Now that I've spent a few weeks in Australia, I've been reminiscing and thinking about my time spent in London. I was there for four months, and it was the first place I lived on my own as I headed there the day I moved out. Though daunting to some, I found it to be a great experience and I definitely learnt a lot while there. I thought I'd share some of the things I shared with you, in case any of you are planning to move there yourselves or even just heading there for a holiday.
- There is WiFi on the tube: Yes, I know - shocking that humans can't live without internet even for five minutes or from one stop to another. WiFi is available at most stations, providing you are with one of the major phone services, like O2 or Vodaphone. Though I mostly like to just people watch, I do sometimes reply to emails and plan my journey on the tube.
- Citymapper will be your new best friend: Speaking of planning my journey... I was terrified at the prospect of getting lost when I first moved to London, and the maps provided weren't the best option - far too many lines and colours that simply took too long to figure out (note: I can now do it standing on my head). Apps like Citymapper allow you to completely plan your journey, telling you the times, lines, stops and all the other information that you could possibly need to know, including the total price of your journey, and even the calories you'll burn. You can also save your journey so that it is available in WiFi and 3G free zones. Oh, and don't worry about looking like a complete and utter tourist, every Londoner uses this app too. Believe me - I've seen them.
- People will be rude: Yes, you will come across some of the loveliest people ever, which will momentarily make you forever about the rudes one but they're still out there. A simple smile or thank-you would suffice when letting someone past. Don't let this be an excuse for you to be rude back though.
- Always check the bill: Living in London is expensive, there's no denying it. Yes, there are a lot of attractions and museums that are free, but it's mainly just the cost of living and travel expenses that costs you the most, including eating out. They add a service charge on to the bill, which is bout 20% of your bill and what they consider to be their tip. They don't ask you, they simply add it to the bill, but you can ask for it to be taken off. Always check if the restaurants you're in offer student discounts too. Oh, and tap water will be your new best friend.
- Don't dawdle and always stand on the right: This stems back to the whole "people will be rude" fact and, it's true, they will be - especially if you get in their way when they're trying to get to work or simply to the supermarket. I will admit that I'm one of those people that gets a bit annoyed, I just don't openly express it like most. Just make sure that, when walking down the street, you don't suddenly stop in the middle of the path to look at something when there are lots of people around you. Oh, and always stand on the right of the escalator or people will push you out the way. It's hectic, especially during rush hour.
And there we are! You're now all set for a trip to London.
Does anyone else have any tips?
Let me know in the comments below!