Hopes And Plans For My Year In London

Posted On 3 Apr 2018

Hopes And Plans For My Year In London

3 Apr 2018
Hopes And Plans For My Year In London

Hopes And Plans For My Year In London

Our WHV Competition winner Ella Crowley shares her hopes and plans for her upcoming year abroad in London…

The move to London is approaching with crazy speed and with that ride comes increasing excitement and nervousness. Moving to an unfamiliar city that is far away from the life I know inspires curiosity and also a slight fear of the unknown. It’s going to be an incredible year ahead.

The past few weeks have been rather surreal. The day I got my visa back, a large double page stamp marking my passport with the certainty of a pretty exciting decision, it’s fair to say I was elated. I marked the occasion with an ocean swim with my best friend but days since then have been filled with lots of work and last minute saving, interwoven with the procrastination of scrolling through pages of Airbnb’s, share house ads and job listings.

I also started picking the brains of people I met to create an ever-growing list of museums, events and suburbs to visit, places that would be ideal for weekend trips and numbers to call if I’m ever in trouble. There were lot of promises to come visit being dropped here and there too. I thought I wouldn’t know anyone in London, but each week I discover a new friend that will be there, whether passing through on a 6-month European getaway or settling in for the long haul like me. The year ahead is turning out to be a perfect balance of adventuring with friends and going it solo.

So all the clothes I own are now packed in a suitcase – I sold the rest! Joining my clothes are a few keepsakes – a rug my mother gave me, my favourite mug and a few mismatched pieces from friends. I have my visa and plane tickets, my assorted lists and an Airbnb booked for my arrival. I think that’s about as organised as I’m going to get!

When it comes to London itself, it’s difficult to know what to expect. I visited once before when I was young, but my memories consist of little more than visiting London Eye and Buckingham Palace. Beyond that, my impression of the city is built from offhand comments from friends and strangers alike. I’ve received many a “you’ll love it” and “it’s very you” which is reassuring. I’m expecting vibrancy and multiculturalism, probably a lot of grey weather and hopefully the opportunity to zip over to Europe every now and then. I think culturally it will be quite similar to Sydney albeit much closer to Europe and with more going on, although no beaches, unfortunately.

I also wonder what it will be work to work in a new country. The language is thankfully the same but I wonder how the work cultures will compare. Is the work ethic is stronger? Is the work culture more formal? Will I notice many differences at all?

I’m most excited to walk around and get a feel for the city when I first touch down. I’m looking forward to exploring different areas and events and planning weekend trips to the country. I’m also hoping to visit my family in Ireland, catch up with friends in Croatia later in the year and maybe spend Christmas somewhere with snow.

My advice for others considering a similar path would be to grab it with both hands and run with it. Throwing yourself in the deep end allows for growth and I believe you should always seek to grow and broaden your world. So establish yourself in a new city, put your head down and work, make the most of the opportunities to travel, maybe even reinvent yourself along the way. The opportunities are endless and the choice is yours.