Living internationally has always been a huge goal of mine, and I’ve succeed in this a little bit, living first in Liverpool, then moving to London, then back to Liverpool before moving to New York for a year, and then it was back to Liverpool and embarking on a tour of the UK spending a month at a time in Edinburgh, Manchester, Cardiff, back to Manchester and then finally ending in London where I am today.
So you could say I’ve been around the block a little, but not much of that has been international. Four years ago when I was a student in Liverpool after coming back from my year in London, I wrote this bucket list of sorts, about the places I hoped to live in the future.
You can see that I listed New York, Paris, London, Dublin, and Nashville. Australia didn’t make the list four years ago but I know that was because at the time, it seemed every young person from my hometown had moved there and you couldn’t look right nor left without seeing someone from home. To me back then, that wasn’t appealing in the slightest.
Since then, when I think of my ideal morning, it’s waking up at 6am to sunlight coming through my bedroom window, grabbing a coffee and going for a walk along the beach and listening to the waves. I’ve always been someone that loves living right by the water, so this seemed like bliss.
So why have things changed so much since 2018, and since wanting to move to Australia?
Why I’ve given up on Australia
After following some Irish Instagram influencers that live in Australia, the idea of moving there started to appeal even more. With the huge friend groups of expats, the sun, the travel opportunities and social life, it just seemed like somewhere I would love to be.
Being on the total opposite side of the world wouldn’t phase me at all, and every time I see someone move there for a year, they never come home because they love it so much. So why wouldn’t I love it too?
Throw in the fact that one of my best friends has just moved there, with other friends moving next year, why wouldn’t it be somewhere to consider?
I’ve just spoken recently in this week’s podcast about no longer wanting to be a girlboss so the career aspect doesn’t come into it either where I would be putting my career on hold to go and work on a farm for six months. With the visa age cap being extended, my oldie of a boyfriend would still be able to go too.
So what on earth is putting me off?
Firstly, the temperatures. I’ve finally realised this year that I am an Autumn and Winter gal. Give me dark nights in by the TV, give me rain, give me leaves on the ground, give me soup and hot drinks for a diet, give me a book and blanket and I will be very happy. But give me 35 degrees in London for a week and stop this planet because I will want to get off.
So I know that I am not made for the climate in Australia and after a few weeks I will be wishing to be somewhere cold.
The lifestyle in Australia is incredibly laid back (so I’ve been told) and I’m very much a hustle and bustle type of girl. Give me people shoving me out of the way because they’re in a rush, give me people arguing on the side of the street, give me sirens in the middle of the night, give me taxi cabs honking their horns, give me the energy of a city. You know I’m basically talking about New York here, right?
I don’t think I would last too long with the laidback-ness of Australia. I’m someone that doesn’t like to sit still for too long and always has to be doing something, so Oz might be lovely for a holiday, but not for a year-round lifestyle.
Do we even need to talk about the poisonous spiders, snakes and other animals that reside in Australia? I think that kind of speaks for itself.
Do I still want to move abroad?
Yes, yes and yes. I make it no secret that I dislike living in London. Don’t get me wrong, it does have its perks, but it has just never felt like home to me.
Going back to the list I wrote when I was 21 (New York, Paris, London, Dublin, and Nashville), I have ticked off New York and London, knowing back then that I would most likely be back in London to work in PR.
Back in 2021 when I wrote this list, I hadn’t been to Paris or Nashville, or even New York for that matter but something in me knew that I would love these places and want to live there.
My first time visiting Nashville, I walked around with stars in my eyes. I was obsessed from the moment the plane landed. The second time was last year where we spent a quick few days while visiting New York during Christmas and again, obsessed.
During that second visit to Nashville, I knew that I wanted to live there in the future and so I would say this has become my end-goal. Retiring in Nashville with a porch to enjoy my morning coffee and book, while being able to nip into the city for some amazing live music at any time of any day of the week.
So Nashville is still on the list. I finally visited Paris for the first time this year for my 25th birthday and loved it. It’s not the big-city-type that I love, but it’s a gorgeous city to visit and I could see myself there for a few months at a time, definitely around Autumn or Spring. So I’m not ruling Paris out just yet, but I would need to brush up on my French.
Dublin has definitely been removed from the list as it’s too close to home and slowly edging to be the most expensive city to live, ahead of San Francisco. So that’s not happening. London? Well, here I am once again.
And New York? I ticked that off less than a year of writing that blog post, but we’ll discuss this in more depth in a minute or two. First, let’s get into why I dislike London so much.
Why London is not the one
Let’s address the problem I have with London and why I don’t feel settled here. London leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I honestly couldn’t say exactly why.
If I were to compare this past year to my first year living in London back in 2017, I have it 1000x better today. I have so many friends here now, I’m living with my boyfriend in a stunning flat, in an area that I love with a on-site gym and pool for crying out loud, I’m back in the job that I love and did I mention I have so many friends here now that was the main reason I didn’t enjoy my life here previously?
So what’s the issue? Why do I dislike it so much?
It’s such a hard one to work out because London has everything I could possibly ask for. The number of restaurants and cuisines to try, dumplings at my disposal 24/7, so many coffee shops, being able to go to the West End any day of the week, seeing my favourite singers/artists, getting up on a Saturday morning and going to Shoreditch or Notting Hill for the day, oh and how can I not mention the number of brunch places available?!
Pardon my French, but why the f*** do I still dislike this place so much??? What more am I looking for??
Quite simply, it’s not New York. It’s not. Nothing and nowhere will ever be New York and since living there, I’m comparing everywhere I live since and nowhere comes close.
It’s New York or nowhere
New York has a special energy and that’s the only way I can describe it. The thought of not being in New York at Christmas was slowly sending me over the edge, so this week I booked a trip there at the end of the year.
And do you know what I’m looking forward to most? Just walking around. That’s it. Give me any street in New York and I will walk down it as the most happiest girl in the world. I simply can’t explain it. It’s so true when they say New York isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.
I don’t get excited about the idea of walking down a street in London, but in New York, I could do it all day every day and never get bored.
Right now, it’s New York or nowhere for me. How I’ll get there, I have no clue in the slightest, but it’s a work in progress and one that I want to make happen.