Moving to London in 2010 and living there for the next two years were some of the best times of our lives.
We’re realists and we were open to the idea that the move might not work out for us, but it did, and we’re forever grateful because we found out a lot more about ourselves in the time we spent in this magical city and the avenues it presented for us to fuel our love of travel.
Since moving on from London, I’ve noticed myself saying a couple of things if anyone ever asks about our time in London, or if they show interest in moving to London. The first?
‘Do it, it’s amazing. Make it happen – save up and go.’
‘London doesn’t wait for anyone.’
I love everything about London; its history, its modernisation, its pubs, its buildings, its multiculturalism, its forward thinking, its transport, its arts, its sports, its neighbourhoods and their cultural differences, the food, the openness, markets and street-festivals, the relaxed attitudes, the Brits’ love of trains and their love of complaining, their hatred of the weather, the changing of seasons, the underground and the rawness of this city.
To me, London is deservedly the city at the centre of the world. It’s a thriving metropolis that lives and breathes with the people that inhabit it. These are all part of why London has more international visitors per year than any other city around the world – a walk down London’s Oxford Street will show you that.
So why doesn’t London wait?
I say London doesn’t wait because its so historic, big and busy, it has the right to not owe anyone anything. There are over eight million people living in Greater London, with more commuting and even more new arrivals coming every day.
When you apply for a job, you’re one of hundreds. When you find a place you want to rent, you’ll be there with dozens of others, and a handful of applications already handed in.
The history of London will tell you why it has a right to not owe anyone anything, and just because you feel like you’re qualified for a job, or really, really want that room you saw on Gumtree, you’re not the only one who feels that way.
So you have to fight – be persistent and make yourself known. Be present, push. When you do and you make what you want happen, then you make history.
Sure, you may not love it and you might want to call it quits. There is no shame in that. To leave home, try, and it doesn’t work out, there is no loss or failure in that. Believe me. Try something new and you never know what will happen. That’s what moving to London was for us and we have not looked back.
Like I said earlier, we absolutely loved our time living and breathing as much of London as we could – but also know that you will absolutely have those dark days where everything is hard and doesn’t feel like you’re making any progress.
Then things start to turn around. The sun might shine and you experience people appreciating a summer day like no other, it might snow and you watch the city shut down, you might stumble across a wonky centuries-old pub, or you get out and wander down Horse Guards parade, hire a Barclay bike to Hyde Park or go for a run along the Thames in front of Big Ben – those magical little moments make every part of moving to London worth it.
So don’t be put off by the thought that London doesn’t wait. If you’ve ever thought about moving to London, do it. If you’re worried about anything, write down your priorities and the consequences of those decisions, and work out what is right for you.
London has a way of rewarding you if you try hard enough. It’s a historic and magical city that if you work hard it’ll let you play harder. London didn’t wait for us, but we tried, we were persistent and eventually, we made our own history.
Since our move to London our life goals have been to travel. So we work hard and save and make our goals reality. It worked for us in London, and now we’re in Canada. You too might find yourself in the city in the centre of the world or anywhere else, having the time of your life.
Make a decision, make it happen. That’s what moving to London was for us, and we’re forever thankful we did.
Have you moved to and lived in London? What did you find? Was it easy? Did you have to find your way? Leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you…