When people tell you that London is “the best city in the world” you soon realise that this holds true because London is unique. I can guarantee that wherever in the world you call home, London will offer you different experiences from that place. These experiences will be beautiful and sometimes scary, but they are experiences you should be excited for.
For me, my home is on the other side of the world, in beautiful little New Zealand. New Zealand is small, with my hometown of Christchurch having a population of 366,000 people. London however, has over 8.1 million people. This was a huge difference for me, meaning that I quickly learnt how to live at a different pace. I learnt how important it was to get off the tube and walk as fast as those around you, how Christmas shopping at Oxford Street is a dangerous activity and how the city will never sleep.
London is incredibly diverse, and this diversity is hard to match elsewhere especially in New Zealand which is predominantly white. This is such a special trait of London, and it meant that I am privileged to constantly learn about new cultures that I had not known about before. In addition to this, I find Londoners to be incredibly respectful and culturally sensitive – with a willingness to embrace those around them despite their cultural and ethnic background.
The biggest difference between London and New Zealand is the amount of amazing activities going on in this city; especially cultural ones (I’m a huge fan of the theatre). The amount of West-End shows with spectacular talent, constant concerts from superstars, summer plays performed at Shakespeare’s globe, and the free museums and art galleries right on my doorstep was an absolute dream come true. New Zealand felt isolated from these type of experiences and in London you truly are in the midst of it all.
One thing I love about New Zealand that London cannot match is it’s beautiful scenery. Of course, this is not too hard to find from London, and it’s accessibility to other beautiful places in England and Europe makes up for it. A great escape to see scenery that reminds me of home is not far out of reach and I can even find it as near as Kent.
Home is home, and New Zealand has my heart. To make a home in London will be a very different and sometimes challenging experience. Instead of trying to replicate your home here, I recommend embracing what makes London different from your home country. Embrace the new opportunities you now have, and explore the city; finding new places and people to build a new home.