3 Must-Read Resources for Moving to London

About a month ago (how has it already been a month?) I packed up my life into two checked bags and one carry-on and moved across the Atlantic Ocean to London- no small feat! Since I’m starting to finally feel settled, I thought I’d share what blogs and websites helped make this move relatively painless. Moving to a foreign country is still a whirlwind of sensory overload, isolation, excitement, fear and growth, but with these resources made it as easy as moving abroad by yourself can possibly be.

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Some of these sites get a bit more technical logistically and others are just engaging insights to life as an expat in London. I wanted to share in case anyone else is tempted to move to, study abroad in or just visit this intoxicating city. Let me know if you have any questions about my move, and start planning your life abroad – so far I really recommend it!

Sunny in London
For Americans looking to move to the UK, Sunny will become your bible. Florida expat Melanie does a great job of comparing the differences between the two countries, from the frivolous like Christmas traditions to the more serious like immigration topics. I’m so glad I read her blog thoroughly, so I knew what to expect before coming to the UK and having major culture shock.

Favorite articles: UK Visas & Immigration Specialist Interview, Moving to London from America – What You’ll Miss, UK vs USA – 5 Things the British Do Better

Sandy Makes Sense
Sandy is  a German blogger living in London, and I’m particularly obsessed with her YouTube channel. She’s bubbly, offers thorough and motivating advice, and she isn’t afraid to offer her opinion (see: her Brexit video). A recruiter, she also shares helpful job search videos, which I’ll definitely be utilizing if I decide to try to work in London after school.

Favorite Videos: How to Find a Job in the UK – Important Tips, The Truth About Living in London, Renting a Flat in England – My HORROR Story + Tips

Runaway Kiwi
Rebecca of Runaway Kiwi (a kiwi is someone from New Zealand, btw) writes spot-on musings for fellow isolated expats. Her writing captures the perfect storm of loneliness and excitement that embodies moving abroad by yourself. Some of her posts are more practical (Where to Find a Good Flat White in London) or just plain hilarious (Have You Done Your London Winter Prep), but my faves are the more thoughtful, just real, pieces on how scary as fuck moving to London can be. Rebecca, you get me!

Other favorite posts: So It’s Your First Week in London & You Feel Like You’re Failing, So You’ve Decided to Move to London…Oh Fuck, When Home is Too Far Away & You Want to Cry

Of course, if you have any questions about my specific move to London and completing a postgraduate degree in the UK, I’d be happy to help if I can. I hope these are helpful and give you the extra bit of confidence to embrace your wanderlust-filled dreams of moving to or just living for a little while in London!

Big Ben & the London Eye at Night

You can check out more of my pics on Instagram. 

moving-to-london-3-must-read-resources

Linking Up With:

Wanderful Wednesday hosted by Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World. Click on the button below to check out more great travel content!

Wanderful Wednesday

London Vlog! Getting lost in Harrods & major food porn

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Since my longtime friend Stacy was visiting London for work this past weekend, we just had to reunite across the pond, so I could show her around my new home. Plenty of full-on touristing, shopping, selfie-taking and eating (duh) took place, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to try vlogging. Vlogging has always intrigued me, as I love following other YouTubers on their travels and even just in the day-to-day. Since I actually had plans other than studying or attending class, I thought it would be an appropriate opportunity to give it a go. Shoutout to Stacy for putting up with all my annoying filming 🙂 Let me know your thoughts and if you’d like to see more vlogs in the future. I found it quite fun, and hey it’s more productive then just posting to Snapchat.

Moving to London! What I WISH I Knew Before I Moved

Hello friends! After moving and finally getting my life in London (somewhat) together, I’m back with another video! My move had a few mishaps (the hour long schlep to Ikea that never should have happened), so I thought I’d share what I wish I’d known before I moved to London. If you’re interested in moving here, studying abroad here or just visiting, learn from my mistakes and check it out!

 

Linking Up With:

Wanderful Wednesday hosted by Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World. Click on the button below to check out more great travel content!

Wanderful Wednesday

 

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to subscribe if you want to keep up with all my videos. I’m off to finish my reading for class tomorrow – it never seems to end, and I’m still figuring out this whole “student” thing again. Why can’t I just YouTube for class? Perchance to dream!

Moving to London! The 10 American Items I’m Packing

Two big life events to share: I move to London TOMORROW (cue freaked out emojis), and today I’m sharing my first YouTube video! Obviously, the first video is about the move and it has been a labor of love to create. The technology is still very new to me but very fun to learn, so I appreciate any feedback you have.

While I was planning my move, I noticed a lot of American expats online that made the move ended up annoyed/bereaved when they discovered certain US items weren’t available in England. I thought I’d share the 10 American items I’m packing, so if you ever make the move or study abroad, you can be prepared and won’t be left wanting for the essentials, like a Reeses peanut butter cup.

The 10 American Items You Should Pack on a Move AbroadFrame // Passport Case
Foundation // Planner // Measuring Cups
Check out the full list of items you should pack in my video below!

If you’re not from the US, definitely research if your favorite products/foods will be available in your new country. They will make you feel more at home when that dreaded homesickness strikes 🙂

You can watch the video below – excuse my awkward personality! I’ll be documenting my move and life abroad and uploading regularly, so definitely subscribe if you’re interested in following along!

