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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
I started this blog 10 months ago when I made a decision to effectively quit the life I had constructed. I considered all my options in one of my first articles “so what now?”, and ultimately decided to travel to give myself time to reflect and decide on a path.
I have made a number of decision in that time, however this article isn’t about big thoughts. Its about all the little random things you can discover.
- I fucking love ginger.
- The male New Orlean accent is my favourite.
- I always thought I was an indoors person, and in fact I am never more happy than when I’m hiking outside.
- I have a real soft spot for the German people, they have a real adventurous spirit.
- I don’t really like planning (great ex project manager…).
So this article actually does have a message behind it. Its so easy to measure yourself based on big decisions or milestones and then punish yourself for failing (I was that person). However its important to look at the small picture. We are making discoveries everyday that we don’t think about that shape the person we are and that’s AMAZING.
Remember be kind to yourself and look out for the small things.
So I have been travelling for four months now…shit when did that happen!
I was considering doing a look back of my top moments but decided that’s a 6 month goal. I thought back to 4 months ago how excited I was but also scared, so I thought I would try and give some tips to would be travellers.
- Spend some time in the hostel– its tempting when in a new place to just get out and go, however invest some time in the people. Its amazing what you can find out about a place and find travel companions.
- Couchsurfer– if your on a serious budget you maybe able to get a place to stay from fellow like minded thinkers. However the reason I mention this app is because it has a massive social element to meet up with travellers and locals to explore.
- Leave time to be spontaneous– as a previous hyper organiser I know how hard this can be but its worth it. Being able to live in the moment makes a big difference when travelling.
- Learn to love Apps– there are so many apps to help with travel. You can find a few of my suggestions here
I took another step on my journey today and gave notice on my central London flat.
So in just under three months I will jobless and homeless… Have I gone mad? possibly. Am I having a young mid life crisis? more than likely. Am I happy? F*** yes. I will leave you all with a quote that I saw recently.
“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”
― Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon