Writing this blog I of course do read and sometimes make comments on other blogs in and around London. For all the blogs that cater to expats I must say one thing is clear: moving to London you ARE going to have feelings of regret and homesickness once in a while. Sure gearing up for your international relocation telling everyone you know and meet that your moving is an absolute thrill. (Partially because they aren’t aware of the stress that can be involved moving across the globe.) But yes, it is a chance to take a bow, even if you are not the one with the new job, or the one going to school here, you are “living the dream”. Nothing is quite as romantic and picking up with your significant other, leaving all you know behind and diving into the absolutely exciting “unknown”. Sounds romantic no? Well it is in a sense, but that doesn’t mean that there will never be a time when you are blue for the Red White and Blue, or the Maple Leaf of home. Every rainbow needs it to rain first, no pun to today’s earlier post intended.
But all Americans moving to London and Canadians moving to London would do well to follow the advice I read on every relocation services companies blog: JOIN A GROUP. No doubt that some of you at least know about “Meet-Up” Groups. They have Meet-Up groups of underwater basket-weaving in Bangladesh there are so many of these groups. Becoming ever increasingly popular with the evolution of social media, think of Meet Up groups as the next step after Facebook. Any Meet-Up group consists of people with a like interest meeting at a predetermined time and place about once a month.
Well this Meet-Up Group is made up exclusively of Canadians and Americans who have taken that big leap of romantic faith, navigated the potential pitfalls, and have come out on top with all new friends and acquaintances making London their new home. The name of the group is “The London Expat American Meetup Group” and even their group photo looks fun. As it goes with Meet Up groups sometimes the turn out is a bit more sparse, the very next month you may take over the entire establishment. The point is not how many people go, the point is that everyone there is or has gone through the new things you’ll be experiencing for the first time since your relocation to London: a fish out of water just a bit.
If you think sports teams pull complete strangers together, or a hobby, try replanting and restarting your life somewhere completely foreign, needless to say, you’ll not be hard pressed thinking of what you’ll say next. Everyone there has learned to reconnect in a new way, in a new environment, with completely new people. For Americans and Canadians Moving to London (Don’t be put off by the name, read the home page) this Meet Up group is a must to investigate. You may even try connecting with members via Facebook, certainly an open ended question such as, “What one thing would you have done differently if you had it to do over?” will spark a slew of answers of things you may have never considered. It will make finally going to an event after your relocation that much smoother.