How to survive London mark 2…

The sky stretches grey in the sea of umbrella’s, the clock ticks and tocks…time to go go go go.

London can be a real strange old place and when you first move here…or in my case move back you can find yourself feeling overwhelmed and often lonely. Its strange in a sea of people it can be so hard to make a connection.

Its OK, don’t despair because London can be one of the best cities to live in the world. However you have to be pro-active.

How you ask?

  1. You need to create a connection to the city to make friends (they won’t just come to you) there are a lot of way to do this, I have personally being using a website/APP called meetup.
  2. Peace in the city-Find parks and green space, you’ll be amazed at the great walking spots in London-London even has a walk that navigates the whole city, obviously don’t attempt this in one go.
  3. Get the right place to live-I’m not going to sugar coat it finding in a place in London sucks!!! But don’t despair get the right place. I personally find it essential in mark 2 London to be outside of central London for the tranquillity but of course I need a quick link into central London.
  4. Don’t try to save for the first year-one of the biggest mistakes I made when first living in London was to try to save. There is only one way forward with London is to experience experience experience. This comes with a prize tag.

Remember its never too late to truly enjoy London. You need to be pro-active!

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The work trap…

I found myself this week almost falling into bad habits that I had hoped I shaked.

It was a cold and miserable week in England, I found myself stranded in a hotel for the week and not in the best of moods. At this low point I was starting to take my work home with me! Not in the physical sense which I have been very disciplined over but mentally .

The reason I mention this is because as most things if you want certain things in life you have to work for them. In my case I wanted that work life balance which is so important to my wellbeing. This week confirmed the danger of falling into old harmful patterns, which was the whole point taking a year off to rediscover my passion for life.

In this case it was about focusing my energies.

  • Firstly, it was about clearing my mind which was one of the first lessons I learnt travelling.
  • Secondly, it was about focusing my attention. In this case it was about reconnecting with travel friends and concentrating on filling my life with something outside of work.

So you ask what was the point of this story? Well the point is even when have a life changing event that helps redefine your life things don’t automatically change. Its about putting in hard work to make the lessons stick.

 

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.

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.

Stuff I think I know-49 assumptions

Introducing my exciting new blog ‘stuff I think I know’.

Aiming to question my assumptions…

I am super excited to introduce my new blog ‘Stuff I think I know‘.

This 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 13 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.

 

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam in pictures

I wasn’t really sure how to judge Ha Long bay in Vietnam. On the one hand its some of the most amazing sights I have seen. On the other its touristville. Whether you explore as part of a tour or do it on your own having to book on tourist ships there is no escape.

So instead of telling you to go or not. I thought sharing some key pictures of what you will see would help with the decision.

The Bay

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The stunning caves

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National Park on Cat Be island

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Monkey Island

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What was your experience of Ha Long Bay?

A flavour of Greece, maybe a bit bitter

As I walked around Athens I felt a great sadness, I looked at the decay of the once great temples I thought to myself is this what the end of humanity looks like.

I think its time to caveat that statement before I get a mob of Greek’s coming after me. Ancient Greece has always interested me, so perhaps I had unreal expectations. I spent around 7 days going around Greece so very much a whistle stop tour, therefore I wont produce a guide but instead will try to give some general impressions.

What I loved

  • Food, especially Mouska with Greek Salad-I would happily have it as my last meal.
  • Sailing the Greek seas, with its hidden caves and clear waters its a must do.
  • The picturesque white stone houses and tiny paths.

The unexpected

  • The poor customer service, I always considered the Greek’s the most welcoming of people, but I had some truly poor service.
  • How run down some of the cities/towns were- I know Greece has had some problems for a while but I didn’t realise quite how it would affect the infrastructure.
  • Linked to the above how the monuments were poorly kept, specifically the lack of information of the rich history they offered.

My purpose in writing this article was expectation management, as opposed to detering a visit.

 

Friendship-whats it good for?

So this post is very different from my usual articles but felt it was worth a post. For all my life I have lived with the concept of quality over quantity. This extended to having a few good friends rather than lots of more shallow relationships.

I  have been recently let down by some of said friends and although I brushed it off as I do most things, secretly I was very let down.

One definition of friendship is mutual affection between people. Which made me think can you expect anything beyond this from a friend?

I think of the amazing people while travelling and have been reflecting on some personal characteristics. Do I get too emotionally attached to my friends? Am I too hard on people? In our busy mobile society are deep friendships worthwhile? Is my energy better spent on continually meeting new exciting people?

I think these questions beyond everything else I am learning will be the essential ones when rebuilding the life I want to live. Think of your own relationships, do they make you happy? do they add value? do you still want to be friends with this person?

 

Five personal reflections of a solo traveller

It has just been over three month’s travelling solo and it made me ask some questions. Have I enjoyed myself? Yes. Am I still having a good time? Yes. Am I missing home? On occasion. Have I found what I am looking for? No but I am starting too. So I thought I would share a few personal reflections.

  1. The essential nature of balance in my life– I need excitement offset against calm.
    People offset against me time. Travel offset with times of stillness. In essence when I return to whatever I decide to go back to I need to work (yes it wont just happen) to find balance in my life.

  2. People help fulfil me– eefore this journey I was becoming more introverted and like a Hermit, I had lost sight of people. I realise my personal preference is small groups of people, especially new people.

  3. The great outdoors– before this trip I had convinced myself a good time involved civilised cocktails at an overpriced cocktail bar. I realise I am most at peace outside whether hiking, climbing, swimming, mountain biking etc.

  4. I really cant sit still– something in my personality dictates I can’t just be still.
    In the last decade this has manifest in trying to make dramatic changes in my life (this adventure a prime example). I have come to realise its because I have an insatiable thirst for the new. How I balance this with whatever new life I create will be essential for happiness. How to accomplish this is something I have another 9 months to think on.

  5. I never think I am good enough…not sure how to resolve this one yet!