I was having a conversation recently with my roommate where we were talking how long we’d been in our current flat and I realised that i’ve surpassed six years of living in London!
I first moved to the capital in 2009 for university but then went abroad for a semester and then moved back upon my return from China.
When adding up the multiple times, I turns out I have been living in the capital for over SIX years.
Time does fly when you’re having fun.
It’s almost ten years since I first moved to London, using an A-Z to get around – yep. I had a pocket size one in my handbag for when I got lost. It had a map of the tube on the back!
I remember when choosing my options for university, I realised that I had been spending way too much time on the M4 going to concerts anyway (I blame The Killers and We Are Scientists) so it made perfect sense to actually move there.
That and the journalism school at City University was meant to be good.
Did I like London when I first arrived?
No. God I hated it.
My intro to university life and living in London was aka the fucking worst. My roommates were so awful that halfway through my first year I ended up moving out and into another apartment.
But as time went on and I got to know people in my class more, it became enjoyable. Walking along the Thames i’d get those butterfly “omg I can’t actually believe I live here” feelings.
And getting to secret gigs etc was a lot easier. I once sat in the drummer from Razorlight’s kitchen listening to him play some of his new songs. And I got to see a load of big bands without having to trek four hours to the venue and back.
By second year, I had a good group of friends that would go exploring on weekends, meet up after lectures, and I barely touched that A-Z. We also ordered in waaaay too much Pizza Hut.
I even made friends at my part-time job and we’d venture out to places like Abbey Road Studios.
Now, I feel like I have a good group of friends and live in an area that I love. Before my current location, I lived in an apartment where two people got shot in the space of two weeks!!
Thinking back to ten years ago, London feels completely different now.
So how has life changed here since first arriving?
- No more A-Z. Citymapper is king and yes I still use it.
- I’ve lived in the east, the City, south of the river and the north. And my current area Kentish Town has to be my favourite so far. I was a nerd for anything Camden related when I first moved here so teenage me would probably find it cool that I actually live in the borough.
- Camden Market is dead. I mean it. It’s so commercial, just stick in a Hard Rock Cafe and call it a day.
- I’m not a student anymore. Well obviously. I do think I had more money as a student though. Not going to lie.
- The trendy places have all changed. It used to be Shoreditch and Hoxton and now….well i’m not actually sure anymore!
- Renting has gone up. DRASTICALLY.
- My football team Arsenal definitely aren’t as good as they used to be.
- 4G mobile exists!!! Wifi on the tube exists!!!
Actually writing this list makes me feel really old.
I can’t imagine riding the tube without the wifi these days. I’m not sure what I did before (probably reading all of the newspapers).
How do I feel about London now?
Well London is a bit like marmite for me now. Either I love it or I hate it. But I think everyone here has those days.
When I take the train back to Bristol, I always feel relaxed watching the city disappear and the green fields pass by.
Sometimes the hustle and bustle of London can be stressful. And living here can sometimes be incredibly lonely.
Bristol will always be my home and I enjoy going back to it and sleeping in my comfy bed there.
But London is also the place to be for opportunities especially in the creative industry and I feel like I am able to do so many different things here.
Not only that but there is always something going on, from London Fashion Week to Wimbledon. And there’s always a concert to go to – I saw The Killers at the BBC last year for free!
It will always be my second home.