Anniversaries offer convenient excuses to reflect on what has been. Radio silence over the last 5 months has been the unfortunate byproduct of hectic work and study commitments but I look forward to posting a lot more often in the second half of the year. Below are my thoughts so far on life in London.
Everything is awesome (cue Lego Movie theme song)
Well, sort of. Unsurprisingly, there’s heaps (and I mean heaps) to do – especially if you have a positive mindset. It’s no surprise that Samuel Johnson once said “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”. It’s a much bigger market that can cater to a much broader range of interests. My recommendation is to channel Jim Carrey’s character from the movie “Yes Man” and say yes to anything and everything that comes your way. The reward? A varied and diverse social life that isn’t bookmarked by the days of Friday and Sunday.
Not everything is (always) awesome
For starters eating out is expensive and Australians will need to re-adjust their notions of what a good meal is. First step is to stop converting everything back to Australian dollars, which is a lot easier when you’ve started earning GBP. Secondly, contrary to popular belief – there is good food to be found in London. It’s just that you have to look a lot harder than you would back in Aus. On the plus side, everything opens til late even during the week so it’s really easy to stay out til reasonably late even on a school night.
Use google calendar (or similar) if you don’t already do so
It serves as a great reminder/prompt to organise an outing if e.g. there’s nothing but white space for this coming Saturday. That’s not to say it always has to be a group activity if you want some alone time – there’s plenty to do (and some better done) solo, a couple of hours at that museum you’ve always been meaning to visit.
Making new friends and expanding your social network isn’t as hard as you think
Step 1: don’t be a douche. That’s pretty much the only prerequisite. There’s heaps of forums to meet new people from a whole diverse set of backgrounds. So far I’ve joined a mixed dodgeball team, joined a cooking class, and struck up conversations on walking tours. It’s remarkable how far an open mind and a friendly hello will take you 🙂
If you’ve just graduated, and are thinking of heading over on the 2 year visa…
I’d think about waiting a couple more years to build up some work experience. Don’t want to be a downer but London is expensive and it’ll be hard to enjoy it to the fullest if you’re working a part time job or even on a grad’s salary. Assuming you’re coming over on the 2 year visa, you only get to do it once so try and pad out that CV so that you can secure a decent gig when you get over here and then enjoy the fruits of your labour.