So you've made the immense move to London, the children have all imitated your accent and you're starting to make friends, life's looking pretty sweet, right? Well for those that feel the sting of missing home now and then, this blog will help you stay on track whether you're living the big overseas experience dream or simply trying something new.
Skype/ Facetime: Gone are the days of waiting for the postman to deliver letters from home. Stay connected in real time, don't just rely on Facebook to keep you're family and friends at home up to date. Set aside some face time, rehash what you've been doing, get the 'goss' first hand and feel at home even when you’re miles away.
Clubs: London is a booming city, with a variety of interests available to everyone. Join a touch, cricket or netball team even check out the local park run groups which are hosted at most London parks. If you like your sports firmly placed in front of you on the television and would rather something a bit more relaxing (don’t forget your very British cup of tea) then how about a Book club, Art class or pottery? London is full of opportunities to learn new skills, make friends and experience something different.
See London: London is seen every day by a million different people in completely different ways, just look at the people your sitting (lucky) or standing (not so lucky) next to on the tube. Why not take a Saturday to explore? Begin with the London Eye and Big Ben! Once you’ve settled in to London life, why not try Little Venice, or The Prospect of Whitby pub? Quintessential London landmarks that Londoners rave about!
Food: Eat well and eat healthily especially with the fresh Fruit and Veg markets dotted all over London. Borough Market is one of Career Teachers favourites and minutes walk from the office! Located close to London Bridge and open Wednesday to Saturdays, this market offers fresh produce from all over the UK including Meat, Fish, Vegetables, Fruit, Cheese and Cider.
Shopping: An exercise in itself! Londoners consider shopping an event; it takes planning, the right venue and great company. Whether you are in the market for a pair of peep toe black heels or a 60 inch LED screen London will have it. The skill is knowing where is best to look. The city is busy with shops and shoppers. From the tourist favourites of Portobello Market, Oxford Street and Knightsbridge to the mall style Westfield’s in Shepherds Bush and Stratford to the quaint atmosphere of Seven Dials. London has something for everyone. Now you have fun task of figuring out which one suit you best!
The world of Online London: Now due to busy schedules and the hectic social scene Londoners have embraced the online market. Supermarkets such as Morrison’s, Tesco, Asda and Waitrose all do home deliveries that usually cost £5 to £10 and can be delivered after your long school day. Saves you carrying shopping bags and lesson plans home! The same goes with clothes shopping as many high street shops are now available on line. If you are a television buff and want to get into the UK TV scene then why not check out I player: BBC1, ITV, Channel 4 and 5 are all free and online. These nifty sites allow Londoners to carry on their socialising and catch up on lazy Sundays.
Apps: Phones are fast becoming the most effective way to not only communicate but also get around London. With map applications such as CityMapper, Google maps and Tube Map, getting around London is seamless and stress free. Public transport being such an essential part of London life registering on the TFL website to receive updates is a smart move. If you are planning on travelling around the UK check out National Rail, the Train Line and specific rail lines such as First Great Western and Capital Connect for good deals. You can also look into National Express buses which might take longer to get to your destination but can save money by the bucket load. If you are looking for the perfect place to eat then Four Square and YELP are great ways to see what’s on offer and who has table space!
These are just a few hints and tips, the best way to get to grips with London is to experience it and ask for help when you need it. Facebook and Twitter are another great way to get your answers questioned by people who are also overseas in London.