I’ve been living in London for nearly 11 months now…where did the time go! Seriously?! Within that time I’ve picked up a few things about London life which I want to share with you all if you are contemplating moving to London! As a Northerner from a small town, moving to a big city was a HUGE change of pace and one of the scariest things I’ve ever had to do. Here’s some tips to help you find your way through the big smoke!
Londoners have their own speed….fast! You’ll soon notice people passing you like they’re doing their own power walk marathon and you didn’t get the memo! Us Northerners are use to getting public transport or having our own car to get around. Yes, there is the Tube which is something to master too but you’ll find you will need to get your walking shoes on and join the race! Make sure you invest in some seriously comfy commuting shoes! You’ll thank me for this tip. So speed up or be prepared to be trampled on…or get a bike but in my opinion that’s the scariest method of transport in London. Londoners stop for no one! If you ever get stuck behind a tourist in London blocking the path, you’ll never complain about being stuck behind a tractor on the way to work again!
You’ll look back and think to all those times you go out for a meal or a night out and how cheap your night actually was after trying to have a social life in London! Going to the cinema and pretending you’re a student still to knock of a few quid! That won’t help you here! Everything is pretty much double!! No joke! You can get one of those extra comfy seats in your local Northern cinema for less than a standard ticket here in London. Shocking! No more popcorn or hot dogs for you! If you can invest in a limitless monthly pass if you a film buff like me and don’t forget to check for discount codes every time you think you can afford a meal out! Prices in London is a sensitive subject so if anyone back home asks…shut it down and change the subject! Killer!
WALK ON THE LEFT & STAND ONLY ON THE RIGHT – SERIOUSLY!
In the North we are friendly folk. We walk where we want, as slow as we want. No one really cares. In London, there is a system. Think of its like herding sheep! Yes, Sheep! The “keep to the left” system is the sheep dog keeping us all in line BUT there is always that ONE SHEEP who messes everything up and runs off on its own! Stupid sheep! In London that’s the stupid tourist who can’t read signs and goes up the left side of the stairs….don’t be the stupid sheep! There’s no sheep herding competition for the London Underground but if there was…that sheep would be on the BBQ first! Ummmmm Lamb chops! Lovely!
IS ANYONE ACTUALLY FROM LONDON?
The answer is no, not really! You’ll meet people from pretty much around the world! If you’re from a small town up North like me, you’ll be use to everyone knowing everyone. Meeting someone new and somehow every time you have mutual friends on Facebook! It’s very rare you’ll meet people from other countries and when you do your fascinated about where they are from, which also provides reassurance that you’re not in the Truman show. Here in the big smoke…that feeling wears off pretty quickly! Every other person you meet is from Australia (lots of Ozzys down here), New Zealand (same thing), Canada, Ireland etc etc. Still it’s pretty amazing to make new friends from around the world, even though there is some lost in translation some of the time! You’ll learn a lot of new phrases about drinking!
JOIN A CLUB OR GET A HOBBY!
London is a big city but can still be a lonely place. Joining a club is probably the best place to meet new people with common interests. You’ll make some new friends who have been here longer and show you the ropes of London living. It will also give you something to do while you settle into London life and adjust to being here! I joined a local hockey team…when I mean local, it will never be a down the road job like is was up North! No…training is a decent hour to get to and the matches are in the middle of nowhere….standard London! Picking up a hobby is also a good way to keep sane here! I started photography again and there’s a lot of places to practice! Check out my Instagram and let me know how I am getting on (SUPER PLUG!). Beats taking photos of the same streets, bridges and houses back home!
HAVING YOUR OWN FLAT IN LONDON IS UNREALISTIC!
Ok! Let’s just go there! Housing prices down here are ridiculous and house hunting in London is one of the worse things you will have to go through…ever! For the price of a small box room in London, you can rent a flat of your own up north. Fact. You better like living with random people because that is what you will have to deal with. If you’re lucky, you will end up in a house with some lovely people who you can get on with, who don’t steal from your food cupboard, hog the TV or won’t get out the only bathroom. There are some decent houses out there so make sure you look through as many ads as you can, speak to the current tenants and trust your gut! You about to part with a 6 week deposit and first month’s rent…you better like the people you are living with or its going to be a long 6 months before you can get out of that contract. That’s if you get it! Like I said house hunting sucks and people are like vultures getting rooms here. I’ve been to group viewings and suddenly people are pulling out bundles of cash from their pockets (never do that – so unsafe!). When you see a house share you like, get in touch with landlord ASAP!
PREPARE TO BE STAR STRUCK!
London is full of famous people! Nothing like up north where the local celebrity is that girl who was on X Factor and got kicked out at boot camp. No, proper famous people! London is home to some of the most famous people in the world and international stars also come here to work or promote themselves. There’s always premiers on in Leicester Square during the week where you can wait for super starts to walk the red carpet. Musicians/Popstars going to clubs to perform. Reality stars doing public appearances. You might even see some riding the tube. It’s exciting stuff! Recently I saw Tom Cruise….TOM CRUISE! Think the most famous person I met up north was Steven Gerrard…served him ice cream once…vanilla…how boring Stevie G!
YOU’LL KNOW WHAT A FOX SOUNDS LIKE WITHIN A WEEK!
I don’t think I ever saw a fox ever before I came to London! I’m one for my wildlife up North being surrounded by farmland. I freaked the first time I was a fox…I actually caught it on camera and then released…this thing could actually attack me! Foxes are everywhere down here. You’ll see them mostly at night, stalking the streets, finding treasures in bins and cleaning our streets of the rat vermin. However, the most disturbing noise I have ever heard in my life is the sound of a fox! It’s the weirdest noise ever and you only really hear it when they are obviously “mating”. It gives me flash backs to some of the weird noises I heard in University halls but I did go to a Liverpudlian University. Scousers are high pitched too!
OPPORTUNITIES ARE EVERYWHERE!
You’re in London…one of the biggest, most cultured and beautiful cities in the world! You will find career opportunities to further your career in such an easy reach that you can only dream of up North! Be open and available. Don’t pass up anything as you don’t know where it will lead. Network! You’re in the big city and its fast paced so keep up! People are constantly getting promoted, fired, moved and reassigned. Companies want people that are just a tube ride away, who can work flexible hours and who are motivated! If you have the skills, the degree, the ambition! London is the place to be!
GET USE TO THE NOISE!!
Police cars! Ambulances! Fire Engines! Noisy neighbours! Cars! Dominoes and Deliveroo scooters! Trains! People talking on phones! Trashmen! Them foxes again! PLANES….lots of planes!!! If you’re a light sleeper, you best buy some ear plugs! It never stops…you just don’t notice it after a while!
All photos were taken by myself and can be found on my Instagram @natashaatlas_ ! Give them some love ♥