Why is moving to London so exhausting?

Why is moving to London so exhausting cover

So you’ve moved to London expecting it to be the best time of your life. On Facebook you see your friends out every night, they are laughing and doing it right. They have travel plans, they are making new friends, they are going to every festival out…so why is it that you are at home finding everything so fucking exhausting?

It’s all you can do to get through a week at work and occasionally go to the pub. And all the while feeling like you are doing London ‘wrong’ because you haven’t been to a museum lately, you have no idea about that new pop-up and you are currently relying on takeaways because cooking feels like climbing a mountain.

I know that moving to London logically seems like an ‘easy’ step for a Kiwi to make, after all you speak the same language and watched Monty Python a few times. But kid, cut yourself some slack because shock horror it’s a different country. You can’t underestimate how much harder your brain has to work because nothing is familiar, all those mindless auto-pilot decisions that you used to make at home you are now having to think about, and think hard.

At home you probably just went for the same green/light blue/dark blue milk that your parents have brought for your entire lifetime. You moved out of home and when you needed to buy milk you didn’t even think, you just grabbed that same bottle at the supermarket. So you then moved to London, a country as obsessed with dairy as our own – it should be easy right? But you go to Tesco and stand in front of the fridge and all of a sudden what you did mindlessly before you now have to make an active choice on. Brand, type, price, organic? Ugh.

I know milk seems like a silly example, but when you move to London you expect to have to learn to navigate the tube and convert from pounds to NZD; you just don’t predict the hundreds of tiny decisions that sap your energy at every turn.

You are not failing at London, and those photos of your friends on Facebook are assuredly not telling the whole story. Everyone is struggling, everyone is exhausted and everyone will find their feet eventually. I promise you that it will get easier, and the foreign will eventually become the familiar. And while you are waiting for that to happen? Have a night off from London, eat junk food and watch TV all day. Ignore the culture and what you ‘should be’ experiencing, just spend a day at home, or in a park, or Skyping back home. It will get better, it will be ok.

Xx

Why you should move to London button

12 Comments

  1. August 31, 2015 / 8:57 pm

    This is lovely Rebecca! I felt the same when I moved to Melbourne – it took me ages to just get used to the fact that the supermarket was called Woolworths and it wasn’t the same as Woolworths here.

    I imagine London is tougher though because it is definitely one of the most fast paced cities I’ve ever visited, even the ‘natives’ find it exhausting.

  2. Emily
    August 31, 2015 / 9:42 pm

    Oh Rebecca. I can’t agree with this post any more.
    I’ve just graduated, moved to London and just about to start my 4th week of work… Oh. My. God. is it tiring?! And yes, you see all your friends living ‘the high life’, either travelling/still at uni and it makes everything tough.
    But regardless, I’ve been here for a month and still love it. I just wish I could do it quicker as you are so right, you feel guilty for not doing all the amazing things out there!
    Emily xx
    Auburn Antics

  3. September 1, 2015 / 8:20 am

    Moving full stop is exhausting, let alone when it’s to another country!

  4. Natalie
    September 1, 2015 / 10:00 am

    You’ve basically taken my jumbled up thoughts and feelings of guilt at not doing things I ‘should’ be doing in London and put them in this blog post, thank you!

  5. September 1, 2015 / 7:25 pm

    It gets better, I promise! Take heart from an old-timer like me (that or you just learn to escape more from Zone 1!)

  6. September 2, 2015 / 12:42 am

    Hi there,
    To be honest, I think this is the first time I have been to your blog, and this is one cool place, I must say!
    When I read through your blog post, I thought to myself, “Well I WISH I could actually move to London”, it’s not so easy for an American, unless you’re really lucky enough to land a transfer with your job, or marry an Englishman … not so easy to move. So I visit. A lot, and my goal is to buy a flat in England and then it will be cheaper to come for the summer, I was there this summer and it cost me a small fortune for flat rentals.
    I do like that you remind people that everyone is struggling, because no matter how great our lives look on Instagram or Facebook, there are struggles that we all must face to get where we want to be!
    Thanks for the great post, and I’ll be back, I am loving your blog!
    Tammy

  7. Charlotte
    September 4, 2015 / 11:46 am

    Ha! So true. I’ve been here 4 months now, 2 months in a full time job and just feel SO. TIRED. ALL. THE. TIME. Although I’ve started taking my iron again so that helps, barely.

    You feel London’s pace even more when you get out – I was in Cornwall last weekend and tumbleweed may as well have blown past me, it was so peaceful compared to London. But it also made me appreciate London’s constant buzz more, and dare I say made me want a bloody Pret.

    I think the guilt wears off when you realise everyone’s editing their online self to present the FUN London image – we’re all struggling underneath and yeah, tired AF.

  8. September 20, 2015 / 9:23 am

    It’s been a while since I was a Kiwi living in London but I loved reading this and wandering down memory lane. If only I could do it all again 🙂

  9. October 22, 2015 / 12:29 pm

    Reading this helped me understand how complex a long distance move is and how stressful the whole process can be. Thanks for sharing this interesting and helpful post. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks you’re an amazing writer.

  10. ariewashere.com
    October 22, 2015 / 3:21 pm

    I read your blog a few weeks before I left NZ, and I’m reading it again a month after being in London. Not only are you bloody hilarious, I think it’s lovely that on top of the practical advice you take the time to tell newbies to the city exactly what they need to hear to feel better. Thanks heaps ao xx

  11. October 30, 2015 / 1:03 pm

    Moving to London definitely is exhausting! The city is so busy and big that it is easy to get overwhelmed. That is why us good if you can take your time to do the move and have a helping hand. Very interesting post. Thank you for sharing! Good luck!

  12. Gabrielle
    June 17, 2016 / 11:01 am

    You’re a bloody lifesaver @runawaykiwi! I’ve been here four weeks and struggling without my mumma big time! Spending half my day wondering if this is the worst decision of my life but am so glad I stumbled across this. Thank you greatly X