The decision to relocate here is easier for some than others. Maybe you’re being transferred for your job and feel like you have no choice. Maybe you’re moving to London without a job and have no clue how you’re going to get your visa, but you’re bound and determined to get there. Regardless what bucket you fall into, everyone will agree there’s something special about this city worth moving for:
1. The layers upon layers of London history. As my Weekend Warrior Sundays are now chronicling, this city dates back to ancient times, with a surprising amount of structures/artifacts still intact to prove it. One of my favorite moments of appreciating this aspect was standing in Ye Olde Cheschire Cheese with the founders of Anglotopia, when Jonathan commented, “This pub is older than America.” Historical sites and tales are endless, and most museums are free!
2. London’s cultural diversity. You aren’t moving into a realm merely of men in tweed suits and bowler hats; you’ll be immersing yourself in a rich and spicy melting pot of all ethnicities. Listen to the languages, taste the food, feel the various fabrics, and see the world from an entirely different perspective.
3. The perfect hub for travel. Whether you’re just road-tripping or jet-setting for a bank holiday weekend excursion outside of London, or delighting in the nationally mandated 5.6 weeks of vacation and joining the rest of Britain on its August mass exodus, there are simply not enough days in the year to accommodate all the places you can easily go to from London. Even just day-tripping in the UK is a valuable experience, but if you’re eager to skip the border, you can grab cheap flights on EasyJet or RyanAir or take the Eurostar into France.
4. First-rate entertainment. Be it at the West End theatres watching a musical or on your sofa watching TV, there’s gobs of talent waiting to be enjoyed. The variety of theatrical performances to choose from any given day is staggering, and the prices are more reasonable than Broadway. British humor on the telly alone is worth it with its dry cheekiness; yes, they love their reality TV as well (which inspired most of the reality shows in the U.S.) and show an awful lot of American sitcoms here, but one trait of UK TV that I particularly enjoy is the panel show. Whatever theme it is structured around, the participants’ discussion is both comedic and intelligent, reinforcing the art of conversation beyond the inane scripted babble of The Hills variety.
5. The mindset. Never in my life have I networked with such depth and frequency before moving. Because it is a diverse city, its population is comprised of many expatriates who are relocating to the UK and leaving their familiar support networks behind. This has the effect of making people very proactive in seeking friendship and professional contacts, opening themselves more up to new people and experiences than they might have in their home comfort zone. I’ve grown a lot in this respect and feel enriched by the people of substance I’ve had the pleasure of meeting since relocating to London myself and find this to be a very special aspect of the move that I hope you will enjoy as well.
All right, then, I’ll leave you in suspense until Part II of (in my opinion) the top 10 reasons to move to London.