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.