One thing that amazes me about this little old blog of mine, is the people who read it and then go out of their way to tell me that London is horrible…
a) I really don’t give a whole lot of fucks about your opinion and;
b) this is a website about loving London, why the hell are you reading it?
While I feel quite comfortable telling little men on the Internet to fuck off and drown in a vat of brown butter hollandaise, it’s harder to do when it’s friends and family asking that fateful question; why would you live in London?
Bizarrely I often find this question being asked by people who were actually born in the UK. They have watched the Hobbit and at least half of Return of the King and don’t understand why anyone would swap those majestic landscapes for the grey towers of London. Massive spoiler alert for anyone planning to visit New Zealand: it’s not what you see in the movies. The landscapes are there if the weather is right and you have a spare day to drive and find them, but most of the time it’s normal life in a city. I’m an Auckland girl, tell me to go on a hike and I will tell you to go fuck yourself. Auckland is pretty much exactly like London except with 1/12th the people, shorter buildings, harder rain and a giant creepy paedophile Santa during December. And remember the grass is always greener; for every beautiful landscape in NZ I could show you one that is just as beautiful in the UK. We have Lord of the Rings, you have Game of Thrones.
Job opportunities is another reason that I am still in London. Now before you message me to tell me about how it took you four months to find a job and it sucks and you hate it….this is my opinion, my version of the truth, and it’s my blog so I can literally write whatever I want. GERKINS. See, anything I want.
By virtue of London being fucking huge, there are so many job options out there. And in my experience once you are in a company, they are more willing to take a punt on you and your career. Yes the size of London means you are competing with a butt load more people, but the chances of you finding a company you LOVE are quite high. London is after all a city that has a long standing Cereal Café; there are thousands of weird niche businesses here – you just need to find one that suits you and your weird talents. No it’s not perfect and your salary is NEVER enough, but a company that would have two people working for it at home has 50 in London – you can get experience you never would have dreamed of.
The old nugget ‘your vibe attracts your tribe’ is another massive part of why I’m living in London. All of my friends here are living here because they want to. Actually it’s more than that, all of my friends have fought to live here. What with rent making you cry, visas being the worst thing ever and weirdos on the tube – you don’t just live in London, you latch on to it claws extended like a cat that finally got hold of the red dot.
It means we all go out of our way to wring every drop of enjoyment from London. We brunch to extreme, we hunt out every weird experience & when it all gets too much we have meltdowns while drowning in gin. It’s an incredible thing to have a group of friends with the same motivations and drive, we are all married to London and live through its ups and downs.
I’m also here because London is mine. My life here is something I’ve created and am damn proud of. Every friend, every adventure and every job opportunity has been me bring brave and trying fucking hard. Nothing has been easy, and almost everything has been a deliberate choice.
When you are in the middle of the angst being happy in London feels impossible, but now that I’m more settled the fact that everything was so hard won makes my little life here all the more precious. I pay a scary amount in rent so I can walk to work: choice. I am queen of taking a job risk and changing careers: choice. I pour time and energy into this blog: choice. I am friends with the most amazing people: choice. All decisions I have had to make and action myself, all scary and seemingly impossible. My life in London is all mine, no one can have any say or opinion in it but me. I love that freedom.
And of course those are only a few of the things that keep me here. There are also the pop-ups, the parks, the Van Gogh on tap, the bank holidays, the inappropriate use of the word pants, the discussions about the weather, the tube, the gin, the planning coffee three months in advance, the surprises, the theatre, the travel, the Queen, the love, the ferocity, the grey. I love London and I really could give less fucks if you once spent 24 hours in transit at Heathrow and hated it.
P.s. for anyone taking part in the Runawaykiwi drinking game…that would be six shots, one for each fuck mentioned.