I can´t believe I have lived in London for a year now! It has been crazy fun living in a metropolitan city, I have learnt so much about myself, meet incredible people and experienced so many things. Here is a quick summery of what I have learnt living in London for a year!
Photo by @londonportraits | Top, Earrings & trouser: Vintage | Shoes: Zara (old) | Jacket: Soot & Ty
1. Time becomes precious and you start to become VERY impatient. I remember the good old times back in my university days when there were only 1 fast train per hour to my campus, if you missed that train, it would have taken approx. 1 hour, instead of 30 mins to get to a lecture. However times have changed, now waiting 3 minuets for the tube feels like forever and during delays I often daydream of elaborate excuses to request a valid refund (I have heard this is possible in Tokyo, but alas, for me in London, this is a pure fantasy). And let´s not even talk about personal space on the busses and tubes because they are virtually non existent. Nothing say´s “Hello world! What a beautiful day“ like horrid morning breath and a random gentleman’s excessive neck hair.
2. Dating London-style. When I first moved to London, I dated a lot of different type of guys (because yes, you can literally find any type OI OI SAVALOI!) but then I realised that dating in London has its very own set of rules. One main thing you have remember is that HIS job always comes first (no matter the profession, be it a plumber, librarian, lifeguard or go-go dancer) meaning that you will meet him probably only once per month. Lastly, everyone is on Tinder. Your roommate, your landlord, your bin man. It has its ups and downs and hilarious incidents.
3. When the word “comfortable” gets an entire new definition. You basically have to 2 choices when moving to London, a) live comfortably with a quite reasonable rent, however you live in zone 5. It takes you about 2 hours to get to work and nobody wants to come over a movie night or a spontaneous “drink” simply because its “too far away”, or option b) you live in zone 1-2, spend 70% of your wages on a flat which you are sharing with totally strangers. Sometimes it works out wonderfully, but mostly it doesn’t and you end up living with alcoholic or weirdoes, and you constantly looking for new flats!!
4. You probably end up disliking all pedestrians. Especially all the tourists that constantly visit London, with their selfie sticks and lack of awareness of how everyone stands “to the left“ on the escalators. I understand that they haven’t got into “rush-rush, run-run” mindset, but worst of all, they will randomly and suddently stop and stand 3 feet in front of you, effectively blocking your way when you are already 10 minutes late to work.
5. Your work ethics changes, for better or worse. This is perhaps quite personal and depends on the industry you are working in, but for me, it was a slap in my face realising how hard it is to work in the fashion industry. Previous experiences and a solid education is sometimes not enough, it gonna probably take a good few years of extremely hard work and dedication to get there you want to be. Be resilient, and have courage and a clear goal, hopefully you will get there.
6. You will find friends in the strangest way. Randomly on the streets, in the loo queue at a club or on the tube. It´s all very strange but very fun! You will make and break bonds in a single night, and honestly, that is all part of the magic.
7. You will get sick, a lot. I normally get the flu perhaps once per year, but during my year in London I have had the flu at least 5 times , and it´s so very tiring to be sick so much. Apparently it´s completely normal getting the flu frequently during your first year living in London as your body is adjusting to the pollution and all the bacteria in the public traffic. Helpful suggestions have included antibacterial showers, restraining myself from licking handle bars on the central line and avoiding anyone who coughs with a passion for your survival.
8. Detoxing is the key to sanity. London is a wonderful global city with a lot of cool clubs, exhilarating exhibitions, exciting people, innovative food and so on and so forth, however living in London starts to get to you after a few months, it doesn’t matter how tough you are. It´s significant that you start to regularly travel outside the city to somewhere calm and quite to remain sane. Or your local park. Whatever your personal preference.
9. Your work is probably your life. Londoners are more or less workaholics and it doesn’t really matter which kind of job you have. It´s basically Work, Tube and Sleep! Sad fact of life, however those rare moments of freedom make it all the more sweeter. Nothing says WORTH IT after a full week of work like a hungover salami sandwich on a damp sunday morning from Columbia road.
10. You WILL gain weight OR you WILL lose it. The food. Oh god, the food. There is literally a never ending list of new restaurants and pop up bars, not to mention the mouth watering food festivals that conveniently happen every hungover sunday in existence. Add to that the possibility of pizza delivery at any time of the night and you will inevitably find yourself slipping towards the larger waistband sizes of Topshop. However, there are the enviable people in London who somehow keep off the weight, or even worse, manage to lose it. I´ve heard rumours of gyms and fun runs down the canal and restrictive eating, but those rumours have so far proven untrue, despite my lack of detective work on the matter.