To say I’ve struggled to settle in to my new city, after moving myself half way across the world, leaving my boyfriend, friends and family back at home in Melbourne, is an understatement. I knew it would be hard, but it’s been even tougher then I imagined.
In almost 6 weeks I’ve slept in 5 different beds, had break downs and unpacked & re-packed multiple times. One moment I feel like I’m starting to get things figured out, the next, I’m trying to figure out a way to get back home to Melbourne as soon as possible. If it weren’t for my room mate or the other awesome people I’ve gotten to know here, so far, I’d be totally stuck. My roommate has dealt with my yo-yoing all over the place quite well. She accepts that I’m crazy and is still willing to share a room with me.
As days tick by, I feel lost and unlost all in one. I’m slowly developing a routine now that I’ve settled into one place, share accomodation in Notting Hill. I love the area! I miss working out regularly and I miss my green smoothies. When you spend upto 12 hours a day, 5-7 days, on your feet for work, there is just no energy left for a workout. I eat as much as I can whenever I get provided a meal as it’s one way to save money. London is expensive and the pay is minimal. Free food always tastes better.
Since starting this post it’s now just passed 2 months in London and life here is finally starting to settle. I’ve managed to pick up a job that allows me the long hours I need to get by but doesn’t require me to work until all hours of the morning. Having this new routine has meant I’ve been able to start working out a bit more often again (which is a must when your job requires being around delicious food/eating delicious food, all day). I’m getting fed quite decently these days but I do miss cooking and baking my healthy foods and treats.
In 19 days, I worked 18 of them. Not doing that again. To keep myself motivated, I’ve booked a handful of different trips. The more often I can get outside of London to see the rest of the UK and Europe the happier I’ll be. I’ve already been on one trip, 3 nights in sunny Madrid, Spain (post/photos coming soon). A long weekend in Copenhagen is coming up next. At least living in London is never boring. There is always something to do and now that I have weekends again I can actually check out more of this city that I’m currently calling home. For those who have known me most of my life, will know that I’m a massive Harry Potter fan and London is the perfect place for a person like me. This year is the 20th anniversary of the release of the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, so there has been even more HP events happening in this city then usual. This makes me very happy. Last weekend I went to the Booking Office Bar at St Pancras Renaissance Hotel (used in the movies) with friends for Harry Potter cocktails. It was my first day off in 2 weeks so that made the drinks even better. I enjoyed the warming Butter beer cocktail and wore my Gryffindor Scarf.
Ever heard of tube nose? Spend long enough in London, catching the tube, and your snot will turn black. That won’t happen to me though because I can’t breath through my nose but it has happened to friends and I know it’s weirded them out a bit. Luckily it turns back to normal once you leave London.
One thing I really like about London is all the green spaces. For such a big, crowded city, It has a lot of parks and Londoner’s love their parks. When the sun is out they can all be seen sprawled out across the lawns, by the lakes, eating, drinking, riding or walking along the paths. I’m enjoying getting back into running when I have the time, exploring the different parks. I’m fortunate enough to live near 3 really nice parks, Holland Park, Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. I actually got up really early this morning to go and photograph first light in Kensington Gardens only to wake and discover its raining.
As well as making new friends, I’ve caught up with old friends who have already been living here and their advice about London living has certainly been helpful. It’s a comfort seeing familiar faces in a new place. I’ve met people from everywhere. That’s a big benefit of leaving the comfort of home and going off to explore new places, you get to meet people who come from different countries, cultures, speak different languages and have grown up different but we’re all here in the same place, doing the same thing, traveling and seeing more of the world.
In the two months I’ve been here in London, I’ve mostly been working but when I’ve had the occasional free day, I’ve gone exploring. I went to Brighton beach my first day here (and got sunburnt because I didn’t expect it to be hot at a beach in England). I wandered up Primrose Hill to check out views of London, wandered along Southbank and been transported to other places whilst photographing the canals of Little Venice. I visited the V&A museum, the two massive Westfield’s, one East the other West, drank cider in pubs whilst enjoying delicious pub meals with friends and gone to a Halloween party, somehow making it home alive. I’ve discovered the amazingness that is Primark, my new go to store for pretty much everything. It’s so cheap there, I love it! I’ve also spent a lot of time researching and making plans for many more things to do, go and see (and eat, can’t forget that).
p.s London during autumn is very pretty, I’ll let you know what it’s like here in the winter time in my next post. Expect a lot of complaining from me on FB as I do not like the cold. Ha!