Warning: I have so much to say on this, so this will probably be a big brain dump. If you get to the end, well done!
I moved to London in the summer of 2016, just after graduating University of Surrey (only about 30 min from London). Living in London was an adventure to say the least. I loved how busy the city was and the vast amount of cultures in one place. I was in a managerial position with a crazy amount of people reporting to me, in the UK's fastest growing tech company (I love saying that) and according to research I was earning as much as a male would in their 4th year after graduating University. I was so proud of myself and I loved my job so much, so I put my heart and soul into it. Leaving my job due to my move sucked, because I worked with my best friends and I was so used to spending all my time with these people. I also loved the challenges my role brought to me and I took them all with open arms (and a few late nights!). It's funny because I came into my job feeling shy at first and even had a small case of an imposter syndrome, but over time I totally owned my role and my colleagues were freaking out over how organized I was (something I NEVER thought I would be?!). My manager never cared to check over my work as she knew I had "dotted the i's and crossed the t's" (her words), and this really built my confidence in terms of building my career, which I'm extremely grateful for. And, even at Deliveroo, people came and went, which made it easier for me to understand that a new opportunity will be just as exciting.
London was a rewarding experience for me in general. I decided to go all out and make the most of it, because why not? I was really social and went out as often as I could, I tried to say yes to as many things as possible. One of the most memorable experiences was getting the chance to see Linkin Park just after work on the same day (like 2h in advance) - of course I said yes! This is why I loved London. It made me into the spontaneous and fun loving person I always knew I was.
I also moved 3 times while living in London. Working at a fast growing tech company meant we moved offices 4 times in the 1.5 years I worked there, and I always wanted to live somewhat near work as I dread commuting. First I lived in Camberwell (near Brixton & Peckham, for reference), which is on the South of the river. It was in a nice family area with a mix of dodgyness and stabbings thrown in for good measure. I'm not kidding, my housemate was threatened with a knife in the backyard of our apartment block. From there I moved to Mudchute on the Isle of Dogs. Ohhhh, this was my favourite place to live. Situated just next to Canary Wharf, it was so scenic and I spent weekends going on long walks. As work was a 40 minute walk from home, I made it a point to walk there and back every day while listening to audiobooks, which was so nice in the summer. When we moved office to Central London, I moved to Wapping which is in the Tower of London area. My room was super shabby and there was a hole in the wall with exposed wires. But the rent was cheap and Shoreditch was a 30 minute walk so I stayed for the location. The idea was never to spend much time in my room anyway!
Just writing this brings a strong sense of nostalgia. Yet... I couldn't wait to move away.
First of all, the main reason was that I was living away from my family and boyfriend. I'd been with my boyfriend on and off for about 10 years and we always planned to move in together. I always used up ALL my work holidays to visit le fam and boyfriend. With them living in different countries, it was always Luxembourg one month, Denmark the next. It was exhausting. Coming back to London after each trip was really difficult, especially when it was from Denmark. Denmark always felt so calm and hygge, but as soon as I stepped onto a London train at the airport, I was reminded of why I enjoyed escaping it all so much.
It was difficult being so separated from my family. Of course now living in Denmark, this is still the case. It feels like every time I call home I only see the good and the exciting stuff. Sadly last year I'd exhausted all my holiday quota from work so I couldn't visit Latvia like I usually each year. My family went to Latvia with our pets, and the dogs and cat had their yearly check up with our family vet. It turned out my youngest dog Edriks (the white boxer, if you remember him) had diabetes AND bladder cancer with just 2-3 months left to live. He had to be put down the same day as he was really suffering, but the doctors in Luxembourg never said a thing when we brought him in numerous times before. Hearing this news on the phone while at work was heartbreaking and just made me feel like I couldn't be further from home.
Aside from all this, I also mentioned in my last post that I had some issues with my body image. I can assure you that feeling lonely in such a big city while feeling this way is not helpful. When you're going through personal issues, being close to the people you love can make all the difference. I feel so much happier and calmer in my mind now that I live in Denmark with my boyfriend. Whenever one of us is feeling down we push each other up, and sometimes I'm laughing so much that I wonder if it contributes to my ab excercise (does it?? please tell me it does).
I think the main reason I felt so lonely in London was because it seemed like a stop over place for most people that came to work there. People came and went. No one came to live there for the quality of life or with the intent to stay. A lot of the people I saw on the tube each morning looked unhappy. I felt like I was part of some collective mysery, at least on my daily commute. This was the reason I enjoyed walking to work when my office was near home, giving me time to reflect and listen to audio books instead of catching awkward eye contact on the tube.
Overall, I freaking loved London. I LOVED living there. I learned so much about myself, and I never regret going through the hard times, because then you can't appreciate the good. I've also met friends for life and I know the next time I'll see them it will be like no time passed. I'm so excited for the next chapter in my life and living with my boyfriend is the best thing. The calm that the Danish environment and culture bring to my life is so new but very welcome!
Thanks for reading, you have made it to the end! I've enjoyed writing this kind of stuff, it's so therapeutic putting everything down in writing. I missed blogging SO much! If you enjoy more personal posts and want more, make sure to press the heart button below. Till next time!