This post was written by an external contributor. Connor Gotto talks us through the highs and lows of city living.
Moving to the city is a huge shock to the system. Whether you’re from a large town or a quiet village, you can be sure that city life is on a whole other level than what you’re used to. This is the fast lane, baby!
From getting around to finding all the best spots, it takes time before a new city can feel like home. When I moved to London two years ago, I would never have imagined just how much of a change it would be. London is a far cry from the ‘golden mile’ of Blackpool that I had known all my life – the locals rush around faster, the tourists shuffle slower, and sometimes there’s a 20 minute wait for a table at Nandos (now that’s unforgivable!)
I felt like Alice, blindly navigating my way through Wonderland, trying to find some sense in all of the commotion and some kind of order in the chaos. So, here are some ways to give yourself that head start and hit the ground running with city life.
Up your speed
The pace of the city is a far cry from anywhere else. Stop for a second on the street and you’ll be met with a chorus of sighs and tutting, as you’re barged past on all sides. In short, its not going to make you very popular…
Speed walking is the way forward and, once you get used to it, its not toomuch hard work. Granted, for the first few weeks I had to wait five minutes upon arrival to catch my breath, else I sounded like I had chronic emphysema. But after a bit of practice (and maybe a few hours in the gym to build your stamina), you’ll not only find it easier to get around, but that you’re doing it in half the time.
Citymapper will soon overtake Snapchat and Tinder as your most used app, and it will literally save your life.
The app gives you the quickest, cheapest and most efficient ways of getting around. With accurate walking routes and real-time public transport updates, you’ll constantly be kept up to date with the best way to get from A to B in a relatively stress free manner, as long as everything’s running smoothly (yes, I’m looking at you TFL).
Plus, there’s always that sense of achievement when you beat the ETA… Or maybe that’s just me…
Happy (24) hour
Whenever I visit home, my friends all ask how I afford to live in London. The answer: Happy Hour!
You’ll find that most bars in the city have a happy hour of some form or another and, often, they go on for much longer than an hour. During my first year of university, you could track my movements based upon which bars had deals on and when. For example, if I was gone between 4 and 6 in the afternoon, I was probably in Shoreditch with two glasses of cheap Pinot for £4.
But of course when people ask, don’t tell them this! Simply answer, “Darling, it’s a struggle, but I manage… cheers!”
Don’t go (too) crazy
Its easy to feel like a kid in a candy shop when you go from a town with a Sainsbury’s Local and a pokey New Look, to hundreds of bars, restaurants and department stores, all in walking distance of each other. But, take my advice – don’t go too crazy!
After about three months, I was close to maxing out my overdraft and surrounded by mountains of new clothes, empty takeout wrappers and god knows how many spur-of-the-moment purchases (I still have no clue why I bought half of them in the first place). Don’t do it.
How do you know that you’ve gone too far? When your bedroom starts to look like Primark’s storeroom, there’s a problem!
There’s No Such Thing As “No”!
Yes, you’ve moved here to work. But that doesn’t mean its all work and no play… After a month of city life you’ll notice two things – you spend a lot more and you sleep a lot less. And that’s the fun of it all!
You’re not really doing it right unless you drink at least half a bottle of wine after a long day at work, and wake up slightly regretting the £3 fried chicken meal deal you got on the way home (though you’ll still probably finish off the leftovers for breakfast).
And then, come 5pm, you’ll be ready to do it all over again!