London – surviving the great city

LondonLondon life

its a hard city.  its a great city. its a big city. its a cold city its a crazy city. its a crowded city. its a fabulous city.  It has made and broken many people.  It has forged careers and crushed dreams.  It’s big. It’s busy. It’s loud. It’s without doubt the most fun place for someone in their twenties to spend the last few care-free years of their lives before things like matrimony, mortgages and children are thrown into the equation.


London Jubilee Party


London Home to the Royals

It is home to many including the much loved Royal Family.  Moving there provides many possibilities for many immigrants. For Indians its the first choice and its also the number one destination for Irish emigrants.  I lived there myself as a young Irish immigrant and i would be lying if I didn’t say that initially it was hard and scary and intimidating.  It was expensive and I did squat for a while with other Irish immigrants while I saved the money to afford a place to live.  I worked 2 jobs sometimes 7 days a week but once I got into the swing of things with took about 6 – 12 months things did come together.  I made great friends had a great social life. I worked really hard and made great money. Every day on the commute home from work I passed some of the most famous landmarks in the world. The harder you work the more you will make and you can make London anything you want it to be.

The streets are lined with employment agencies and you just walk in with a CV in a memory stick and within a day I had a job.

London3London is filled with immigrants

all here for the same reason, the pursuit of a better life.  The chance to work in a place that has possibilities.   It’s one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world.   Whatever type of food you want, you’ll find it.  London is not without its problems, riots, crime an underfunded education system and healthcare. But the chance is there and for so many including me, that chance wasn’t available in Ireland. While it is more expensive, I earned more there than anywhere else in the world to date.  Daily cheap flights to mainland Europe are a major bonus and you can even take the train to Paris if your bored.  Buckingham_Palace,_London

There is so much to see and do in this city whether its sport, classes, theater, museums which many are free, the list is endless.

It is ridiculously expensive however and many people simply are not making ends meet with the yearly increasing rent. London has a well documents housing crisis. I wouldn’t by choice move back here now for this reason.

london1When I decided to leave London it was for my career, and it was a very sudden move.  I was really happy. had a beautiful home with my boyfriend and I loved it. However the chance of a dream job overseas won me over and I packed my bags and left.  I often think back on those London days and wonder what my life would have been like if I had stayed. Very different that’s for sure. Maybe I would be married to someone called Nigel, and have children called Ben and Charlotte?

I read somewhere that

“When you live in London, you’ll never want to leave. When you’re away from London, you’ll long to return. Its efficiency, pragmatism, blending of cultures and embedded history, keep you coming back for more.  When you live in London, you feel like you are truly a part of this world.”  I agree with that completely.

LondonI moved to London with 2 suitcases

and I left London with 2 suitcases. Possession wise nothing changed but the contents were very different.  The teenager who left Ireland had been replaced by a young lady who had a serious job by day and a cool evening and weekend job in Piccadilly Circus.  My wardrobe was elegant and funky and screamed London. I grew up in London, gained confidence, learned to support myself and learned to save. I learned to become totally self sufficient and speak up for myself.  I learned to take chances  and for that I will always cherish my memories of London.


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About Sandra

Just a girl from Ireland who wants to live everywhere. Not a planner, a winger when it comes to travel. I don't even like people who plan too much. Without spontaneity there is no depth. A jack of all trades. A great friend, loyal and passionate and I expect the same in return. Always ready for the next adventure at a moments notice.
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