I can’t recall the moment I made the decision to move abroad. It might sound cliche, but I just sort of knew that it was what I needed. I have spent lots of time abroad in the past, spending various summers in Spain and other countries on the continent. But the one thing I hadn’t done was moved anywhere that wasn’t in California. Because of that, I knew that this would be an entirely different experience than what I had gone through before. This wasn’t going to be a vacation—this was a new phase in my life.
As I have mentioned before, I know a great deal about life in the UK, thanks to all the books and TV I have been exposed to. However, since I had never visited, there were bound to be brand new things to learn. I was not disappointed. Here is a list of things I have learned in the last month since moving to London…and I’m sure I will be adding to it in the future!
1.) Finding a flat (apartment) during the month of September is impossible.
2.) You will probably have to make an appointment to set up a bank account.
3.) Queues (lines) are a way of life.
4.) Chip and pin machines are irritating. (AKA not all automated machines take swipe credit cards.)
5.) Don’t be fooled—if you look in the right places, you can absolutely find the ingredients to make salsa.
6.) There’s this awesome thing called Argos.
7.) Tea comes with milk unless you tell them you want it black.
8.) Costa has better hot chocolate than Starbucks.
9.) Landlords don’t trust international students.
10.) Faffing is a word. (If something is a bit of a faff, that means its a hassle—too bothersome!)
Bonus: (or not-bonus depending on your arachnophobia) Spiders live and hunt in packs. If you are arachnophobic, don’t visit Brentford!
Happy travels. 🙂