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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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.

Koh Tao, Thailand-Paradise

I have spent about a week in Koh Tao (island on the East coast of Thailand). I have heard from a number of expats describing it as paradise, but i’m afraid I have been to nicer islands e.g. the Fiji islands. However lets not get negative because Koh Tao is definitely a place to visit.

Geography– lets start by explaining that you can ride across the island in around 15 minutes. Therefore the island activities are limited.

So in my opinion if you are not a scuba diver don’t spend more than a few days here. Those days should roughly consist of:

  • The Koh Tao bar crawl (Mon, Wed, Fri.)
  • Scooter round the island
  • Go to a beach I recommend Ao Tanote (there a cool rock jump)
  • Hike up to ‘two views’ viewpoint
  • Snorkerling trip
  • Try the amazing 995 roasted duck (so good and soooo cheap) and try the best Pad Thai I have had in Thailand at Mama’s

Now the real crown of Koh Toa is SCUBA diving. You will see endless Scuba schools and I’m told that Koh Tao is the cheapest place in the world to learn. So try something new and learn, I did and loved it. My awesome school was Roctopus.

Toronto,Canada-there and back again

My experience of exploring the lovely Toronto, Canda

Toronto is broadly split into several districts examples of these include the Entertainment, Old Toronto, Downtown and China Town. Each district like most larger cities has its own identity to fit most personalities.

Just like most cities its worth spending some time planning what you want to do. A big difference in Toronto however is the massive transient community both in terms of temporary immigration as well as travellers. The massive advantage is there is always people wanting to explore ( I personally use the couchsurfing App to
find locals).

My personal favourite spots:
– Around the Habourfront centre: there’s always varied activities happening in the summer from beach parties, to opera to the best of Canadian cinema.
– Around Kensington Market: plenty of cool restaurants and bars to explore.
– Around Queens Park/University of Toronto campus, some old (at least in terms of North America) and stunning architecture.

Let me know your favourite Toronto spots.