Moving to London

Time to become a small fish in a big lake.

A London Map of the Underground published by TFL
London Tube Map TFL

Glasgow has been my home from the day I was born, its a nice balance of being a city and suburbs that is surrounded by easy-to-reach countryside. Anytime I would speak to people curious about visiting Glasgow, I would say a common phrase we Glaswegians recite; "Glasgow was the second city of the British Empire". With a rich history of industry, architecture and Scottish culture.

The first city of the empire was of course London (no prizes for guessing that). So after three years working as a graduate in Glasgow I have decided to have a change of scenery. This in part was driven by my frustration in my job that was no longer stimulating me. I could have easily stayed there but the most important thing was, not wanting to get too comfortable in a "secure" job.

Glasgow has plenty of jobs, however I got an invitation through Reddit for this new job platform called I was expecting them to show other jobs in Glasgow or Edinburgh, but the platform only had job listings for the US or London. This was enough to pique my interest, so I setup a profile.

Before long I was applying for some interesting companies I had never heard of. I also applied to some big tech companies. After a few flights and train journeys back and forward between London, I eventually found this funky company called, "MOO". Their office is located on this small windy street in Shoreditch, East London (near Silicon Roundabout). I was a bit sceptical at first with the location, was this some kind of sham corporation with obscure directions to navigate the back streets of London?

Thankfully when I turned up at the place my fears were allayed. The staff were very welcoming and the interview was completely different to anything I had experienced before. A few days later when I was back home I got a job offer from MOO. Comparing it with some other offers I decided to go with them. Once I sent my formal acceptance the fear of the unknown started to kick in; "what stuff do I need to take with me?", "I need to find a flat within two weeks!", "what happens if I lose my job down there and I am stuck in London?".

My previous experiences of London had always been frantic, with crowded public transport and crowded noisy places. Which had always stressed me out as a kid, especially the time someone tried to pickpocket me on the subway.

Those negative thoughts were quickly replaced with excitement and logistical problem solving. I got a call from one of my friends Chris, who started the same BT graduate scheme as me. He had also got a job offer in London (talk about coincidence!). After a few weeks, we found ourselves sitting in the back of Foxton's letting agent's car, zipping around parts of London looking for a flat to rent.

Mindful of the commute, we managed to get a flat within walking distance of my new job. The area is called London Fields in Hackney and is very cool. Being surrounded by cool Hipsters wasn't my concern. Having a nice morning commute and being near some greenery like I was used to were the priorities. A bonus was that some relatives were close by if I was stuck or at a loose end.

Flat sorted, the time is quickly flying since handing in my notice at BT. With one week to go I have already started to sell or store stuff I don't need. Now the fear and excitement are at equal amounts. Logistically the plan is to fill my car to the brim with everything I need and drive it down to London, but I am not sure where I can park it. Also the keys for the new flat won't be released until after my first day at work. So I have some things to juggle but should be manageable.

Time to get out of my comfort zone!