My Experience Moving to London
It’s been two and a half years since I moved to London and became a certified ‘Witch, turned Half Bate Urban City Girl’ (my new title). Which didn’t happen over night.
I knew in my second year of University that I wanted to move to London. I’d been living in Manchester for a year and a half at that point, and as someone who gets bored very easily… I got bored.
When I was growing up I always felt like I was a city girl at heart – yeah I climbed the odd tree or two, rode my bike around the countryside, had a few mud fights here and there… however I always used to get this warm, excited feeling when driving into a city at night – seeing all of the lights and different people made me happy, and curious.
I moved to Manchester when I finished school and absolutely loved it for the first year, because it was something new… but I still didn’t feel at home.
Once I’d graduated I moved back in with my parents for a few months, which was nice at first but when you’ve not lived at home properly since the age of 11 it’s a bit much. After months of persuading my dad, he finally agreed to help me move to London (help meaning financially, which I’ll pay him back for when I’m a rich Red Head Activist/ Business Entrepreneur/ Queen Witch).
I found a lush apartment (my current one) pretty quickly in East London, I knew the area well cause my (now) ex lives near by, so I kind of knew where to look which is an advantage because London is so massive, especially when you’ve never lived here before, making it hard to know where to start.
I moved with one of my best friends from high school so I wasn’t completely alone, I also knew a small handful of people, and had my ex round the corner. Other than that I literally knew no one. On top of this I had no job which was good news for my financial security. To add fuel to the fire as well, a few days after I had moved in my ex came round to help me unpack – and tell me that after 3 years of crap, he didn’t love me and he’d been seeing someone else for the past few months – which is great, in a you’re a cunt type of way. Cry me a river.
Okay so the no job thing was an exaggeration, I was going through the employment process for my current job but it took 6 months and countless rounds of tests and interviews – so I was in the midst of all that and a job wasn’t guaranteed.
To fill a gap in the meantime I used a connection that I’d made whilst working at the adidas offices in my placement year of Uni, and got a temporary job in their Oxford Street store for about 5 months.
Trying to Find Friends
I’d heard people say that London is a lonely place when you first move, which I totally agree with. If you’ve grown up in London its different because you’ve had your whole life to make a friendship group, and your family are around if you need something.
Due to my impatient nature, I moved here thinking that everything would just fall onto my lap. What I didn’t anticipate was the feeling of loneliness that I had for my first 3-4 months (obviously I wasn’t on my own, I lived with my friend so it wasn’t so bad).
London is such a massive place, and there is so much going on that you feel like you have to be out all the time doing stuff – which is hard when you only know a few people. I felt a lot of pressure to be out making friends with everyone I met, but I’m also very cautious of who I become friends with, so it was a slow process.
I started going out a bit in the West End and got to know people that way. But it wasn’t until about 5 months after I moved that I met some of my real friends – the ones that I have now (I’m going to do a separate post on how I met my friends because that deserves it’s own piece – so wait on that one)… moral of the story is, if anyone is reading this that’s just moved to somewhere new and is feeling lonely, it’s pretty much normal, I just takes time to find your feet 🙂 .
Some random stuff I’ve learn since moving to London:
- No one says Thank You – especially on public transport
- Drivers are brutal, it’s a dog eat dog world and no one will do you favours
- The air is dirty, makes your skin bad. Go on the tube too much and you get black bogies – real fact.
- Morleys is the best fried chicken chain. Downside is that it’s only in South London.
- Magnums are amazing (not the ice cream or condom brand – the drink)
- You will never do anything touist-y, or visit the sights of London intentionally.
- Uber drivers NEVER know where they are going – despite having a Sat-Nav with the destination input into it. They will still ask you where you are going, proceed to take the longest route, and then probably get lost.
- Don’t get the Night Tube. Unless you want to 1. Be pestered by a paralytic drunk white guy in fancy dress or 2. Witness someone being sick into their Mac Donalds bag and then try to eat the contents.
- EVERYTHING is more expensive. Literally. Imagine trying to buy a glass of wine for under a fiver – impossible.
- You could probably rent a 4 bedroom house for the amount of money your shitty 1 bedroom costs in London – and you’ll probably have to live with a stranger as well which is great and relaxing, if you’re into sharing your personal space with someone you’ve never met before.
- Speaking of personal space – on the tube you will have none. Having someone’s armpit in your face at 8:30am on a Monday morning is just the right way to start the week.
- COUPLES ON THE TUBE IN THE MORNING. What is the need for you to be sat kissing each other this early? What is the need to kiss each other on public transport full stop? Argh.
All in all – as much as life in London was a struggle for me initially, I wouldn’t live anywhere else (in the UK anyway). I really feel like I am at home here, even though it took me a while to settle in. Despite the fact that I am always broke and never have enough sleep, I’d rather be in the City making bad life decisions and having fun whilst I am young. As I said, I’ve always been a city girl at heart and now I feel like I have a place to call my home. No danger of me moving back to the countryside any time soon.
If you have any questions then please get in contact.
Ciao for now – Elz, the Witch.