Let’s begin this plea by saying that London is a whole different thing – a different country – heck, a different world, from the rest of the UK and, to be honest, Europe! And with the entire “different” concept comes the warning that London isn’t for all. But what if it is?
I moved to London in the summer of 2015, full of internship dreams and brunch aspirations in my gap year from University. With my life belongings packed between 3 suitcases the size of my university bedroom, I found a studio to rent (don’t kid yourself, I shared with my boyfriend here) in the heart of Surbiton – a quiet and posh little town just on the outskirts of London, Zone 6 for the connoisseurs, that happens to have a fast train to Central London.
It was here where I met some amazing friends, paid some very steep bills and haggled for the price of my internet connection.
So how about London? What was so mesmerizing about this city that led me to pay over 60% of my paycheck into a landlord’s account?
1) The endless creative opportunities
A lot of people move here to “make it big” and the honest truth is that you can. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort of perfecting yourself, networking yourself and advertising yourself, London is full of creativity and there’s a lot of spots to fill in the ever changing landscapes of the capital’s cultural quarter. And just to be clear, I’m not just talking art or drama, but PR, tech, advertising, teaching, anything!
2) The something for everybody
A quick stroll through London can leave you in a whole new land – think Narnia or Alice in Wonderland. My first step in Camden, as a matter of fact, was greeted by the Mad Hatter and Alice themselves, in one of the area’s weekly fares. There’s plenty to do in the City for everyone be it hiking and photographing deer through Richmond Park or having a quick shop down on Portobello Road – it’s not all about Oxford Street and its maddening crowds.
3) The I pass Big Ben everyday on my way to work
With London, you don’t have to travel far and wide to see a landmark. Buckingham Palace is never more than 30 minutes away, there’s numerous trains and buses that go over Millennium Bridge, the London Eye is a sight for sore eyes after a long day at work and you can always go to Green Park for Winter Wonderland every single day of December!
4) The “I can nip to Paris for the weekend”
With living in the heart of the country comes the easiness of travel outside the country – from the Eurostar ready to take you to Paris in approximately 120 minutes to a multitude of low cost airlines operating all over London’s airports, it has never been as easy to plan an adventure every weekend.
5) The whole UBER situation
Despite black cabbies hating the company and its extremely useful app, Uber has most definitely revolutionized the way people move around in London and its surrounding areas. Having transparency on prices, being able to share your ride with other people travelling in the same direction, and being able to save money on that as well, is definitely something that makes the city click together.
6) The food and markets
Everywhere you turn, there will be a new rustic restaurant, the newest cronut cafe or a whole new drink pop-up festival to enjoy. Or, if you’re short on time, Camden Market has a massive international food market happening every single weekend and its dishes are truly amazing! Not up for that, why not try Old Spitalfields market, where you can also browse for handmade clothing and novelty home furnishings?
7) The brunch situation
Bottomless brunches, vegan brunches, posh brunches – London does them all and you’re not a true Londoner until you’ve spent an obscene amount on some Eggs Benedict after a night out at the latest music festival (go ahead, indulge, no one’s judging!). There’s also financially savvy brunches for when it’s not payday.
London is beautiful and alive, brimming with people from all background imaginable going in new directions everyday, overcoming boundaries or simply loving where they are. London is buzzing and London is quiet. And to be sure, you will never ever get bored in London.