London. A city with a million opportunities, things to do, people to meet and places to see.
All of the above are expectations and – luckily – the reality of London. However, this amazing city isn’t always what you expect it to be.
Don’t get me wrong: London is still my favourite city in the world. Although I am yet to visit some other cities, and despite living here for well over a year, I have a deep feeling that it will always remain my favourite. It is home to me, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
But here are a list of things that I expected to happen when I made that big move to the city… But maybe didn’t quite pan out as easily as I thought.
- BEING GOOD WITH MONEY
There really is a cost to living in an exciting place like London *no pun intended*… it is pretty god darn expensive here. You need to take time find out where to shop, how to travel around, and where to eat inexpensively. If you were to go on an exciting-very-english pub crawl, for example, I would save that for a country village or town outside of London. It is easy to spend way too much money on food or drinks in the city.
2. I’M GOING TO CYCLE EVERYWHERE
This is actually something I originally wanted to do when I arrived here. There are so many cyclists around London, it must save a bucket load of cash just riding everywhere rather than using the bus or tube. It is also much greener. I’m still undecided on what made me change my mind. Maybe it is because I remembered how cold England is for most of the year. But the more likely reason is that most of us would rather pay for a tube than put our lives in the hands of London’s loony drivers.
3. I WILL ALWAYS BE GRATEFUL FOR THE TUBE
Coming from a small town near the countryside, I know exactly what it is like to miss a bus and have to wait another hour in the freezing cold for the next one. “I will always be grateful for efficient London transport” I said… then only a few months in and I find myself cursing when I have to wait 6 minutes for the next bus. I am now part of the blood-thirsty-London-mob-crowd that you will find standing on the yellow line, whining about a technical error leading to a 5 minute tube delay. Impatience in London is contagious.
4. RENT CAN’T BE THAT BAD IN LONDON
It is true what people say about living here: for the price of a cosy flat here, no matter how swish it may look on the inside, you can probably get a castle for the same amount elsewhere. It is ridiculous really. This aside, however, I do personally feel that the quality of life is better here – especially if you are a young adult. If I had the choice of a huge house back in my small hometown, or a cosy apartment in London, I would still choose the latter. Every time.
5. MY LIFE WILL BASICALLY BE THE LONDON VERSION OF SITC
(Sex in the City – FYI)
This is probably the most laughable of them all, isn’t it? Alright so I never thought it would actually be like this really, but I did think it would consist of cocktail nights every single weekend and constant dinners in central London with my girlies. But it turns out that we all have budgets and most people opt for the cheaper student nights (understandable). Nonetheless, I do lurrrrve my cocktails and when we all get the chance to, it is the perfect way to spend a night out in the city. Just try to visit on happy hours if you are on a budget and want to keep your bank account happy.
Despite all of the above, I absolutely adore London. The past year and a half has probably been the most fun of my life and I have made friends for life.
I won’t be leaving anytime soon.