Finding a houseshare in London…

Finding a place to live in London can be tricky. When you have such a shortage of accommodation the goods ones go fast, and even if you find a good one it doesn’t mean the people are nice/normal.

I have been experiencing the tricky obstacles of navigating this maze. I haven’t found anything yet that was available when I want it, yet every house I have seen so far has been good quality.

What to consider?

  • Central vs. Outer London– assuming your budget is the same. Central London offers excitement but is also likely to be in a smaller flat vs. Outer London offering an oasis from the chaos and some large ‘house’ house shares. Remember London has such great transport links that even being in outer London doesn’t mean its hard to get to your favourite hangout spots.
  • Look for key words– words like home, friends and easy going. Having the right housemate makes such a massive difference. People who treat the accommodation as a home instead of a crash pad will pay in the long run.
  • Live-in landlords– On the onehand they will look after their home but ulimately they are the boss. It can often feel like being a second class citizen in these types of shares.
  • The viewing– Obviously ask questions about the bills etc but the most important ones is to find out about the people. Find out about routines e.g. work hours, hobbies (if you like quiet and they play the drums its not for you) and about house rules as these can end up being strange…..

Most of all, if possible, give your self time, in London you have to kiss alot of frogs before finding the right one.

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Back to reality one week on…

I have been back in the UK now three weeks; in that time I got three job offers and accepted one, got over serious jet leg, reconnected with friends and lost my tan…. This last week I had my first week back in London being a working man.

So how was it and has anything changed because of my year adventure?

Lets start with what’s the same:

I went for a reasonable paid corporate job, has the potential to be very stressful, largely working with the same type of people and Londoner’s still don’t smile.

So what has changed:

Worklife: my perspective is firmly routed in that my work life if very different to my personal life. How has this worked in my first week:

Hours worked on my first week: worked my exact hours and took a lunch break to connect on a social level with colleague vs. two years ago first in/last out and no lunch break.
Home time: Didn’t bring my laptop/phone home with me vs. two years ago had my work phone on 24/7.

The point? work will always expand or contract with you. Consider what your own limits are and work to keep to them.

Homelife: I want a homelife that is about sociability but also about calm. For me this has a few elements finding a home that is shared with people who want to become friends, being out of the chaos of London by being in a quiet area but with transport to be in the thick of it, being within walking distance of work to reduce the stress of commutes. So in the first week I have been searching for a houseshare to meet these needs.

The point? It can take a lot of trial and error to get the right homelife. I have got it wrong a number of times. Don’t feel stuck if its not working for you make a change.

Social life: For this week its been about re-establishing relationships, but also about starting to take advantage of London in the form of trying to new things.

The point? re-establish your relationships and take advantages of everything your area has to offer. I know its winter but your getting no younger.

So how was my first week back? It was good I feel like I am heading in the right direction to keep this content feeling. I realise that I need to work hard to keep things on the right side but I feel confident I can do it….i’ll keep you updated.

What’s your next adventure?

This is part 2 of the places around the world I truly love. Check out part 1 here

Cathedral Cove, New Zealand: One of the first places I truly fell in love with. Its remote, has the natural beauty that makes New Zealand such a special country and is truly peaceful.

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Copenhagen, Denmark: if you ever wondered what a place full of beautiful people is like head here. Copenhagen is a perfect weekend gateway-its cool, a little funky and has some great food markets.

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Great Oceon Road, Australia-Victoria: this was towards the end of my journey and I started to feel a little travel fatigue until I came here. Some of the best natural oceanic formations I have seen.

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Budapest, Hungary: Europe has some truly amazing architecture. In my opinion the best in the world. To find the best of the best head to Budapest. Take in the amazing sights in the morning, head to the bathes in the afternoon and finish with a river cruise at night-perfect.

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Interlaken, Switzerland: If I am forced to choose my favourite place in the world then Interlaken has my heart. What can I say but WOW. Everything is just beautiful from the buildings, the hiking, the world class views and the friendly locals.

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Where will your next adventure be?

 

 

Stuff I think I know

Like to find out about random things…so do I

My new blog explores the things/assumptions I believe. Setting myself a challenge in 365 days to proof 49 of my assumptions.

So check out my new blog Stuff I think I know‘. I have 15 assumptions I am working on so far, so please write in widely believed assumptions and if I too believe them I will attempt to proof them.

Remember to follow us to get all the latest content as its published.

 

Next steps…restarting my life

So to recap…quit my job, sold my stuff and travelled around the world (30 amazing countries)! So the question I am asked alot was it worth it? Without a doubt. If anyone is on the fence just do it. You discover about new cultures, see amazing things and do things you wouldn’t normally do. However more importantly you rediscover so much about yourself once your bubble is burst.

What’s Next?

So when I first made the decision over a year ago to quit my life I had these grand life plans of what I could do and at the time I thought I would choose one of these after my adventure around the world. After travelling I would like to think I’ve discovered a lot about myself. I realised it isn’t massive changes that were needed, this stems from being a restless person. I always rebelled against this personality trait and therefore felt a need for big changes. Having accepted this simple fact, I feel so much more content and actually have come to two realisations; first it only takes small changes to make a life work and second actually being content should be the main aim.

