to have an opportunity like that, so I have to take advantage and squeeze every last drop out of what I have going here.

 

One day I want to have nice things too and I look forward to being totally content with that, but right now I can’t imagine life any other way. For now, I will continue on with this new life in London, with the hope that one day I will have had enough and will be ready to move back home.

22 thoughts on “The battle of the continents

  1. I have this problem every day. I lived in London for nearly two years and found myself more and more in love with the City every day. I moved back to Perth in December and now have this longing to return. Completely torn by the two places. I teach so I have security in work wherever I live, I just wish the two places could be some what closer.

    The confusion is so frustrating.

  2. Hi, I came across your blog when look for info on moving to London. Reading it takes me back to my first London life from 2002 to 2007. I returned to Australia with a girlfriend and a 1 y.o. baby boy thinking Australia was home and the place to raise my kids. After 7 very unsettled years and another baby boy, we’re heading back to London, this time to make our home. It’s different for everyone, but we have struggled to settle here, the compromises for the sake of sunshine have felt too much for us. And we look forward to our boys growing up with the amazing access to travel along with the history and culture. Interested to read how your inner turmoil goes with the never ending ‘here or there’ saga! I really like your blog by the way. All the best.

    1. Hey Steve,
      I won’t deny that your comment is a little scary haha, but I completely understand. My mum just moved back to Poland after 32 years in Australia, so I know what those ‘unsettling’ years can be like. I knew when I moved that I was putting myself at risk of the same thing – getting a taste of something new and never being 100% content with anywhere, but it’s completely worth it. Better to give it a shot and deal with the consequences, if they arise, than to be too scared to try and spend the rest of your life regretting it!
      I miss the beach like crazy, but maybe I’ll miss London life even more?!
      Good luck with your move back to London, I’m sure it’s a very exciting and scary time in your life, but it sounds like London is where you belong! πŸ™‚

  3. I discovered your blog a little while ago and it was so cool to see someone who did what me & my girlfriend are planning to do! I am planning on making the big move in about a year, and the thing that scares me most is finding a job. I’m going to have a business degree with a concentration in marketing and some work experience under my belt.

    Please tell me- what was the job hunt like!?

    It worries me because I hear the unemployment is high for young people there, and I’m so scared I will hunt and hunt and just not get a job!

    Like you I have EU citizenship so I wont need a visa.

    Would love & appreciate it so much if you got back to me! πŸ™‚

    Glad to see you are loving this new adventure.

    Cheers,

    Joanna

    1. Hey Joanna,
      Job hunting can be stressful so I definitely understand how it can scare you most, but you’re going about it the right way by ensuring you have a degree and some experience. If you have the right attitude and some good things on your CV then you’ll definitely get something. The most you save now, the better off you’ll be as you’ll buy yourself some extra time to find that perfect role!
      I’ve just written a new page for job hunting in London so check it out and hopefully it will answer some of you questions –
      http://thelondonnewgirl.wordpress.com/on-arrival/job-hunting/

      x

      1. Thank you so much for the reply! I checked out the blog post and it was great. I had no idea things were done through agencies, it’s not like that here in Canada at all. Super helpful to get info straight from someone who has actually been through it- I appreciate it! I’ll definitely keep focusing on getting useful work experience!

        Take care,

        Joanna

  4. A beautiful article and certianly makes me want to travel! Love that you are really living and enjoying your life. It’s something many people don’t do. BUT i’m sure there are many amazing people in Oz just counting down the days till you move back (or at least visit) πŸ™‚

    1. Why thank you πŸ˜‰ I definitely support your motion to travel, more specifically to London please!
      I will definitely visit Melbourne as soon as I can, and I’m sure I’ll be back in a few years. In the meantime, I have a spare bed at home…just sayin’ πŸ™‚ Miss you x

  5. BOOM!!!! I couldn’t relate to this any better!!! Very well written and explained – people who haven’t lived in London and don’t really “get it” would have a much better idea of understanding after reading this.
    There are things I love to hate about London, but the simple fact is, every-fucking-little-thing is so exciting here!
    I can go out and catch a random Tube, and before I know it, I’m standing in front of a Da Vinci or a Van Gogh, or I’m in the middle of a protest on Westminster Bridge!

    I’m glad you’re enjoying you time here! Live it up!

    1. I love hearing that someone can relate to this, it validates some of my ramblings which is always nice πŸ˜‰
      Very true – I love that feeling of walking through a free gallery and stumbling upon some of Picasso’s finest work!
      Glad you’re enjoying London too, and thanks for stopping by!

  6. I really love this: “That feeling of really living your life exactly the way you want to, not having to make excuses for anything or anyone, just really letting go and being who you want to be, and learning a shit load about yourself along the way”. My husband and I are moving to London in March 2014 (eek!) and that is exactly how I want to feel. Great post!

    1. Wow, March, that’s so soon! Very exciting for you both!
      That quote is 100% true, definitely came from the heart. It’s very liberating to let go and make the most of an amazing new life πŸ™‚
      Good luck with the big move, and come back and update me on how you’re going, I’d love to hear what you think of this place once you’ve settled in. x

  7. I just want to say thank you so much for all the information you provide on this site! I am moving to London from Adelaide in May 2014 and sometimes I get scared but reading your posts helps to reinforce exactly why I am going! And your budgeting info has been so helpful as this can be really hard to figure out! I’m so excited for all the new experiences I will have and look forward to meeting all the new and interesting people in London! Thanks again πŸ™‚ x

    1. Hi Lauren,
      May is so close! How exciting for you!
      I think if you come with the right attitude and are ready to make the most of it, then it’s very hard not to fall in love with this city!
      Budgeting is always tough, I recently put up a new page about London prices which can hopefully give you an idea of what you’ll spend here too!
      Good luck with the move x

  8. Just wanted to drop you a note, that I am using your blog as my ‘Bible’, when planning the big* (*overwhelming, terrifying, exciting and liberating) move to London with my other half. We’re packing up our lives here to go out and experience life as an adventure, rather than a routine.

    Thank you immensely for your wisdom and advice – it’s currently my saving grace.

    1. Hi Emma, thanks for your very kind note! I’m glad I can help in any way πŸ™‚ I moved here with my other half too, and it was definitely the best thing that ever happened to us. It brought us so much closer and life is just one great adventure for us now!
      Good luck with your planning x

  9. It has been soooo useful you have no idea πŸ™‚
    I planned to go in Summer so I wouldn’t be shocked by the darkness/cold and I can settle into the Winter when it comes haha. Thank you! I probably will ask you a question or two when it gets a bit closer for sure!!! xx

  10. I just want to say that your blog is amazing!!! I am moving to London in June from Melbourne and your blog has been the best guide! Thank you so much for writing your experiences! I love reading it and it’s helping me plan everything!!! Keep it up!!!!!

    1. Hi Briana,
      Thanks for the kind note, knowing that my ramblings are actually useful to some people just motivates me to write more πŸ™‚ June is a great time to move – double summer! Good luck for the move and let me know if there’s anything in particular you want to know about x

  11. Sounds like you’re having an amazing experience! Hope to be feeling exactly what you’re feeling (and experiencing) sometime soon πŸ™‚

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