live abroad london big ben

It may seem like a little bit of a cheat putting “live abroad” on my bucket list, since I had technically already ticked it off before this journey even began. This particular item, however, has had such a significant influence on my life (and also in beginning this particular venture) that it seemed wrong to leave it out.

As I mentioned in my first post about beginning a bucket list, I was never the one in my family who dreamt of a life abroad. I felt safe at home, surrounded by everything and everyone I loved. I needed nothing more…until I did. In all honesty, I can’t really pinpoint the moment things changed, but I can tell you how it changed me.

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A few reasons why everyone should live abroad at least once in their life.

The friends I thought would be around forever, suddenly weren’t. The industry I had all but fallen into as a teenager was feeling like nothing more than an income stream. People may have thought me a crazy dreamer, but I longed for a job that stirred something inside of me, something that made me jump out of bed (in the metaphorical sense, because I am not jumping anywhere at 6am) in the morning. I felt like I was fighting a losing battle and somehow, I managed to lose myself in the process. I had all but given up and I had no idea what I needed to do, but that’s exactly what I loved so much about this whole experience: I never knew the hustle and bustle of London would be the thing that ultimately calmed me.

live abroad: london

Yet again, my family came to the rescue. My dad, who seemed to know me better than I knew myself, gave me the nudge I needed into the world of marketing and I have never looked back. After completing a Diploma in Marketing, the best thing happened to me: nobody would give me a job.

So, with the help of my more-reliable-than-Google big sis who was living in London at the time, I packed up my bags, Tier 5 visa in hand, and, with no job or home to land in, I left on that jet plane.

As someone who had never lived any further from my parents than the upstairs bedroom, I never had any real intention of staying beyond the one year mark, largely because I thought I would definitely “need my mummy” by then. Oh how quickly the tables turn. Within a grand total of about a week, I felt completely at home and by the end of month one, I had a flat, a job and a life that bore no resemblance to my turbulent past.

Oh and remember that dream job that I longed for? Don’t ever let anyone tell you that it doesn’t exist, because it does. I know, because I found it. It was no cakewalk by any means, (there is a reason exhibition coordinators are rated as having the 5th most stressful profession behind the likes of military personnel, firefighters, pilots and police officers) but I had the opportunity to work and travel the globe with the most inspiring, talented, crazy bunch of people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and who will forever be family.

live abroad: work friendsThe original Dream Team

Whenever I look back on my time in London, however, it’s actually not the bottomless brunches at Bunga Bunga or The Exhibit, quick drinks after work that should always be interpreted as at least one bottle each, Thursday night social club events that meant Fridays were dedicated to downing orange juice and blueberries (there appears to be a theme emerging here…) or even the supper club nights full of culinary delights. What I remember are the moments and the people who changed me.

live abroad: Bunga Bunga, Battersea BridgeLots of smiles after a bottomless brunch at the infamous Bunga Bunga

If you’ve been thinking about taking the plunge, stop thinking and just do it. I promise you won’t regret it. Find out everything you need to know about moving to the UK here.