Friday, 19 January 2018

London, 1 Month In

I've made it to the end of my first month in London and wow, what an experience it has been so far! When I woke up on my first morning of being in the UK it was snowing outside which was so magical! Everyone was telling me I wouldn't see snow in London but I've seen it fall twice now, so ha! If you didn't know already, I'm here as an au pair. I'm basically a live-in unqualified nanny, and in exchange for accommodation and pocket money I help out the family with the kids. The family who chose me have been absolutely amazing to me over the last month. I have felt so welcome in their home and have really made me feel like I am an extra addition to their family.

I'm looking after two little girls who are just the cutest. I spend a lot of my time with the younger one who is 1 and a half, and is the funniest little person ever! I feel like I have bonded with the girls already really well which is a great sign for the year ahead. I've got a great room, my first double bed,  and my own bathroom which has a bathtub! I live in a great area of West London and it's quite easy to get into Central London. It's honestly been a dream come true for a girl who has dream about living the London life since high school.

I've already done heaps of things, some of them on my to do list and some I had already done before. I visited the V&A twice to see two different exhibitions, I saw the Harry Potter exhibition at the British Library along with the Magna Carta. I've visited Box Park in Shoreditch and had the most delicious pasta. I've shopped on Oxford Street (the Topshop and Selfridges are my versions of heaven) and visited Daunt bookshop. I've visited Hampton Court Palace and had my first lot of visitors from back home! And I've got some exciting things coming up too! I'm going to a live taping of The Last Leg, a comedy show with Adam Hills, maybe a trip to Liverpool next month, and a trip to Greece in the middle of the year!

Christmas Eve and Day were really hard. When I woke up on Christmas Eve, I had a good cry in bed for about twenty minutes. Christmas is my favourite time of year and the thing I love most about it, not the food and music, is spending so much time with my family. The 8 days from Christmas to New Year's Day, I spend probably 5 or 6 with my extended family. We may as well live in the same house for those days. So being away from them was definitely hard. I Skyped with my family late Christmas Eve (their Christmas morning) to open presents together (my mum packed my suitcase with presents and my Santa stocking). Then Christmas morning I Skyped again, this time they were with my whole family. I had a breakdown on Skype but I think I needed that. I spent the day with my host family's extended family which was really lovely. I had my first English Christmas lunch (nice but prawns, octopus and seafood pasta will always be the real number 1), and they made me feel really welcome. It was a nice distraction. And to be honest, that was the only time I felt homesick. I think I am taking this a lot better than I thought I was going to be.

There have been a few things that I have learnt this month about living in London;

1. CityMapper is my saviour 
This is the best app for anyone in London, period. Type where you want to go and it will give you a million options to get home and give you estimated times. There is your walking time, Uber time, bike time and taxi time. It gives you options for bus/tube/walking routes or a combination of those things, or if you specifically want bus only routes, it will give you those too. And it also shows you the cost which is handy.

2. Always have an umbrella handy
I got caught in torrential rain. Had to remind myself that this is not Perth and that an umbrella is always needed in your bag. Always. I have three now  . . .

3. Ben's Cookies is life
When people ask me about food recommendations for London, number one is Ben's Cookies. Best cookies ever! They have chunks not chips and are not crunchy which is how I like them. And if you get them fresh, the chocolate's all melty and this is making me salivate as I type *insert Homer  Simpson impression here*.

4. You don't tag off buses
After years of the whole tag on/tag off business of TransPerth, I know now after minutes of me spinning aimlessly at the back exit of the bus looking for a card scanner I don't need to tag off. The buses deduct a certain amount (I think £1.50) no matter how far you go on the route. Now I don't look like an idiot when I get off the bus, yay!

I can't wait to share the rest of my London journey with you all!



  1. I love hearing about London from the perspective of someone who hasn't lived here all their life! The bus thing is funny! And Topshop & Selfridges will always be my heaven's too! Love them! xx

    Frances Kayleigh | Fashion & Lifestyle

    1. It's always interesting to hear people's perspectives after coming from a different place. x

  2. Congrats on your one month milestone! Being an au pair is a great way to live in another country because although you don't work conventional hours you also don't really have to worry about not having money for rent or food, but you'll still earn enough to go out and do some fun things for yourself. London is a really expensive place so to not have to worry about paying rent is a great way to experience it! My boyfriend and I moved from Sydney to Toronto about 8 months ago now and it was our first Christmas away from home too. I'm not a huge Christmassy person but I am DEFINITELY missing summer so much right now since the weather in Toronto is just awful. But it's wonderful to have new experiences and do things you'd never be able to do if you didn't live in a new part of the world, and I'm sure as time goes on and you settle in a bit more and make some friends you won't feel as homesick. :)

    1. Thank you! Definitely been reaping in the benefits so far, and I'm loving it! x

  3. Your time in London sounds like it's been wonderful so far and it's only going to get better from here! I'm so glad I moved away from Perth because it really expanded my world view and gave me so much life experience that you just can't get in a small city. I think if I ever lived overseas, it'd be London too because it'd be so easy to travel around while there and because of blogging, I'd have so many friends to meet up with. I think the only thing that stops me is how bloody expensive it is and the weather! Melbourne rain was enough for me, haha.

    I spent Christmas 2016 away from my family and I totally get you on how hard it was. I don't even really care about Christmas, but I'm really close with my family and to not spend the day with them felt really lonely. I did Friendsmas instead, which was lovely, but it still felt like something was missing and I had a little bit of a cry too. That was the only time ever felt truly lonely though and by the sound of things, I think you'll be the same!

    Omg, now that I'm back in Perth, I fucking hate tagging off the bus! In Melbourne, you don't have to "touch off" the tram (unless you're travelling outside of Zone 1, which I never did) and it was so funny watching my visiting friends and family do it, haha. When my friend from Melbourne came to visit me in Perth, it was hilarious watching her find her SmartRider to tag off, lol.

    Have you tried Get Chunky in Perth? It sounds exactly like Ben's Cookies! My sister just got some today and they're amazing!

    Tenneil | Like Neon Love

    1. I think I'm definitely going to look back on this as one of the best things I've ever done. I don't know how I would go with going back to Perth to live after this but I would love to give Melbourne a go.

      So far, Christmas Day is the only day I've felt alone so you're right! Ahaha, I always would get confused whenever I was in Melbourne, I always thought I was doing something illegal!

      No I haven't! I'll have to make that a priority when I get back home sometime. x


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