A year ago today: Arriving in London

A year ago today, I moved to London.

 

Not permanently, of course, I am back in boring Germany now.

But I went on an adventure to live in the Big Smoke of Europe for, at the time, an unknown period of time. It turned out to be 6.5 months, and not only that, but it also turned out to be the best 6.5 months of my entire life.

 

I couldn’t not share this with you as it had an absolutely huge impact on my life, but didn’t want to just bombard you with post after post, stuffed with photos. So I thought I’d make a little series out of it, called “A Year Ago Today”, and episodically remember the events that might be of interest for you, too.

 

Starting off, obviously, with the day I moved to London.

 

I had gotten an internship with an agency for Translating & Interpreting as, at the time, this was what I thought I’d wanted to do with my life (Spoiler: It’s not). It took me quite a long time to actually get the position and left me in a very stressed state for 6 months afterwards trying to find a job to save up the money to live in Europe’s most expensive city, finding a job, hating the job but not being able to quit because of savings that I needed, trying to balance uni & working every shift I could possibly get, getting ill from all the stress and finally quitting the job to organise the final stages of moving.

 

Moving is an exhausting mission in itself, but moving to another country, even temporarily, is a whole other story. The time I spent doing research on the internet was ridiculous and I had to think of aspects I never had to think of before (taxes? rent? costs of living? what?).

 

Anyway, after about half a year of planning and researching and working and saving, the day had come: I was going to get on a plane with my two suitcases and move to the island.

I had gotten a place to live already, which later turned out be… not as great as I had hoped it’d be (if you’re interested, I’d do a separate post on that). My flight was around midday so I got to Heathrow at about the same time (woohoo time difference!) and what then followed was not the best start to my adventure if I may say so myself. My first flat I lived in was in Greenwich, and for those of you who are not familiar with London’s boroughs – it’s pretty much on the opposite side of the city. Not having enough money to get the Heathrow Express, I had to settle for the cheap option – the tube.

 

As exciting as the tube can be for tourists, the first thing I learnt was: if you live here, and if you want to get somewhere easily and in peace, do not use the tube. Also, if you’re alone with two heavy suitcases, do also not use the tube. I took the Piccadilly Line to Holborn (which takes foooreeever!), switched onto the Central Line until Bank and then caught the DLR to Cutty Sark. Little did I know that Holborn does not have any step-free access, and also not very many friendly Londoners, so I tried to carry two suitcases up and down stairs myself, which left me sweaty (it was boiling hot that day, too!) and stressed. At Bank, though, a very nice young chap decided to help me. Both sitting on the DLR, he said, “You look stressed. Here, listen to some music” – and then put my favourite German band on (without knowing I was German). I think it was at that point that I knew I was home.

 

Anyway, I eventually arrived at Cutty Sark, got myself something to eat & drink (I hadn’t eaten nor drank anything all day) and patiently waited for my housemates to pick me up. They later insisted on taking me out on a drink which I politely accepted but after just a couple of hours, I was too tired to do anything.

 

 

 

So yes, this was my first day in the big city.

Sorry this was more text-heavy than picture-heavy, but obviously I didn’t take many pictures on my quest from West to East. I promise the upcoming posts will be more exciting.

 

Next up is the “Holi Festival of Colours” on 11th August! 🙂

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