Scared About The Big Move? That's OK!

Moving to London can be scary, that's only natural! Here is a guide to make it as successful as possible from an over-thinker like myself.

Author: Daniel Freeman

When I was living back home in Australia, life was in a rut. It was eat, sleep, work, party repeat. It was a lifestyle that was enjoyable, but there was also something missing. I had talked about it before to a few of my close friends, "I think I'm going to move to London, I think I need a change." It never eventuated it never went further.

One day though something changed. Something inside flicked a switch. Was it that I was tired, tired of thinking this was the rest of my life? Tired of thinking there wasn't much else to explore. Tired of thinking I should just be content. I was lucky I had good friends, the best family, I had travelled, I loved my job was I being selfish?

I bought that ticket, I bought the package with BritBound to get my Visa and suddenly it was all too real. The initial fear struck me like getting slapped in the face with an electric eel. Thoughts started flowing in my head "What have I done? I've wasted my money! Will people hate me? Am I going to die?" It sounds dramatic, it may even sound a little foolish but in saying that it was real emotion I hadn't felt in quite some time. It was when I knew I had started to make the right choice.

March 14th 2017. That was the date that was set. My date with destiny. Why that date? Why not? There will never be a date where you feel 100% ready. Never a date that you won't think "Have I forgotten something?" Six months however from when I booked seemed like a good time to get things ready.

First step was to tell me mum, my half sister and then the one I feared the most my Nan. Mum was at first sad, I was one out of two brothers who lived at home, my brother had already left and I was going to leave her too. Mums know best, they know when the smallest thing has changed within you or on your face and she knew it was a choice that I was happy with. My half sister is another story for another time but only recently came into her life the past couple of years. "You're an idiot" she said "London has awful weather, you'll be back" but she knew she couldn't convince me otherwise. Then my nan, my favourite little lady in the world was the last to be told. "Oh no" "Oh no, what if I died in those two years" she exclaimed. "Jesus Nan you can't say that" I chuckled. In the back of my mind though she was right.

Two years can be a long time, time doesn't wait for you back home, you will miss birthdays, you will miss engagements, you will miss parties, you'll miss break ups and you'll miss moments.

The weeks passed and they passed quickly.

Soon Christmas was down and New Years just around the corner. So far, so good my Visa was on it's way, my welcome call let me plan my next steps. It wasn't feeling real yet not by a long shot, but every now and then a payment or a booking needed to be made so I was as readily prepared as I can be.

My birthday came and went knowing it would be my last birthday with my friends for a little while. Flights got booked. 

Then came my last month. The goodbyes. You can describe it as a farewell tour for a band that is splitting up or retiring. You see that last town or last friend. It isn't goodbye though it's until next time. I finished my last shift at work and had a lump in my throat for the last closing call. I had lunches and dinners from friends. Then came my going away party on the last weekend. 

It. Felt. Real.

One moment I was enjoying everybody being there the next I saw my sister crying and then I started crying. This is one of the best tips you can have. It's ok to cry its ok to show emotion before you leave because if you bottle it up or don't let it out, you won't feel at peace when you leave. So scream, shout, cry, hug because trust me you will feel better afterwards. 

I held a separate family party. I didn't want to make a big thing of it just sit down, have a chat with everyone and make things feel as normal as possible. It's a weird feeling one of these dinners. It's a celebration but with a sombre mood. Cards were given to me with kind words, money to help me survive. I had one last sleep and I was off to the airport.

The day came and as I woke from the last time in my bed, I felt calm. Bags were packed, lists were checked, paperwork was printed. I felt ready. This day is the day you have spent so long building up to, it is the day you have spent so long organising and as it arrives its the reward for your hard work. It's the reward for your tears, money spending, many goodbye lunches/dinners, nail biting, hair pulling, stress, excitement.

The drive to the airport always makes you feel like a kid again, it always gives you that sense of adventure that is always deep inside of you. As I dragged my bags through the airport with my family, I knew I'd be ok. I gave them a hug and kiss and turned around to see them one more time, keeping hold of the thoughts from home in my head for a rainy day.

So what has London taught me? What will it teach you? Everyone is different, everyone has their own story to tell. London has made me stronger, there will be laughter, there will be tears. I have managed to fall in love, make amazing friends, go on one too many pub crawls, see amazing things, go to amazing places, get hurt, become stronger, live like a king, live like i'm homeless, try out three jobs before finding the right one.

So where does your journey lead you?