I recently did a Q&A session on my Instagram, and a lot of the questions I got, were about moving to London, the do’s and don’ts, as well as anxiety about moving. I thought I probably did not do a very comprehensive job answering those questions in 6 second videos, so here we are. An endless page for me to write about it all, and for you to ask anything else you would like to know.

Moving to London

I moved to London on a whim

Woke up one day and me and my boyfriend decided – we are moving. Looking back at this now, I cannot believe I did it. No research, no job, no flat – nothing. We had some savings but definitely nothing significant for setting up in fancy, shmancy London. And I think that was the secret, not thinking about it. The older you get, the more thoughts you start getting and the more fearful you seem to become of the unknown, and moving away from your comforts. However, you need to remember that sometimes, you just need to take a leap of faith, close your eyes and jump into the unknown.

Moving to London

Moving to London is tough

Yes it is. It is not an easy ride and I think you need to be mentally prepared when you move. Sometimes people seek to be told, it is all easy breezy and then they get disappointed once they figure out this was a lie. I am just being truthful with you. If you are just going to come here and try to figure it all out once you arrive, it will be tough in the beginning. But on the other hand it is all worth it. The city is magnetic, enigmatic and always changing. You can be whoever you want to be, experience whatever makes you happy and be in touch with the world from the comfort of your new town.

Getting there takes a lot of time and effort but it is worth it

I have lived in multiple countries throughout my life, rarely standing still for more than 5-6 years in the same place. London has yet been the toughest for me, and yet the most rewarding. Here is a personal fact, I cried every other day the first year or so after moving here. It was tough for me, it was cold and I missed my friends and lifestyle in chilled Malta.

Things are never perfect in the beginning

This is the mindset you need to have, coming here. It will take time, you will get there but the beginning might be tough. The important thing is that you do not give up because of the few challenges you face. People are friendly, generally willing to help. Maybe a little bit more reserved at first but once you get to know them, they are all sweethearts.

flat hunting in london

What’s the worst that could happen?

You can come, it does not work out – then you go back, or go somewhere new.Β  Then you cannot be mad at yourself for never trying. Isn’t that the worst feeling – regret? Don’t call me out for being obnoxious and not considering that some people spend their life savings on coming here and it might be their only chance. I get it. I also get that in that case, one will be willing to work hard to make things happen, and in most instances that strategy does work out.

Moving to London
Fleet street

There are a lot of local or online communities that can help you in the start as well.Β  So you won’t feel that alone. If needs be, you can always ping me a question. I hope this helped at leats bit. Have you packed your bags yet and bought that ticket? x

2 Comments

  1. Hi Deyana! Nice article and also very true…

    My situation is a bit different. I lived in London 3 years and moved back to my sunny home country last year May. The reasons I left the city are multiple. Having a job I absolutely loathed and a career change that didn’t go as expected were the main one, which consequently triggered more reasons: tired of the grey weather, missing my family and lifetime friends, missing my sea and the places I was born and raised in. I was feeling unhappy and overwhelmed by the circumstances, I just wanted to live a simpler slow-paced life, with less responsibilities as possible. So I gave up on a big project I was going to embark in and moved back to enjoy a proper summer surrounded by my loved ones. I even managed to find a Mon-Fri day job with a permanent contract, which is not that common in this part of the country.

    I felt extremely happy and regenerated throughout the whole summer. Missed London sometimes, but happy not be in the cold and mayhem of that crowed city.

    However, once summer finished and my friend left, and after going to London for work for a few days, the initial excitement slowly wore away. I started realizing I was not happy with the job I had, I started feeling bored and lazy, unmotivated. Besides loving my sunny hometown by the sea, I realized that it lacked of inspirations or challenges. The mindset of those living here doesn’t match my one. I sometimes feel like a black sheep. I miss the old me, I miss the way I was when I was in London, living by myself, having to rely on my own strengths. London changed my life and shaped the person I am, made me stronger and more self-confident, it made me pull out my personality, it cured my low self-esteem. Now I feel like I’m going backwards. I live with my parents. The only thing I have to think in the morning is to make my bed and go to the gym after work. This is apparently a perfect way to live. But this is not the real life. I miss my independence and my energy. I was fearless and unbeatable. I would get involved in everything I wanted. I even miss going grocery’s shopping and buying my own stuff. It’s not the same when you live with your parents.

    It’s nearly two months now that I have been thinking about moving back to London and finally start the project that would lead to my career goal.

    Why have I not left yet?

    Simple. Because I’m scared. I’m scared of making a huge mistake, scared of quitting my current job, although that is not what I want to do in my life, scared of London, scared of going through the same shit again, scared of feeling lonely, scared of being broke since the city is the most expensive in the world, scared of the uncertainty, scared of the fact that the grey weather can affect my mood again, scared of missing my country again, scared of disappointing my parents, who from their side don’t want me to leave again and waste my time instead of settling down and get a steady job so I can get old in peace. Scared of the time that is passing by since I’m 30 and should just focus on finding stability and not chasing uncertain dreams.

    I am scared. Scared of taking the leap. Scared of stepping out the comfort zone I so wanted to get back to because I was tired of everything.
    There is a reason that made me leave London. I was no longer happy there. What if it happens again?

    But the worst thing is to stay here, still. Not taking action. The worst thing is to stay and let the time fly by and settle for what this town has to offer. It’s so easy not to take actions and let circumstances decide for you. I take what comes towards my way, without taking any decision.

    So I’m sitting here, in my office, at work. Staring at the computer screen, blankly, answering the emails or the phone calls I have to answer, soon studying for a public examination to become a teacher, just to please my mum and make her happy because teaching will give me a permanent stability, flexible working hours and almost 3 months of summer holidays. Which is not bad, in fact it’s tempting, but I’m not sure that teaching is actually my cup of tea.

    Sorry for the rant, but I’m going through one of the toughest moments in my life and truly don’t know how to get out of it…

    • Dear Anna, thank you for the response, and I am glad you found my article and we can chat. Wow isn’t your situation relatable, I know exactly how you feel. I think if I leave London, move somewhere else I will feel exactly the same as you currently do. London does tire you, it makes you fight every day for things that in most other places are just there. I recently embarked on a journey where I took some time off work, as I was so exhausted and needed a time out. I also went back home for a few weeks, and enjoyed the peace and relaxation, the lack of needing to fight. However as you rightfully say, the feeling that something is missing started creeping in, I realised I missed some of the intensity of London I got used to the weather after years of being here but I know that this can be a huge determining factor for you to feel sad while you live here. I do not know you, however reading what you have written, I would say do your course, get your teaching qualification and then give it another shot. Once you have your qualifications you can always go back and get a permanent teaching job. However, I think if you do not give it another chance you can end up resenting what you currently do, as it will feel like it took something away from you. I also think there are people who are OK with not having action in their life, and there are people like us who always need something to stimulate their minds/make us aim for the next thing. I have found that the way to live in London is balance and knowing your limits, so you do not reach the stages of burn out. I think a lot of people leave because they just burn out and need to get away, cannot see the beauty anymore. I think you can work but take time off for yourself when you do, go away, spend time doing nothing, balance the craziness of the city with time out. I hope this helps a little, I am sorry you are going through a tough time and hopefully this helps. Let me know if you decide to move back, we can always get a cuppa and exchange tips πŸ˜‰

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