Adapting to a Life
Life in London
The thriving capital of the UK can be an overwhelming place to arrive in, whatever your situation. If you’ve been brought up in any vaguely tranquil environment you might even find it all a bit of a shock.
But once you get used to London, it’s a fantastic place to live: vibrant, ever-changing and always with new places to explore. Here are a few tips for getting used to life in the capital. You might find it easier than you think…
The transport system in London is extensive and it takes some time to learn the best routes. The underground is a quick and reliable way to get around and covers most areas. It’s even relatively inexpensive if you have an Oyster Card, your gateway to travel in London. This prepaid card even works on buses, which are also quite reliable and can be the best way to go directly from A to B.
Buying food here can get expensive, especially if you’re shopping for the whole family. There are some great budget supermarkets dotted around which can help cut down on costs, but the best way to save is at the market. Brick Lane, Shepherds Bush and many other places hold frequent food markets with a huge variety of produce.
If you’re not up-to-speed on the English language, London is the place to learn. As well as a multitude of language schools and courses, the environment is intense and demanding. People have little patience for those who don’t speak the language, so you’ll learn fast.
People tend to be quite defensive in London, much like they are in any urban environment. You couldn’t go into a pub, for example, and strike up a conversation with someone. Joining a gym, a club or an evening class is a fantastic way to meet people though as everyone is much more friendly in this kind of environment. You’ll almost certainly meet people through work as well, and through the school if you have children. A great way to find a community group is to look online – there’s everything on here, from Indian dating London websites to information on local dance classes.
Keeping in Touch
Staying in touch with everyone back home is easy in London. International phone cards and special mobile contracts are readily available so you can keep chatting to those overseas. Better still, Skype is free with an internet connection and you can use the many internet cafes until you have a network of your own. You can also get great budget flights from Stansted Airport if you want to visit home.
London may take some time to get used to, but when you do you’ll never want to leave. There’s everything here, from online dating
UK websites to an incredibly efficient transport system. Good luck!Photo Credit: Alan Stanton - Flickr