“You sound like you’re from London!”
Okay seriously, though… it’s pretty much an Aussie right of passage to do a big Europe trip when you’re young. But imagine if every weekend could be a mini-Euro trip?! Welcome to Kamila from London New Girl’s life. Four years ago she packed up and chased a dream to live in London. Sounds amazing, right? Yep – so we asked her to dish on the details about what it’s really like to be a London local…
Where are you originally from?
What made you decide to move to London?
The weather, obviously. 😉
I really just wanted to be closer to Europe and the world in general, to make travel easier. There’s no such thing as popping over to Spain for the weekend when you live in Australia, but from London I can get to so many new countries in just a couple of hours! I was also getting a bit bored in Melbourne and wanted to challenge myself with my career, try something new and get out of my comfort zone.
What do you do there now?
I’m living in East London, working in an advertising agency as a content strategist and enjoying more than my fair share of travel.
First reaction when you arrived there?
I turned into a walking, talking version of the heart eye emoji.
What is London like?
Diverse, creative, enormous, busy, expensive, filled with opportunities. London can only ever be what you make of it and that’s the honest truth. If you crave the simple life, you’ll find it. If you prefer a complex, crazy, busy life, you’ll find that too. I like to switch between the two to keep my sanity.
Any advice for those wishing to move to London?
Lots of advice. So much so infact, that I dedicated an entire blog to it. Most importantly you need to be financially prepared, have a plan of action for when you arrive, and not be too horrified when you realise how little space you’ll get for your monthly rent. I promise it’s normal.
Things to watch out for?
Dodgy rentals and landlords, greedy real estate agents, greedy recruitment agents, and nettle. (I got stung by nettle in my first week and had no idea why my arm was swelling up like a balloon, let alone remotely aware that such a thing as a doc leaf exists)
Budget-friendly things to do?
London is perfect for the broke who still like to have fun, mostly because that covers 80%* of London’s population. Pick up a copy of Time-Out (a free magazine outside of tube stations each Tuesday) and pick your event. Also follow the Londonist on Facebook who put out a list of free and cheap things in London each week.
*A guesstimated stat that is probably true.
Splurgy things to do?
High tea – how very British; A glass of champagne atop London’s Shard for the best view of London; A trip to the West End theatre to see one of the many shows on offer.
Do you feel like a local now? How did you become one?
Definitely. After 4 years, I think I’d be more worried if I didn’t feel like a local. When you live and work in a city, within the first year you tend to find your favourite spots, build a network of friends and get to know the best coffee spots. Once the local barista remembers your name, you know you’ve made it.
✈️ ✈️ ✈️
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