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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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.

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.

London relearning the love…part 4

This will be the last in my London series as I will soon by flying to Auckland (WOOP WOOP).

As I explained in earlier posts I downloaded a great App called WALKSTER and have been trying out free walking routes around London. This one was slightly different as I went to an area of London I know from Chelsea visiting mini ‘parks’ down to Battersea Park.

I am going to concentrate on Battersea Park with Spring around the corner. In one word ‘go’. Its the strangest place with a stunning park in the middle of central London and if you look up too high the city is all around. However with its scenic route down the Thames, the Buddhist monument, the giant climbing frame (I am a big kid) and the beautiful flora its a welcome escape from the busy urban elements of the city.

Check out more photos here https://www.instagram.com/p/BRjHVDSgVCw/?taken-by=quittingmylife

 

 

London… relearning the love part 3

In an earlier post I spoke about relearning my love of London. As I discussed I discovered a great app called Walkster that has suggested walking tours. Today’s tour Richmond.

So armed with my oyster card (i’m still retro) and hat off I went to Richmond. How to describe Richmond? In the background I hear clay pigeon shooting( I hope) and dogs barking. I stand at the top of a hill and see the mighty river thames, rowers and parks blooming all around me. I smell fresh air away from the hustle of central London, and I know I am in a very Conservative Borough.

All in all Richmond was a much needed escape from central London for the day and if I ever come back to London will be a welcome regular escape. For those picture lovers see a few here https://www.instagram.com/quittingmylife/

“To watch the sunset after a cold winter’s day, the hued colours of pale in subtle purple grays, bushing peach and pinks, to paint light brush strokes on the February sunset watch” -Sunset Watch

Why I love the slow lane

If you live/ are visiting London then more than likely you will travel around using the underground ‘the tube’. Its a marvelous piece of engineering that connects in essence a bunch of towns to create one of the most amazing cities in the world.

However stop and think about using the slow lane a.k.a. the great London bus. Above this article is a collection of photos I took today on the bus. I am a little obsessed with different types of architecture at the moment and this gives a flavour of what you can see on a London bus.

If you want to see more follow my instagram https://www.instagram.com/quittingmylife/

 

Travel apps… part 1

Over the last few weeks I have had a number of people recommend great Apps for traveling, so I wanted to share.

Walkster… one I have talked about in previous posts. If you are in London on a budget it gives you walking routes around this amazing city with some key facts and history. I loved the Belgrave Mews tour.

Osprey packsizer…for people who understand nothing about finding the right backpack (me) this is one for you. I personally went for an Osprey but you can use the App then try and find a cheaper model. Just remember if you are traveling for a while a good backpack is a must.

Hoppa…recommended by Carissa my lovely travel advisor. Great App for getting your transfers booked.

Sky Scanner… want to find the best priced flight? then use this App. Really easy to use and I got some great deals.

Travelers please recommend your favourite Apps, I will need all the help I can get. Today I will leave you with a technology inspired quote.

“Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response.”-Arthur M. Schlesinger

London…relearning the love part 2

In an earlier post I spoke about relearning my love of London. As I discussed I discovered a great app called Walkster that has suggested walking tours. Today’s tour Belgrave Mews.

So armed with my coat, hat, gloves and contactless card of to Sloane Square I went. What did I discover? my love of architecture. In a very small area there are stunningly different styles of buildings from art deco churches to converted mews. A must walk for those visiting London. For those picture lovers see a few here https://www.instagram.com/quittingmylife/

In other exciting news I got a great credit card for traveling called the Halifax clarity.  For those planning a long trip abroad a must have. As always I will leave you with a quote that struck a chord:

“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.” -Frank Wright

So what now???

So as I tell more people about quitting my job and flat in London I am continually asked ‘what are you going to do? ‘ My standard response is whatever the hell I want…. Its amazing to be able to say it and truly mean it (key Cheshire Cat grin).

So what next…

Well so far I have 46 ideas(see pic) and they get added to do daily. Why? Because as people there is so much diversity, and its super exciting. At the moment I am leaning towards solo traveling around the world, but who knows.

I would love to hear about your passions, jobs and experiences that make life that extra bit colourful.

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” – Rabindranath Tagore

London…relearning the love

So like a lot of people (not all)  who have lived in London for a while you get set in a routine and miss what this amazing city has to offer. Hands up I have become the number one culprit.

Now I have a ticking time bomb when I leave London its time to rediscover the child like joy I had when I first moved here. Today, despite the weather I went on a walking tour (WALKSTER my new app discovery) and loved it. London has some truly unique sights, people and sounds. I have put a few pics for those interested https://www.instagram.com/quittingmylife/?hl=en

I will leave you with a quote I can’t get out of head
“The most precious light is the one that visits you in your darkest hour” -Mehmet Murat ildan