Why I Left My Beloved London

Why I Left London

There is one question I have been asked over and over again in the last year: Why are you leaving London?? Living in London is the dream, I must be out of my mind, giving it all up! Don’t get me wrong, London is wonderful. It might just not be such a perfect place to live in like most people seem to think… Here is the truth about why I left London.

Tired of London

If you have been following me for a while (or at least bothered to read the short bio in my sidebar), you know I spent six years living in London. Everyone who knew me thought I would stay there forever – that’s how much I loved the city. But here’s the thing: London is for short-term living, it’s not a city for life. If you don’t want to go completely nuts, that is.

Yes, it’s amazing and beautiful and all the cool things are happening there, but it’s also busy, super fast-paced, expensive and overcrowded. We all know what Samuel Johnson once uttered about London. “If a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” Well, let me tell you something. Samuel Johnson didn’t live in the 21st century. He didn’t have a 9-6 job, didn’t spend 2+ hours commuting to work every day and probably didn’t pay astronomical amount of money for his rent either.

Why I Left London

The Truth About Living in London

I adore London. Of course I do. I think it’s the best city in the world. But living there is exhausting. No matter what Samuel Johnson said, living in London is bloody tiring. Things are always moving, constantly. Londoners always have another place to be, another activity to do, another thing to tick off their to-do list… No one ever stops. Everyone is chasing opportunities. Yes, there are tons of opportunities in London but there are also super talented people everywhere. You can’t imagine just how competitive the city is if you have never lived there. Just to give you an idea: when I quit my job, over 70 people applied for the position. No joke.

And that’s not all. Because London is such a huge city, the air is VERY polluted despite looking clean. It’s just not healthy to be breathing London’s air your whole life. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, think about how the constant stress is affecting people’s mental health. Depression and anxiety are definitely not uncommon in London. Many people in my social circles were going to therapy – not that there’s anything wrong with therapy, it just shows that living in London is no fairy tale. (And in case you’re wondering: No, I never needed therapy myself but who knows if that would still be true ten years from now if I’d stayed. 🙂 )

The Truth About Living in London

Feeling Stuck

Somewhere between paying for your overpriced housing and squeezing on the overcrowded tube with no air, you start asking yourself: Is this how it’s going to be for the rest of my life?? Only one year into the 9-6 rat race, I thought to myself: HELL NO!

Next thing I know, I’ll be waking up when I’m 50, still chasing after a career in this mad city, realising life is passing me by and I’m not properly living it. Life is too short. I’d always dreamed of travelling the world and suddenly here I was: stuck in one place, working long hours, obediently paying bills, with barely enough holiday days for some short trips in Europe. And planning to go travelling when exactly?

Oh, that’s right, ONE DAY.

I realised I didn’t want to be one of those people whose “one days” turned to “nevers”. As much as I adored London, I didn’t want to get stuck there.

The Reason I Left My Beloved London

Your Dreams Can Change

I think you have dreams and goals, but just as you don’t stay the same, your dreams also change over time. It’s OK, you are allowed to change your dreams. As long as you do what makes you happy, you go and do it. It’s your life and it’s up to you how you want to live it. I used to dream of living in London and I was lucky enough to live that dream.

But London simply wasn’t making me happy anymore. It wasn’t making me unhappy either but I fell into this inevitable routine and it just no longer felt exciting. I used to think I would stay there forever, settle down and make this my home. I did make it my home, but I’ve also come to terms with the fact that this home was not permanent. Other dreams are waiting to be fulfilled now.

 

So there you have it. The truth about why I left London. I gave up my job, my cosy room and even my amazing cinema card, but all in all, I don’t see it as giving up. I’m moving on. That’s life.

It might be a crazy decision to go travel by myself (as people never fail to point out). Then again, I did move to a foreign country completely on my own when I was 19 – and survived. And you know what? I think if I can make it in London, I can make it anywhere. Why wouldn’t I?

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Why I Left London

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10 Replies to “Why I Left My Beloved London”

  1. Love this. And from a MUCH older person who’s seen a bit of the world, and lived in many places, it’s really not London you left, despite the theme of this post. You left a lifestyle that was not for you anymore and simply embraced change and had the courage to make the jump. Those things you point out as not so great in London could be “any city” in any country anywhere in the world. So many people allow themselves to feel trapped. Good for you for stepping out. May your journey continue to be guided by your dreams.

    1. Thank you for such a nice comment! 🙂 Yes, I suppose it could be anywhere, not just London. It’s a shame most people accept this lifestyle as the only option there is…

  2. I completely know where you’re coming from about your dreams changing. Good for you for being brave enough to move on to a new life/city in order to be able to achieve your dreams. “One days” can turn into “nevers” so quickly! It takes a lot of courage and confidence for someone to realize that and make a change.

    1. Thank you Adrienne 🙂

  3. The bravery to first off move to London and then to leave is simply encouraging in itself. You go girl! Your version of London reminds me sort of a New York City vibe. I do love living in cities but we it’s like accessible to other important places and not too overcrowded 😁

    1. Haha thank you Karen! I’m a city girl myself but it can be a bit too much sometimes. Or maybe I just don’t like staying in one place for too long 🙂

  4. I just left London after 6 years goo…. We are on the same page and I have the same thoughts, let’s see how it s gonna be! I left 10days ago for a 3months trip, my travel blog is http://www.myshoesabroad.com if you want to have a look ☺ Enjoy your next adventure!

    1. Thank you Valentini, have a great time! Your blog looks good too, can’t wait to read more 🙂

  5. I love how you follow your heart, you’re awesome! It’s not easy to give up the life you’ve created and leave it for something unknown, completely new. Unfortunately I have never visited London, but in general I find living in cities pretty exhausting. Right now I live close to New York City and love to go there on the weekends, but I’m always happy to leave the crowds, noise and smell behind.

    1. Aww thank you Isa! Yes, I totally understand… you should visit London at some point though, it’s an incredible city 😉

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