Welcome back to yet another monthly blog from yours truly, and I can’t quite believe how quickly time has flown since my last post!
Life is very hectic at the moment, to say the least. This is now my eighth week living in London and I still can’t quite believe that I’m here. I’m definitely more settled now but I still miss home a lot, which I think is only natural as I’ve literally spent my entire life there. The pace of life is completely different when compared to West Wales but I’m adjusting slowly but surely.
Despite only been here a short while so far, I’ve already learnt a lot, whether it be handy tips or life observations. For this month’s blog, I thought I’d share five of those things with you!
1. Citymapper will become your best friend
Just before moving to London, I Googled tips and advice for adapting to London life, and the number one thing that came up time and time again was to download Citymapper. I can honestly say that this was a fantastic idea and it’s without doubt the most useful app I have on my phone.
You simply enter where you are and where/when you want to go and it maps out the entire thing, including walking time to and from stations, transport options, and a very accurate arrival time. It’s been great for me to work out if I’ve been able to get to certain places after work, and it also saved me a few weeks ago by finding alternative routes when the tube was suspended on my way to work.
I used to always rely on the TFL tube planner when visiting London, but now all I use is Citymapper as it just gives so many more options. I also love how it breaks down exactly how long it takes to walk from my house to the station, to change platforms etc. It’s an app I couldn’t go without, that’s for sure!
2. You will constantly be tired
During my first week in London, I was exhausted, and I put that down to the stress of moving and travelling. However, I soon realised that once you’re immersed in London life that being tired is now just a constant state of being. It doesn’t matter how many early nights or weekend lie-ins I have, I am now just permanently tired but function a little better when armed with gallons of tea.
3. Everyone lives on the Tube
Leading on from the last point, the tube during morning rush hour is quite possibly one of the most depressing things in existence, because you realise that 95% of Londoners live their lives on the tube because they spend so much time ON the tube that they physically don’t have the time to do these things otherwise.
- Eat your breakfast: on the tube.
- Do your hair: on the tube.
- Do your makeup: on the tube.
- Do your work/homework: on the tube.
- Read: on the tube.
- Catch up on Netflix/iPlayer: on the tube.
- Sleep: on the tube.
This is down to some ridiculous commute times. I’m incredibly fortunate that door to door from my house to the office, my commute takes 30 minutes. However, there are some people who I work with that spend 90 minutes travelling ONE WAY in the morning. I can’t even process that, but I know that needs must.
If you’re ever on the tube during rush hour, play a little game of tube bingo and you’ll quickly find yourself shouting house!
4. There’s always something to do
You could never be in London and say that you’re bored, because there is ALWAYS something to do. And the best part of it all, if you’re short of money there’s actually a load of things to do for free. For example, I went to West End Live a few weeks ago – a free two day musical theatre extravaganza in Trafalgar Square which was incredibly fun (bar getting burnt to a crisp haha). You can pick up a free copy of Time Out Magazine every Tuesday to keep up to date with all events as it tells you what’s going on around London from week to week (in addition to future events). There’s no excuse to sit at home and do nothing when there’s so much to see, do and explore!
5. It’s okay to do things on your own
I’ve never been one for rushing out to do things on my own. I’d always prefer to have company and in all honesty I think that’s partly down to society’s warped stigma that doing things alone means that you’re lonely, which really isn’t the case. In recent years I’ve been put into situations where I’ve had to do things on my own, for example attending events on behalf of CelebMix however, since moving to London I’ve actually gone out of my way (and out of my comfort zone) to do things on my own, and you know what, I survived!
I’ve been to the theatre, out for food, to events, to exercise classes, and even to the cinema on my own, and it really isn’t that bad. My most recent solo adventure was to the cinema to see Yesterday. It’s been out for a few weeks so I wanted to see it before it disappeared and as discounted cinema tickets are a part of my work’s employee benefits scheme, I decided to bite the bullet and go on my own.
To start with, I will never understand the stigma behind going to the cinema on your own. You’re sitting there in silence for around two hours watching a movie – it’s an activity which was designed for individuals rather than parties surely? I felt a little anxious going into the screen on my own but nobody cared, and I wasn’t the only person on my own either! It’s definitely given me the confidence to continue doing things on my own because why should I have to miss out on something if no-one else is available?
Check back next month for another blog post!