If you would have asked me 5 maybe even 2 years ago if I would have wanted to move to London, I would have flat out said no and dismissed it.
Funny how quickly things can change huh?
Now after living in the city for a few months, what used to be a novelty is wearing off… the tube rides, city lights in all directions and the non-stop buzz. Even though the novelty has worn off, I’ve found myself head over heels with this city… I guess I should give a little insight to pass London experiences.
Of course, if you know me personally or even a little, you know I play football (up for debate how well…) which are my earliest memories of having to come into London. At the time Southall, Jersey Road and Griffin Park were my destinations, this would be a minimum three times a week and to me this was the capital. I was not being a tourist and exploring, it was a mad dash after school to get a bit of food in me and head to training or on the weekends (when we played at home) match day! But the sights I saw at the unsociable hours were nothing spectacular and my brother (whom was living in London and raving about it at the time) couldn’t convince me otherwise.
My next regular destination was Kingston, I have mixed emotions about my trips to this place, some of the best memories I’ve had are associated here (or more the people). An attendee of Kingston College and playing for Staines Town which was an affiliate of the college, I used to get the train from Bracknell to Twickenham and wait for my change (around a 2-hour journey). The funny thing is, these horrific journeys is where I made one of my best friends to date, we would meet at Twickenham and share the journey together, usually discussing the usual 17/18-year-old stuff and head to training.
After a short trip out to America to play football (and go to college, but that’s a whole post in itself) I was back in the UK. I had two options as I saw it, get a job or go back into education and based on my experiences at ‘college’ in America I wasn’t ready to go back to school. I know what you’re probably thinking, how does this tie into London? That part is coming however, I was lucky enough (very lucky) to land myself a job with an IT giant, starting off as an apprentice I was on a steep learning curve… This learning curve first required me to go off and present my learnings from the first few months to the COO, head of my business unit and other high level management. This presentation took place in London, I remember being quite excited to join the ‘rat race’ and experience it, but also very apprehensive as I feared getting lost. Fortunately, the journey was a lot easier than I assumed and the enjoyment of London began, but not as a full time venture, occasionally was enough for me at this stage.
4 years pass, my visits to London are limited, I am going on nights out to Oceana Kingston and other pubs and bars for friends birthdays with the friends I had made from college. My regular London visits almost came out of the blue, I think I consecutively travelled to Camden for 7 weeks in a row (sometimes staying for most of the week) and slowly finding myself understanding London life better. I guess it’s a lesson to myself, first impressions aren’t always the lasting impression and opinions do change!
SO HERE WE ARE…
I am now living in London since August and couldn’t picture myself anywhere else (for the time being… I told you lesson learnt) I think living in the city will be a good life experience, also a good lesson on how to balance a pay cheque and an important one which I think a lot of people tend to shy away from: making new friends.