 

Linking Up With:

Wanderful Wednesday hosted by Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World. Click on the button below to check out more great travel content!

Wanderful Wednesday

The 6 Emotional Stages of Packing for a Move Abroad

While I write this post about packing for a move abroad, I really should be packing for my move abroad. I’ll write up lists all day, pin packing guides like a madwoman and lay out my clothes beautifully, but when it comes to the actual act of packing – I’ll put that off as long as I can. It’s currently Tuesday, however, and I move on Thursday, so unfortunately it’s time to face the music.

The 6 Emotional Stages of Packing for a Move Abroad; perfect for moving abroad or study abroadpassport case // vegan leather tote bag

Since I’ve moved to Arizona for college, LA for work, then back to St. Louis, you’d think I’d be a pro at preparing for a major move, but you would be thinking too highly of me. There is also just something much more decisive about an international transition that makes it that much more intimidating. I can’t just ship a couple pairs of jeans and that hairbrush I forgot to pack – that’ll set you pack several hundred dollars. My parents can’t just bring my forgotten photo frames when they visit me over a long weekend – I won’t be home until Christmas.

No, this move just feels bigger all around (I’m probably also being over-dramatic and procrastinating), so I thought I’d share the many emotional stages you’ll go through when stowing away your life for a move abroad, in case you’re ever faced with such a traumatic packing event.

Stage 1: This Will Be A Leisurely Affair
A week ago was such a happier, idyllic time. I was young, naive, and a whole expanse of packing days seemed to lay out before me. Instead of packing ahead of time, I’d take leisurely lunches, order a few more things to pack (because why not just add two five more things?) spend whole afternoons planning my future wedding on Pinterest and waste away the evenings out with friends (although I definitely think you should do this before you move anywhere). My packing contributions included making lists of what to pack and buying more things to pack.

Stage 2: Pack All the Things!
After a few days, the reality of moving abroad set in and I decided to make up for lost time and pack ALL THE THINGS. I laid out literally every piece of clothing I thought I could or would wear in London. Since I’m packing for the autumnal and winter months, and London is no LA, a lot of these items are bulkier sweaters, coats and vests – because who doesn’t go to London without a little faux fur – so while I made some progress, I knew not everything would fit in my two checked bags and one carry-on bag budget. I also didn’t really pack anything, but instead laid it out in our guest bedroom – so this stage doesn’t really count as “packing.”

How I Packed for a Move Abroad without Going InsaneThe carnage in my parents’ guest room.

Stage 3: Surely I’ll Wear/Fit Into This Jacket I Haven’t Worn in Two Years!
To help thin out my massive piles of clothing, I decided to set some ground rules. If I hadn’t worn it in one year, it’s not coming. If it doesn’t fit me right now, it’s not coming. These rules sound sane, but packing for a move abroad does strange things to a person. I envisioned myself losing a ton of weight from walking and becoming a model-esque European, and while losing weight may happen, I can force myself to wait until it actually does and grab my thin clothes when I’m home from Christmas. Pack what you actually wear and what will make you comfortable – not for a body or fashion sense you predict may develop.

Stage 4: Purge All the Things!
While I started culling through my stacks and eliminating items, I was tempted to go a bit overboard. Envisioning a minimalist wardrobe, I wanted suddenly to sell all my clothes and rid myself of the dreaded packing problem all together. I’ve given into this temptation during past moves and always regret under-packing. A little bit of a diva, I like options when it comes to clothing and being prepared for unexpected situations. While I did sell things I haven’t worn in over a year and am not packing all my summer clothing, I still am going to throw in one swimsuit for any spontaneous holidays that pop up. It’s all about balance.
I’ll be sharing more specifics in future posts about what I end up bringing for this move, but check out my favorite packing tools below:

Stage 5: Denial
This stage is the worst for progress, but seems to be my favorite to dwell in, even if not on purpose. My moving date encroaches quicker and quicker, but it just doesn’t feel real. I suppose I haven’t had enough time off yet, but sometimes I feel as if I’m on a little work holiday and could be heading back into the office any day now. I know it will feel VERY real when I’m getting ready to head to the airport, but for now I’m in this odd purgatory  where I know I’m making the move, but my mind hasn’t fully accepted the reality – and the packing work that comes along with it.

Stage 6: Acceptance
Currently I’m hovering somewhere between denial and acceptance. I had to say goodbye to one of my best friends today, and that realization felt like a bucket of cold water waking me from a dream. Suddenly, I feel the pressure of the move and being ready in two days. I’m still not in total freak-out mode, but I think I’m finally disciplined enough to buckle down and get shit done. One of my larger suitcases is packed after some hustling, and while the task is nowhere near finished, at least there is some progress.

Have you guys ever packed for a big move before? Any tips? Luckily, I don’t have to bring furniture or anything, but I always accumulate more clothes than necessary. You can follow my packing and prep adventures more on Snapchat and Instagram Stories.

The 6 Emotional Stages of Packing for a Move Abroad; definitely save if you're moving or studying abroad