I still remember the conversation that prompted my move to London. We were at an end of year exhibition for my girlfriends fashion merchandising degree. It was a conversation with the designers at Country Road who said 'get to east London, that's where it is all happening'. I later found out I was able to get a 5 year visa and potentially apply for a citizenship,
It's been an incredibly fast two years since I moved (April 2014) and I have started to reflect and realise more about myself and the people around me - it's become very apparent my life long dream of doing amazing accents and effortless impersonations is not on the cards anytime soon, as my British accent still sounds like a overly exuberant Jámie impersonation from Summer Heights High.
The effects of climate.
Despite London being horribly expensive to live which I was well aware of before moving here - a 12oz latte costs £3.30 - the cost of living is not the worst part.
The effect of climate: I had no idea, there was no information available about how the climate has so many over bearing effects on the population. This is by far, the hardest thing for me.
Growing up in one of the worst droughts in Australia's history, I could have never guessed the misery that comes with the constant rain. An ability to be surprised that the weather is bad - despite knowing the unchangeable climate that the British have lived in all their life.
I didn't realise the bizarre trait, that is, proudness in negativity. Wearing complaints and criticism as a badge of honour. For example; I was blown away when many Brits stated that the underground isn't very good and the busses are always late. I have experienced public transport in Australia, Berlin, Paris and NYC and I think The Underground is some of the best public transport in the world - but they could only see the negative points.
I think that next place I move to, I will consider the people and the attitude they carry because the dimeana of (and generalising here obviously) most English people is draining, especially when you're someone that sees a cup half full.
It can feel like there is a disconnect between your reality and theirs.
The importance of creating goals & trying to achieve them.
This sounds like it's not relevant to moving overseas but I have found it's so easy to be contempt and get lazy, because it's too easy to have fun in a new place with new people and exciting things to see and do.
Having a goal or better yet, multiple goals, is quint essential. Whether it's professionally motivated like getting a job in the field you studied or more personally motivated like seeing as many countries and cities as you can before going home. Write it all down, and aim to cross it all off in a reasonable time frame.
Part of this comes down to compromise as well - like that time I was walking 8km to work and 8km home, everyday. The decision was partially based on the cost of living but also the fact that instead of getting the bus, and paying £15, those weekly transactions can end up paying half of a plane ticket to Bratislava.
Things don't change
(even though basically everything changes.)
Let me explain. Since moving overseas, my mum got married, purchased a farm, sold a house, my best friends have moved cities, changed jobs & started business', my brother is having a baby with his partner - all of this amongst many other landmark occasions and events, yet everytime I skype friends and family I kind of feel like I might have changed the most. From my personal views, my career goals and even taste buds, all seem to have at least some disconnect with friends and family like never before.
Before I left, I might have felt more aligned with those thoughts and opinions of the people I was surrounded by.
The love for Australia I didn't know I had.
I would never describe myself as patriotic, I think the whole notion of believing that the place you live in defines you and dictates your beliefs is ridiculous.
The influence of other cultures is incredibly important in helping to shape you as a human.
I have noticed, however, that I'm always finding very good coffee shops around London and recommending them to friends or work colleagues, only to find out later that they are owned by fellow Aussies.
So many times when I have suggested music which unintentionally, happens to be an Australian band. Just as when I try and explain triple j or The hottest 100 I forget how those are both very Australian things.
I have come to admire the Australian attitude of laid-back-ness, and she'll be right mixed with positivity and the ability to self deprecate all whilst not taking things too seriously.
Quoting shows like Summer Heights High, and advocating for the genius of Chris Lilley. Suggesting to people to watch programmes like Gruen Transfer or the last leg, not because they are Australian, but because I know it's fucking good TV.
And it's because of all these things I've had a lot of English people say 'you really love Australia, don't you?' - I still don't quiet know how to respond, but that fact I have realised how many things Australia does VERY WELL means the time I have spent away is well worth it, because I will appreciate all those things so much more when/if I finally go home.
It has helped me really discover who my family are, as people. Who my friends are. who I am.
It's crazy how objective things can seem when you are distant enough from it all.
The objectivity helps so much in self assessment and reality checking your life so far. It's easier to see how other people might perceive you as well, which can be based on how other complete strangers have interacted with you of the course of your time abroad. If you have the tendency of only being able to meet losers and people who are rude, it might be time to realise that you are indeed, the douchebag.
Thanks for reading this garbage.
Tune in again next week.