Boy and I have been in the UK for six weeks, in London for five, and in our Streatham flat for two. When we arrived in the UK, our wonderful friend Vicky was kind enough to take us in for a week. We stayed with her in Woodbridge and eased ourselves back in to reality. It wasn’t terribly cold, but it certainly wasn’t the 30 degree heat we had become accustomed to in India!
After one week, we ventured into London – accompanied by Vicky of course ☺ She helped us navigate the labirynth of the tube to take us to our AirBnB in Clapham. When we first arrived in London, it was about 4:00pm and rush hour was just beginning. We had our full packs on, standing on the tube looking like tourists, and feeling like dickheads because we were taking up twice the space. I remember thinking (and saying to Vicky) “whoa, this is a bit much”. What I didn’t say to Vicky (although she may have guessed) was that I started to panic: what have we done…why have we moved to a busy, cold city where you earn half the money and pay double the rent…why is everything SO EXPENSIVE?!?
The next few weeks were (what I imagine to be) the typical “just moved to London” experience. After Clapham, we spent four nights on our friends floor in Ealing (thank you Sean!), then two weeks in a sublet in Richmond (thank you Sam, SJ and Cleo!), before we moved into our flat in Streatham (thank you Lorenzo and Marco!). We viewed at least 30 flats before finding our one. I’m not sure if that’s a normal amount, too few or too many, but it felt like it took a lifetime to find a flat.
My first impressions of London were:
- Huh, this is what public transport is like
- This city is HUGE
- Everybody here smokes first, vapes second, and breathes third if they have the time
- There are a surprising amount of fried chicken restaurants here
- There isn’t going to be any excuse for being bored in London
The combination of being with Boy, travelling for six months before arriving in the UK, and a few other events leading up to our departure have made me a different person now to who I was this time last year. I’m not sure I would have ever moved here if I weren’t with Boy – the thought of going to London for a six week trip or as part of the OE was pretty much certain, but I didn’t think I would ever take the leap and move to the other side of the world. The first few weeks were scary; I was full of apprehension and doubt. Now that we have found a home, and I’ve found work, it feels much more manageable. I’m so glad to be living in London; it’s rich in culture and history, Europe is on your doorstep, and there are so many things to see and do.
My next post is going back six months to our departure from NZ and our arriving in Nepal!
Bye for now,