JC Travels: Why I moved to the UK (+ Stayed!)
Sit down now, we’re going to do a bit of a time warp in this post and who knows where it’s going to end up. I don’t. Anyway, for this month’s travel link up, the theme was ‘your greatest adventure’. And it didn’t take me long to figure out what mine was, it was decided one day to up my whole life, move back around the world in the UK, set myself up in a city which I had never visited before, and well honestly, never look back.
Now I need to rewind a little here. So I am originally from the UK, my passport does indeed say born in Ashton Under Lyne, in the sunny (hah) climes of Manchester. When I was 7, my parents decided to up sticks and move to NZ where I then spent most of my life growing up -minus 18 months living in America.
Back then, and especially at Uni, I was SUCH a homebody. Seriously, first 2 years of Uni I still lived at home and it really was something I loved. But then, in opposite fashion to most of the world, my parents announced they were leaving me!! And heading off to Australia, so not even staying in the same nation. Maybe they’d spent a while looking at places on https://www.displayer.com.au/display-homes-cairns/, or maybe they needed a change of pace. A few friends of theirs had also decided to move down under, so I think that could have been another reason to go. They’ve been consulting with Empire Estate Agents to find their dream home and I have added a few requirements of my own. At least with them moving, I’ll always get a sunny holiday! I think it’s a great place for them to retire and I think I’ll move there eventually, I just have a little bit more living to do. Either way, the decision was final. So I sucked it up, moved out on my lonesome with some friends and set off flatting. My sister had moved to London a couple of years previously and she told me that Putney has some great property options. It certainly made me think about whether living in London was an option for me.
So when Uni finished, I was kindaaaaa lost. Like I didn’t really know what I wanted to do in life, I was having not the best of times in terms of relationships and I no longer had any family in the country. So I figured, why not, I’ll head back over to the other side of the world and spend a year hanging out with my grandparents whilst I figure out what to do. It would give me the chance to get some travelling in, whilst giving me a break from all the local drama.
So literally, 3 days after my last exam, 5 days after my 21st birthday party, I threw away everything I owned, packed one suitcase and got on a plane. Looking back on it now, I don’t think I really understood that significance. One of those life changing decisions which at the time felt like I was off on a little holiday, little did 21 year old Jasmin know!
After hitting up the parents in Aus and some friends in the US, I made it to the UK. I spent a couple of months jaunting around Europe, mainly in the freezing cold. I got to do some solo travel and most definitely picked up the travel bug in full force. Initially, I planned to stay in Manchester, but my sister was living in London. I didn’t have much to do, so I headed down South to see what it’s all about and kill some time whilst I figured out where I wanted to look for work.
And well, then I fell in love with London. I didn’t think it was possible, but the city was everything I needed. The exact opposite to where I had come from – where everyone not only knows your name but what you’ve been up to for the past 10 years. London was big, it was bright, it didn’t forgive and it didn’t remember. It was a giant beast and just what I needed. I don’t think you get that feeling from anywhere else.
I spent some time with my grandparents whilst job hunting, then made the move down to be utterly broke but in the city of dreams. And well, I never looked back. It’s just past 3 years since I left NZ, and almost at 3 years since I moved to London and well, those 3 years have been the greatest of adventures. From wandering around Europe, to meeting a whole load of new friends, to joining the square mile to starting this blog, I don’t think any of this would have happened without London. And of course, we can’t forget the most important – I met Paul!! Gotta call it fate sometimes right?
Trust me, it may be the most terrifying of options, but sometimes, if you know that a big life change is the answer then you need to jump. Trust me, the first few months will be hard and you may feel like you’ve made the worst decision possible. But just give it time, settle down, get into a routine, learn where to good coffee shops are, go to a few random internet meet ups and I promise it will be alright. Then one day, you’ll realise it was the best of decisions.
So why am I still here in the UK? Yeah, the city is a little grubbier now, I no longer feel a sense of joy when I get on the underground. More anger especially at commuting time. But I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. Sometimes I think of moving to the country, but I think that’s when I take London fore granted. I’d soon be bored without the whole heap of culture, food and activities. Being in the UK has really let me spend more time with my family as well which is something I am eternally grateful for.
Who knows what the future holds for us, whether it will be London, UK or further afield, but let’s just say, I don’t see myself moving anytime soon.
Tell me, have you ever though of upping sticks and moving round the world? What has been your greatest adventure?
Make sure you check out the travel link up and the other posts over on Emmas blog!