The other day on Twitter I saw a Tweet that didn’t just frizzle away into amusing oblivion, but it really stayed with me.
Let’s face it, my blog is more about what I enjoy living in London, sharing it with you to enjoy too. I really struggle to convey how I think about London, it’s fast-paced, crazy, challenging and a rewarding place when you start to settle in.
London can make or break you. For a lot of young people, it’s their first time truly on their own two feet; no parents to pick you up when your car gets stranded in a car park, no Dole (aka Benefits) system to have as back up back up safety cushion which is a big financial pressure, and it’s really hard to find decent Vegemite.
But, one of the hardest issues I’ve found living permanently in another country as an expat, are the days that the grass looks greener on the other side. It is so easy to think “Hmph, if I were at home it would be so much easier/better/simpler/this wouldn’t happen…” when you run into problems and you’re not in your home. C’mon, really?
So your alarm clock wouldn’t go off, your bitchy workmates wouldn’t slag you off behind (and not so behind your back) and the train wouldn’t be delayed for an hour in the pouring rain the day that you wore your new uncomfortable heels?
Sure, of course this happens at home as well. This is life. But isn’t it better that it’s happening in a town where you take a minute of peace in a 17th Century Church, where you can fly to Italy for the price of a 3 course dinner or catch a train to Paris in a couple of hours?
It’s also really ok to sit down and have a good cry once about it once in awhile too. Whether it’s with a friend and a bottle of wine, a soppy movie or at the Laundromat.
I can’t really provide a solution, except to not get too complacent. Become a perma-tourist and enjoy your city. Find a small café that no-one knows about that does an amazing Latte, make a few expat friends – they understand – and take the initiative to plan small trips as your budget allows. Don’t forget Tea, it’s essential.
It will get better, and the grass isn’t always greener. Don’t give in, battle through the hard stuff because the good stuff is always around the corner. I have days here and there that everything seems to be magnified way out of proportion and because of it I’ve occasionally cried because I opened mail the wrong way.
Yep, just as green at Kew Gardens…
@chickenruby, thank you for the unintended challenge. I’m not sure if my post will help for a change, instead of just telling you guys about the fun stuff, but I hope it does. Normal service will resume tomorrow, don’t worry!
Expats, what are your coping strategies? Please share!