A Kiwi in London – a rite of passage switching hemispheres, widening perspectives. I took a well-trodden path from a small and close knit country to the fast paced hustle and bustle of one of the largest cities in the world – definitely a culture shock.
Brisk walking became a daily necessity cracking the code to hopping around London efficiently (Hot tip: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/walking/) , transport became a competitive sport, and then finding a decent New Zealand coffee – well that was a real challenge. But I was ready to take it all on.
After just 4 weeks I landed a fantastic job introduced by a friend from home who recommended Aldrich & Co through whom she had been placed. I moved into a proper English terraced house and had the tube map permanently imprinted in my head.
Anyone who is lucky enough to have lived in this city which is oozing with energy will know that there really is no other place in the world quite like it. Every day I see something new; the city continues to inspire and surprise me. Whether basking in the summer sunshine by the Thames or wandering the cobblestone pavements of Borough Market or taking in all the incredible racy new architecture and then the ancient stone Wren’s churches. (Fact: 88 churches burned down in the Great Fire in 1666 (anniversary today!!) and Wren rebuilt 51 of these plus St. Paul’s Cathedral)
Every day I pinch myself – I am not just passing by, I actually live here in London. This is my City.
While I love my home with its incredible scenery, familiar faces, fresh air and wild countryside I’m constantly excited with the opportunities that London offers.
Over the next few weeks I will provide an expats insight into Survival 101 in the big city.
Tip 1: Time management
City Mapper is a superb app, advising you of the fastest possible route, transition times and even where to sit on the tube to be close to the exit of your destination. Crucial whether for managing a fast paced job or to make that speedy weekend getaway from Gatwick to Santorini or being in the right place to Skype home. Always allow an additional 20 minutes. If you are early pick up a Daily Telegraph and a Pimm’s and find a park bench in one of the amazing parks. London is 47% of green space believe it or not and there are 8 Royal Parks – endless opportunities to while away downtime.