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5 things no one will tell you about moving to England at 23

Cambridge UK life

3 months ago, packing my life up and moving to a new life in the UK was just a distant fantasy. It was something I would daydream about whilst sitting at work, before dismissing the idea as too far-fetched for the average 23 year old who is already settled into a career job with debt on a car, no real ‘savings’ and the usual endless bills that seem to drain away the idea of travelling the world anytime soon.

Fast-forward 3 months and I am now sitting at my desk on the other side of the world in England, where I have been living for the past 2 months. How? Well, I am about to show you 5 things no one will tell you about moving to England.

You don’t need a lot of money

Surprised? So was I! Providing you plan it right, acquire the right visa’s (if need be) and have the right attitude, you don’t need a lot of money to move to another country! 9am, the morning after I landed in the UK (for the first time, ever) I was walking into a job interview. 10 days later, I received a call and started work the next day. How? I got my butt into gear, adjusted my CV and jumped onto job sites local to the UK, and well, the rest is history.

Don’t have any savings? Don’t worry – neither did I. It is amazing how much you can save in just a short amount of time when you begin to eliminate the unnecessary bills (who would’ve thought, huh?). You know those little pieces around the house you keep, but never really use? Maybe those shoes you own way too many of? Sell them! Your car? Let it go. You will be able to pick up the material things once you’ve settled again. You will be surprised how easy it is, too.

Bring enough money to last you approximately a month, keep a little ‘emergency’ fund for a ticket home in case it doesn’t work out, and what’s the worst that could happen? Maintain a good relationship with your current employer (leave the metaphorical door ‘open’ for emergencies) and the world is yours, with a little security – just in case. Now, if I can do that with only 6 weeks of preparation then almost anyone can do it; you just have to put your mind to it.

You can live the London life, without living in London

Maybe you’re not a true city person, but the idea of experiencing the London lifestyle is exciting. Or, maybe you are a total city-lover who could live out your days amongst the bustle of the rich and famous in London, but your bank account says otherwise (I know the feeling). Or, maybe you just want to live out your dream of living in England, but the first thing that comes to mind is London and the outrageous expense that usually comes with it. Well – what if I told you there are ways you can live in England, where you can travel to London (within an hour) where you can enjoy the London life as often as you like, without the expense that comes with living in London?

As an Aussie from the suburbs situated right in the middle between Brisbane City and Surfers Paradise, I found that the same rules apply to England (surprise, surprise!) as they do in Australia. The further from the City Centre you live, the more affordable. So – try going for a village in England. They not only have great links to London by train (so, so easily connected), but they also have so much of that wonderful English character. No two villages are the same, and each are uniquely filled with English history. I am going to bet most people in other countries haven’t ever heard of my little village (an hour out of London), yet I can walk 5 minutes down the road and find myself in a 600 year old Church with an old telephone box out the front, and in that time I would’ve passed around 10 old English pubs. Or if I drive 5 minutes down the road I would find myself in an old Castle, or a stunning country park.. Awesome, right? All I have to do is jump on a train and an hour later I will be in London St Pancras station – simple!

You don’t need a plan

Are you one of those people who need to plan out your day on a to-do list before you can fathom the idea of functioning properly? Does the idea of moving across the world suddenly send you into cold sweats, because how on earth can you plan for something you have never done, or somewhere you have never been? The answer is – don’t! The only plan you need is a backup plan; an emergency plan to get yourself back home in case it doesn’t work out, which it will (positive thinking, okay!). Like I mentioned before, maintain a good relationship with your employer (or prospective employers, in case you need one), keep a little money aside for a plane ticket home and leave the rest up to the freedom that comes with life when you allow yourself to live it.

Obviously, start planning some necessities i.e. organising some job interviews, an initial place to stay (think of any family or friends you might know overseas – trust me, it is always a bonus to know people across the world!) and enough savings to get you by for a little while. The rest will happen.

There is so much more to England than the big cities

While London is one of the most remarkable cities I have ever been to in the world so far, the rest of England is so full of beauty, history, culture and incredible architecture that spans so much further out than the usual big cities you typically hear about. Every corner of the country has some hidden history and beauty; there are castles and century old Churches and buildings dotted all over the country, all you have to do is explore it.

The world is quite literally on your doorstep

You are SO close to some of the most incredible places in the world when you live in England. Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Continental Europe are all on your doorstep; you can jump on a train and a few hours later find yourself in Paris… yes, Paris! An hour on the plane can take you to Ireland, an hour and a half to Switzerland – fancy skiing the Swiss Alps? I did that a few weekends ago.

Now – if someone had told me a little over 3 months ago that by the end of 2016 I would be living on the other side of the world away from everyone and everything I have ever known, own a little English car that drives me to my full-time job each day, skied the Swiss Alps and stood at Jungfrau (the Top of Europe), drank pints of Lager in an old Scottish pub while dancing around to a traditional Scottish band in Glasgow and spent New Year’s Eve on a boat party on the River Thames – I would’ve chuckled and returned to daydreaming about the day I might be able to do it. But, here I am, owing all thanks to a travelling cousin of mine who said to me one day in September – ‘I dare you to do it’.

If I can do it, you can – I dare you.


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