Moving to London involves getting your day-to-day logistics sorted, but, before you hyperventilate with stress, it should also mean having a lot of fun in store. As we move forward in our April A to Z Blogging Challenge, today I bring you some easy breathing:

“O” is for O2!

When you relocate to London, O2 means more than dioxygen on the geeky molecular level. To locals and us expats living in London, O2 has come to mean communication, shopping, and entertainment.

To start, O2 is a broadband and mobile service provider (the one that I personally use), which you can research at I’ve mentioned it in previous posts about telephone service providers in London (see the “London Apartment Utilities” top 5 list) and continue to be a satisfied customer myself. Rates are reasonable and phones inexpensive with a service plan, and they’re usually generous about upgrading your phone. I had actually turned them down on this option last year because my original Blackberry Bold was fine, so they sent me a check in the mail for £150 instead! They’re worth checking out at least online if you’re outside of the UK, but if you’ve already moved to London, you can inquire about their services at either an O2 store or Carphone Warehouse (which represents other providers for comparison-shopping).

O2 is also a shopping mall called the O2 Centre. Located just next to the Finchley Road tube station (Jubilee and Metropolitan lines), this complex houses a cinema, a multitude of stores and restaurants, as well as a Sainsbury’s grocery store downstairs.

Finally, O2 is a world famous arena, simply referred to as “The O2.” If you haven’t made your move yet and are wondering where you may have heard of it before, perhaps it’s because it was all over the news as the venue where Michael Jackson was going to kick off his “THIS IS IT!” tour before his untimely death in 2009. From a concert venue to the new home of the BRIT Awards to a sporting arena that will be hosting the gymnastic and basketball finals during the London 2012 Olympic Games, the O2 arena is a versatile mammoth of a structure on the Greenwich peninsula in London’s east side. Also on site is the O2 Bubble exhibition space (the Titanic artifact exhibit is going on there now), a smaller live performance venue called indigo2, and the “superclub” Proud2.

As you can see, O2 has potential to be a big part of your life, whether it’s just a matter of helping you phone your peeps or giving you a place to shop and rock on as well. Finding your apartment rental is only just the beginning of your move; it’s establishing your home-base before diving into the city headfirst as O2 pumps energizing air into your lungs.  🙂


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