What's Moving to London Actually Like?


Whether you're from down South, up North or somewhere in the middle - at some point you may question whether or not to make the move to the "big smoke", "the city" or more affectionately known as London. It's one people often make for the career, because whether we like it or not there are more opportunities in London and more often than not, better pay.

Life is full of huge decisions which you have to make; to go to university or not, to move in with someone, to go travelling. Huge monumental decisions which will shape your life in ways you cannot even imagine. Moving to the capital of a country is definitely one of those. For some it could be a 30 minute move from home, other it could be across the country or even the world. 

I moved to London at the age of 19 with no job, no idea and too many expectations. I moved with the vision of being the next Carrie Bradshaw - living a fantastic, no-strings attached life with a bottomless bank account and a permanent coffee in hand. I had this idea in my head (more than likely also influenced by instagram) that I would be brunching most days too - life would be a blast.

Spoiler: that isn't what London life is like for your average person. 

What's moving to London really like? In all honesty, it's hard. 

Moving to London has been one of the most testing yet most incredible things I've ever done. Simultaneously the best and worst experience of my life, with the biggest amount of ups and downs I've ever experienced. 

But honestly, I wouldn't change it for a thing. If you're considering the move to London, then I've compiled some home truths about the City we love to hate...but actually we really do love it. The tourists, the angry commuters and the rest. 

It's Expensive...

 Nothing can prepare you for just how expensive it is. The sky high prices aren't limited to just rent, but also cost of living in general. Your local at home may be £4 for a glass of wine, but you're looking at paying no less than £8 for a glass of wine in any central location. 

Say goodbye to the evenings of being able to go out on a £30 budget, and say goodbye to at least £60 for an evening out. The little things you take for granted whilst living in your comfy home county will now cost you a lot more, and you'll notice yourself lowering your standards with various things.

Hello Overdraft...

Become well acquainted with your overdraft because it'll soon be the only side of your bank account you recognise. 

Sadly it's not all cocktail bars and Michelin starred restaurants...

As someone who adores food, I wish it was. Cocktail bars and exceptional restaurants in London come in the abundance, but also at a price. Realistically, unless you're earning £100k a year (which to be honest, most of us aren't) eating at these places isn't a weekly event.

...but the food scene is amazing 

Luckily for us middle bracket Londoners, London has one of the best food scenes in the world. Perhaps I'm bias, but I've had better meals for £30 than I have for £60. Money in many cases does buy quality, but with street markets in every S,W,E and N postcode you're able to source authentic, delicious cuisine. 

You'll meet some of the most amazing, accepting and forward thinking people ever...

Londoners are incredibly forward thinking and accepting. We love the fact there are so many cultures and people in London, and we relish in it. As Sadiq Khan said after the horrific referendum result, "Open is what we are", and it's true to every aspect of every single person.

Even when it comes down to ideas. You could create the most ridiculous idea with insane concepts targeting a small minority of London - it will be commended, it will be welcomed. Londoners are forward thinking, and it's one of the reasons I love it. 

...you can also meet some of the worst 

More aimed at females, even though my demographic is surprisingly 60/40 split, but those bankers we all imagine, and pray aren't true, do exist by the masses. You will encounter at least 4 in your lifetime and I can't say it's a pleasant experience. Now don't let me group them all together - I've met some who are the loveliest people in the world, but equally also met some who have asked me my salary on the first date (yep, it happened) or belittled me to nurse their ego a little more. 

It will be the best decision you ever make 

Whilst I moan about being poor, the Northern line at rush hour and how I will never be able to buy - I absolutely love living in London and moving was hands down the best decision I've ever made. 

If you're considering the move and fancy a natter, I'm always knocking around on twitter at @kassiebarkerj 


  1. Ahah! I love this post! I've always imagined myself being the next Carrie Bradshaw in New York, but I am hearing all sorts of horror stories now! x

  2. You were so brave to move here! Its so funny how you say its expensive but I get excited when I go to visit friends elsewhere and everything is so cheap! X


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