one year a londoner

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One year ago today, I walked through the departures gate at Auckland Airport, my vision blurred by tears, my head filled with fears, my heart shattered from goodbyes…my soul ignited with hope, excitement and adventure.

Ironically, my London anniversary week has been my biggest failed attempt (a complete and utter shambles actually) at London life – however, one year down I can safely say that it was one of the hardest, but very best years of my life.

2015 was the year that saw me move my entire life across the globe on my own; I found a job – a really good job – in one of the biggest cities in the world, I set up a doctor in the crazy English NHS system, I found and secured a flat, (dodgy) landlord and the best ever housemate, I learned an entirely new public transport system and I learnt to get my way around a new, ridiculously large and busy city while still not being able to read a map. It’s been challenging and tiring to say the least, but day-to-day life aside, 2015 also saw me;

  • exploring the castle district of Budapest in falling snow
  • embarking on my first ever solo travel experience in Paris
  • eating cured meats, cheese and gnocchi, drinking aperol spritz while listening to street performers in Rome
  • sailing around the picturesque Scandinavian harbour in Oslo
  • taking a turkish bath in Istanbul
  • visiting some of the most historical sites in the world and partying in to the daylight in Berlin

Not a bad year huh?

Looking back at the destinations I have travelled, the hurdles I have jumped, the people I have met and the experiences I have had, I can’t help but be pretty happy and proud of myself. While it has been amazing, there’s been a little blood, marginally more sweat and a lot of tears  that have gone in to my move and the challenges it has brought. I never expected it to be a breeze; that I would land in London and slot right in. You can’t successfully move 18,234km away from home without taking risks, having a back bone and a huge dose of perseverance. But most importantly what I have learnt that you need most is faith – in yourself.

I’m proud of what I have achieved so far. I have a great job, I have made some amazing new friends and strengthened old friendships – it’s amazing what moving to the other side of the world does to relationships and your perspective on them. I’ve made a home for myself, I’ve travelled to places I never dreamt of going and I’m constantly putting myself just outside of my ever widening comfort zone.

Now that I have found my feet in London – as much as one ever really can find their feet in a city like this – I have decided that 2016 – year two – will be about enjoying it even more. I have more confidence as a Londoner now so I’m going to embrace it and make sure twenty sixteen will be…even better.

2015; my first year in London, is complete. On one hand I honestly can’t believe it has been an entire year living over here in this crazy city. On the other hand, I can barely remember life before London.

I drink a bit too much, I don’t exercise quite enough, I get lost, I get frustrated at the foot traffic underground and grossed out by the black snot I get daily from my commute – but it all seems normal now. My new normal.

Sometimes I get homesick, sometimes I feel like I may never move home.

Sarah x

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