A few of you have been asking about how I am adjusting to life in London, so I thought I’d give you a quick update. Overall, I absolutely love it! There are so many things that are different to Australia, but most of them are brilliant and overshadow the negative:
Cost of living (point of reference: US$1=£0.62, US$1=AUD$0.96)
It’s funny when I constantly rave about how cheap London is, when most people – especially from the US – consider it to be an expensive city. Those people have obviously not lived in Sydney! Everything is cheaper here: food, public transport, clothes, eating out, alcohol… it’s dangerous! I’m still entering every store and gasping at the prices – people must think I’m crazy.
The difference in price is usually less than half what I was paying in Australia. For example, a couple of days ago I bought the book 50 Shades of Grey (yes, I’m jumping on the bandwagon!) for £4! How could I not buy it when it’s that cheap? To put it in perspective, you’re looking at $30 minimum for a book in Australia. Books are therefore a serious investment, which is why I was devastated to give all of mine away when we moved here.
While food is cheaper overall in London, I can see why people have terrible diets over here. They have aisles and aisles of ready-made meals for £1-2, but chicken is £5 a pound. Most of the time it’s cheaper to go out to eat than actually make a healthy meal at home. I still haven’t bought coconut oil because I haven’t found it cheaper than £10 (I was paying $11 in Australia) and fish oil supplements are strangely expensive. But I can easily make my money back based on how cheap protein powder is – hooray to no longer spending $250 a week on supplements!
Proximity to Europe
Funny story. Earlier in the week, I was contacted by the editor of a magazine I used to write freelance articles for, and he asked me if I could cover Australian fashion week next week. I had obviously not told him that I had left the country yet, so I joked that I could cover Paris fashion week instead. Although I was completely joking, he then emailed me back saying he would put me on the list to get into any fashion show I want, any time, anywhere in the world!! Paris, Milan, New York… Go on, twist my arm.
Rob and I have our second wedding anniversary coming up and we’re planning on going away, but we still have no idea where. We’re going to be adventurous and decide at the very last minute. The beauty of being in Europe is that there are so many amazing countries at our fingertips!
This is such an amazing change from being in Australia, where the nearest flight is minimum 15 hours away, and even domestic holidays cost thousands of dollars. In the time we lived in Australia, Rob and I took more international trips than local ones!
I grew up in Perth, which my husband lovingly refers to as Planet Perth. He’s not kidding – I’ve never seen such an amazing climate where it never rains and is always hot. Sydney, on the other hand, sucks. You would think that Australia is a dry country, but Sydney rains all the time. During our last summer there, we had only three nice days of weather. I had three people come to visit me – and all of their trips were ruined by rain!
So I laughed when people in Sydney told me that I was going to hate London because of the rain. Up until this week, it had only rained twice in the six weeks we had been here. Now I’m laughing, while those back in Sydney are still bitching about the rain.
The buildings here are so beautiful. Everything is hundreds of years old, and a day out can literally just be spent walking around. I did a flyer drop around my new gym, and the area is just phenomenal. I will never get sick of looking at these gorgeous buildings.
To be honest, when I arrived I expected London to be dominated by overweight people. It’s quite the contrary! We live right by a huge park, and it’s constantly being used by a never-ending stream of runners. Our gym is full of seriously fit people, including people who have actually been in fitness magazines (it wasn’t just my imagination!). At the studio where I am working, I am yet to see a single overweight client. In fact, everyone there is extremely serious and actually pushes me to work out harder! Apparently the English stereotype is not true at all.
Have you ever been to London?