New principles

  1. Work: It can be easy in our western culture to put so much pressure on ourselves with work in two main ways. A focus on money/promotions or finding that perfect job that makes us super happy. Chill, its just a job. A job should be funding your life not being your life. Its hard! I almost fell back into the trap straightaway coming back. Go to work with the aim of funding your life.
  2. Comparison: It’s so easy to compare our life’s with other people, especially in the age of social media where people rub it in our faces. This could be the fact that someone has a family, earns more money, is more active or owns a house etc. Quite frankly just do what makes you content after all its your life.
  3. We are human: It can be so hard to forget we aren’t machines. So be kinder to yourself and let things go. Its OK to forget/ fail its the way you carry on that matters. Let it go and carry on.
  4. People: Life is so much more interesting with people in your life. They provide different perspective, thoughts and help enrich you. Make sure to fill your life with activities that encourage people and where possible friendships.
  5. Live now: This was my big mistake. I was always obsessed with these grand plans from my career, relationships and to buying a home. I was so focused on the future I forgot to live for me. Don’t live your life in the future instead live now.
  6. Balance: We need different things at different times. Recognising that can be difficult. Its OK not to be active all the time, sometimes you need to chill. You don’t need to be productive all the time. Chill and when your bored get active. Find the balance for you, not what works for others.

Most of all be kind to yourself…hope this helps some of my readers.

As always feel free to write in with comments or questions.

What’s your next adventure? The world in photos

I have been back in England for a week now from the most amazing 11 months (30 countries) of my life. I have finally sorted through my photos and wanted to inspire your next adventure.

Plitvice Lake, Croatia-For an amazing hike to a range of fitness levels no place does beauty like Croatia.

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Mt Taranki, New Zealand– Are you fit? Then Mt Taranki is the one for you. An extremely difficult day hike but once you climb past the clouds its pure serenity.

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Gibbon Experience, LoasStill a big kid? then this is for you. Spend your days ziplining through a jungle and your evenings sleeping in giant treehouses

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Rome, Italy– For the history lovers there really is no place like Rome.

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New York City, USA– Not my favourite city, but one that has to be done once in your lifetime.

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Waya LaiLai Island, Fiji– The friendliest people on the planet. There’s no better place on the planet for a relaxing time.

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Rotorua, New Zealand– If you can get over the smell of Suplher and want something a little different then this is the place for you.

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Srebrenica Genocide Memorial, Bosnia– For something different check out this memorial. Its interesting but extremely sobering, so not for the faint hearted. Make sure to fully explore Bosnia afterwards as an amazing country.

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Want to know more about any of these locations then check out my guides or ask me a question in the comment box.

 

Sydney….some hidden gems

To be honest when I got to Sydney I wasn’t particularly impressed. It felt like any generic medium sized city in the world. It probably didn’t help that I loved Melbourne so much and was making comparisons.

However the fact that Sydney is a Coastal city gives it some absolutely lovely walks especially in the Aussie summer. There is a whole host of walks you can do but I would personally recommend a few:

Also for a good selection of asian food check out Spice Alley (BYOB as well).

Best of a year of travelling

So I have seen a lot in the last year. To round it all off I wanted to share the best of best with you. Peace out.

Best eat– Mary May’s Tea Room in Atlanta: Chicken pot pie with mac’n’ cheese followed by peanut butter cake with oreo crust
Best view– Interlaken in Switzerland
Best party town-Barcelena
Best drink-Dark and Stormy from Hamilton,Canada
Best hostel– Nomadas in Merida, Mexico
Best experience-Gibbon experience in Loas
Best people-Fiji they have the best rythym on the planet
Most tranquil place in the world-Top of Mt Edgmont (New Zealand) just after the ice.

Melbourne- a real good time

I have been lucky enough to spend about two weeks exploring Melbourne and have come to the conclusion it is one my favourite new cities. It is diverse both in terms of urban verse nature and its people, has a great transport system and one of the most relaxed cities I have visited.

I know most people wont be lucky enough to spend so long in this great city, so I wanted to share a few must do’s that are Melbourne unique.

  • Shrine of Remembrance and Botanical gardens: this area combines the second biggest botanical garden in the world and a beautiful war memorial/museum. On a sunny day combine with a picnic its a great day out.
  • Tram 35: if you want to get to know Melbourne quick get on the free tram 35 and take a circuit of the city. It takes about 45 minutes and you will have your bearings in no time.
  • Gelato at Pipapidos: there’s always a line but it goes quick; this Gelato was on par with what I had in Florence.
  • ACMI: I love a good free museum and this audio/visual one is the best of its kind. It is super interactive, good for all ages and has some super cool gadgets to play with.
  • Brighton Beach: With its colourful sheds this is the perfect place to see sunset over the city.

Other goodies in Melbourne: hit one of the numerous roof top bars, visit the Victoria Art Centre, visit Melbourne museum and the surrounding beautiful park,
and/or hit Fitzroy for some good eats and drinks.

Outside of Melbourne: the Great Ocean road is a must do-with some of the amazing views Victoria has to offer.

A travellers rant

In the last year travelling around the world I have met some amazing people. As I have been mainly staying in backpackers they tend to be a newer generation of people, not my own generation Y. This has been a great experience on the whole as they see the same things very differently but there is one thing I really don’t understand…

You have chosen to travel the world and are seeing some of the most amazing sights; both natural and manmade. However on the whole the first thought is to get a photo/selfie and move on.

Don’t get me wrong I like a good photo to capture the moment but after I have taken in the sights and thought about what I am seeing.

This was never more apparent when I recently visited the Great Ocean Road, which has some of the most amazing sea rock formations. People literally spent 30 seconds taking photos and moving on. WHY, WHY, WHY! Think you are seeing millions of years of rock formations creating a truly stunning visual experience and I assure you pictures wont do it justice.

Mini rant over. So young people, stop and enjoy the experience then take a photo. Your experience will be so much richer with a lasting memory.