12 Things that happen when you move to London

1. You burn through money faster than actually burning it

This one is the worst. Trains to work and back? Fiver a day. Two pints at the pub after work? £12, maybe more. Dinner out? £20 down the drain! It's insane how much things cost in this city.

2. You develop mild alcoholism

It's crazy how much drinking culture is a part of the life of living in the city. Pint after work, Friday night Prosecco, glass of wine after work- you'll find yourself drinking a hell of a lot more than if you lived anywhere else.

3. You become snobbish very quickly about areas that people live in

You'll pick up very quickly what kind of person you're talking to by where they live. Canary Wharf is for finance, suit-wearing, Waitrose eating professionals. Camden, Shoreditch and Hackney are arty hipsters who have French Bulldogs and are likely vegan. Clapham, for up-and-comers who work in the media. And Kilburn? Don't go there.

4. You become accustomed to seeing rats and mice regularly

Within about a month of moving to London, I had a stand-off with a rat in an alleyway. I was walking one way, Remy the other. Neither of us refused to budge and I was petrified. Once you're aware of just how commonplace they are, you'll see them everywhere. E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E.

5. Public transport becomes your best friend

Imagine a city where you can hop on an underground train, overground train, bus, tram or bike and be at your destination very quickly. This city RELIES on it's transport system, and you will too. It means you can live miles away from where you work, visit friends, go out on the town and visit places and sites of culture for a lot less than other places.

6. And your worst enemy

Gaaaahhhh, you sigh loudly to yourself as you hear those dreaded words announced on the platform. 'Severe delays'. Trains that stop in the tunnel for 15 minutes. Buses that divert right when you need to get off. Annoying fellow commuters or tourists. Yes, it will be your saviour after a long hard day at work or a great night out, but it will also be the bane of your life. You'll spend half your time on your commute thanking TFL for being a thing and cursing the goddamn heat of the Central Line.

7. Suddenly, everyone on the Streets will annoy you

Stop going on Facetime without headphones! I don't want to hear your convo! Why do you walk so slow! The follow Londoners and tourists alike will drive you up the wall when you're trying to get somewhere speedy.

8. And you will become a super-fast walker

And, speaking of which, you're walking will become something of a sport, with a dust plume behind you when you speed across the street. Try and beat the time Citymapper tells you it takes to walk somewhere, it's the best feeling in the world.

9. You will spend most nights out doing 'stuff' and trying to soak up culture

Suddenly, you're in one of the hippest, most happening cities in the world! (I promise I'll try not to sound like a grandma). There are plays, musicals, bars, museums, events, pubs and so much more to do you'll wear yourself out at first trying to fit it all in.

10. Before becoming a bit of a homebody.. hello sofas and boxsets!

... And then you'll realise that yes, all that culture is out there, but it isn't going anywhere. Your sofa will become your place to laze and while away the hours after a long day of living your best life in the city. It's exhausting living in such a busy city and it's great to have a home to come back too.

11. Renting will be a nightmare

Mice. Mould. Horrible flatmates. Cold. You'll experience it all and so much more. Shitty landlords. Agencies that want to fleece you. It might feel like the end of the world at times, and look like it, and seem like it. But trust me, you'll come out of the other side a better person. With a better appreciation for adequate ventilation and mice traps.

12. But your friends will make it

Who better to experience the city of extreme highs and extreme lows together with? You'll build new friendships and reinforce old ones, living through fantastic history in this city, with culture and the arts, gigs and drinking, horrific work days, relationships and awful landlords. It's worth it, I promise!

C x

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© 2019 Ciara Loane

Created by Ciara Loane.

London-based writer and stylist.

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