Last week marked three months since I arrived in London. Three months since I packed my life from Australia into a 30kg suitcase to move to the other side of the world. And I love it.
My system was sent into shock upon arrival, leaving behind a toasty 35-degrees in Sydney and arriving to a brisk 4-degrees at Heathrow 30 hours later. Upon first sight, England appeared to be this desolate, barren wasteland that was a bland wash of brown, dotted with spindly trees. Winter in South East England isn't beautiful, or so I thought. I was underwhelmed but hungry to get to know my new home.
A lot has changed over these past three months. Both within myself and with my surroundings. I arrived here having never visited London, or anywhere in Europe for that matter, with no job lined up and unsure if I would even like this place. The first month wasn't the easiest, nor was it the hardest thing I've ever done. It was daunting, but more than that it was exciting. Everything was different and new.
It look me just shy of a month to land a job here, granted I was a little fussy looking for full time work in the marketing or creative sector though. I figured the move to London wasn't a gap year for me, it was the next chapter of my life post graduation. I was going to make it the next stepping stone in my career and wouldn't settle for less. Oddly enough, I've now secured a second job here and have settled into a comfortable routine.
It's taken three months, which would normally seem like a long time, but I finally feel like I can call this place home. Routine, a job and growing familiar with your surroundings make a foreign and sometimes overwhelming place comfortable.
Perhaps the biggest change I have noticed here though is in my surroundings. To give you some perspective, I actually live outside London, in the county of Surrey. I live in a town called Woking, which is only 25 mins from London Waterloo via train. It's a quicker commute to the city than when I lived Sydney, albeit a much more expensive one too. We live a mere 50 metres from the Basingstoke Canal, and are regularly graced with the presence of ducks, swans, squirrels and more. When I arrived, the trees were bare, days short and some places along the canal looked like they were better suited to a B-grade horror film from the '90s. Although as the light lasts longer and days grow warmer, the canal has come to life. The trees lining the path are a lush green, birds sing until late evening and flowers grow wild. England has literally woken from a slumber and come to life, almost as if overnight.
London is no different, everyday I am greeted with cherry blossoms and colour as the city awakens for spring. This week we are even having unseasonably warm weather, and people are flocking to the parks to enjoy the sun. The contrast between when I arrived and now is stark, but beautiful. Never before have I experienced a place that was so vastly different as the seasons changed.
Three months in, I can safely say I love living in the UK, even if they have a long winter. So much is within reach here, and everyday is something new.