That is until I decided to ctrl+alt+delete my pretty peachy life in Sydney, and up-and-leave for London. Great things never come from comfort zones and all that, plus if you’re not careful your late twenties will pass you by and before you know it, you’re a Big Kid with real-life responsibilities like mortgages and pot plants that need watering, forever wondering “what if?” So off I tottered with my life squeezed into a suitcase, passport in hand, heart in throat… Here’s all of the schizophrenic, fantastic, petrifying, electrifying, exciting, challenging feels that happened in my first four weeks:
1. It feels like Christmas, Easter and your birthday combined when that plane touches the tarmac. Your heart melts at the sound of a British accent and when you’re finally reunited with your best friend after a year of being apart, you two pick up exactly where you left off.
2. It feels like you’ve contracted a nasty case of Gonorrhea when you meet freak-on-a-leash potential roommates who rattle off endless rules about living with them. “No guests, no smoking, no drinking, no music, no FUN,” they proclaim. You shake their hand and promise to be in touch while your internal monologue shrieks: “Get me the fark outta here and into a shower, stat.” You never call.
3. It feels like you’ve won the jackpot when you finally find legend roomies who are just like you. Much like dating, the house-hunting game comes down to numbers. Every weirdo was just bringing you one step closer to The One(s).
4. It feels like you’re kicking goals when you traipse out to Ikea with your best mate and stock up on fresh bedding, towels, fake flowers and scented candles. It’s amazing how such trivial ornaments help convince you life’s coming together. You style up your new room, cross your arms and marvel: “Yep, I’ve really got this moving overseas thing sorted good and proper. And have you seen how real these hydrangeas look?!”
5. It feels excruciatingly lonely during the day when your mates are all at work and you haul arse to a cafe, day in day out, to run your job-hunting empire. Your eyes become fuzzy, your back aches from the crappy seats, you read your cover letter twenty thousand times over, imagining typos, psyching yourself out and before you know it, it’s 6pm and you’ve only applied for one role #killingit.
6. It feels lovely when your friends get home from work and you can cash in on some much-needed H.I. (Human Interaction), regaling them with the exciting tales of your day. Like how you made a great Snapchat video body-rolling to TLC’s “No Scrubs.” Did someone say stir-crazy?
7. It feels like you’re wearing the ultimate sports bra, full of support and strength, when your friends rally around you and offer their home, advice, guidance and love. You always knew they were like family but it’s not until you’re in a foreign city that the power of friendships truly come to the fore. If you were an obnoxious social media user, you’d be hashtagging #blessed all over the shop.
8. It feels like you’re missing a limb when your significant other isn’t here to share everything with you. Every hilarious night out, every new friend, every hard day, every good day — it’s absurd you’re apart but you know when you’re back together in T-minus 40 days (there’s a countdown, obvs) it will be more grand than the Spice Girls comeback tour in ’07.
9. It feels fucking fantastic when someone – anyone – responds to a job application. All it takes is one person or one interview and suddenly working your arse off isn’t so futile after all. You don’t suck! You are worthy! You won’t be unemployed forever!
10. It feels like a splash of Evian water to the face when you think “bollocks to this” and reward yourself with a necessary day off from the endless hustle of life-admin. You hop on a double decker bus, get your tourist on, froth over the sites and remember what a wonderful city you’re living in. Every second of work you’re putting in to Sort Your Shit Out will be worth it.
11. It feels like you’ve found a warm snuggly jumper when you meet a person who you instantly become pals with. There’s no faff, or bullshit — they know you’re the new kid in town and go above and beyond to make sure you’re welcome. Your faith in humanity is restored and you’re stoked to have acquired a new friend.
12. It feels pathetic when you step back and realize you’ve only been here for a month. Patience is a virtue and as skin-crawlingly cliché as it is, things will fall into place. If Britney Spears can land a Vegas residency after everything that happened in 2007 you’ve got nothing to worry about. Go to the bloody pub, drink some Pimm’s and for God’s sakes stop whining!