7 things to consider when moving to London: my how-to guide

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When I moved to London 3 years ago and decided to leave my Country for the opportunity of a more challenging professional life, I wasn’t FULLY aware of what I would have had to experience… (Nor am I now to be honest – boredom You Old Friend). Although, I am pretty confident that I can still give you some tips in case you ever decide to –  or perhaps are already – considering to make the big step of moving abroad.

 

1) Change the money

The first thing that you have to consider when coming to London for the first time is that you’ll need to bring with you “some” cash. Which probably means that you’ll need to start saving well in advance…

Finding a decent job can take up to few weeks, so I’d recommend to be prepared for that.

Once you are all set and ready to go, change your cash! I personally avoid any sort of  current exchange shops for tourists and go directly to either Marks & Spencer or the tourist shops with the 0% commission sign at the front door (Oxford street is the place where you can find both).

2) Find a place to live

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You’ll need a place to stay whilst flat-hunting. If you don’t know anyone that can host you,  you can book yourself in and choose a place for a temporary accomodation with airbnb for  example.

Also, you might have to consider sharing your space as living in London is pretty expensive. The average cost for a room can range from 400 to 900 British Pounds:

Single Room: £500-600 pm
Double Room: £600-900 pm
Student Accommodation: £400-600 pm

Whether you are looking for a short or for a long term accomodation you can have a look at this sites and you’ll most certainly find what you are looking for:

– Spare Room.co.uk

– Gumtree

-Hostelworld.com

Couchsurfing.org

Craiglist

3) Learn the language (A must, I’d say)

Try not to stick around people from your own Country but, instead, do share your accomodation  with people from different countries. “Needed- for-Survival” communication is the best way to learn a language. Also, it’d be good to consider undertaking an english course. You can find a few online or you can just enroll in a class.

4) Transport Pass – Oyster

With the tube and the buses you can easily go everywhere in London – anytime. I’d recommend buying the weekly Travel card or the monthly one so you will save up money instead of buying separate tickets for every single journey. The transport of London website has all the info that you need in this instance.

5) Open a bank account & Register for your NIN

Opening a bank account is a must do before looking for a job as well as getting your NIN number sorted (National insurance Number). Fundamental requirements when starting a new job.

6) Time to find a job..

…. Not as easy at it used to be I’m afraid, although easier than in my own Country perhaps.

First, make sure that your CV is well written and with no grammar spells. Recruiters search for candidates by looking for skills and using keywords, so make sure that it is optimised for the job that you are looking for.  Try to build your network via Linkedin or Meetup by going to networking events and meeting like-minded people that work in the same field.

Last, but not least: do not sit around waiting for your application to get noticed, always be proactive.

7) And don’t forget to stay sane!

As much as I love London, I still find it pretty stressful at times.Big, challenging and expensive, but yet still amazing.  My own tip is: travel often, meet new people and create your own circle of friends. Wheteaver makes you happy! (Yoga and meditation is a must for me).

…And That’s all Folks!

Keep in touch if you have any questions 🙂

 

 

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Recipe ideas: zucchini rolls with ham and soft cheese

zucchini rolls

This recipe is the result of one of my recent attemps at cooking (yeah for those who don’t know me well, literally, ATTEMPS). But I must admit that I am getting better at it and, last but not least, definitely putting an effort.

And as the wise Anonymous says:  “Cooking is love made visible”,  let’s show some love today!

Whilst wondering on the web I came across to this recipe from the Giallo Zafferano, an italian cooking website  which I truly recommend when in the look for some tasty and easy to repeat italian recipes.

This a light, fresh and remarkably easy to make appetizer which doesn’t require too much effort,  but at the same time,  is nice  to present on the table when inviting friends for dinner.

The ingredients are:
Zucchini slices 12
Robiola 100 g (any soft cheese will do the trick)
Ham (Prosciutto crudo like Parma is preferable) 40 gr
Chives , chopped 1 tablespoon
Pepper ground black pepper
Salt

1) Firstly, allow the Zucchini to lose part of their water, then cut them lenghtwise   – 2,3 mm- and then grill them side by side for at least 2 minutes per side. Less than that doesn’t really work me.

2) Mix in a bowl the soft cheese with the rest of the ingredients until they amalgamate together in a cream.

3) Leave the zucchini to cool down for a little while so you can easily spread the cream afterwards.

4) Roll the zucchini and garnish them with chives.

And there you have it!

In case you were wondering how many calories does a zucchini contain, here you can find the numbers:

 

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St. Patrick’s Day 2015: what’s happening today in London?

St. Patrick’s day is a worldwide event, but how do Londoners will be celebrating it? Perhaps trying to struck a pot of gold or more likely enjoying a pint or two of traditional Irish beer in some Irish pubs over London.

Surely you might be already aware of who St. Patrick actually is and why is so important to their culture. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland who lived during the 5th century, and is commemorated every year on the 17th of March.

 

 

And here you go: some of the events that will happen today. Enjoy!

1)  Fancy some Tea Dance? 

Hosted by the London Irish Centre, this traditional celebration includes a bunch of events such as a 2-course dinner, live music and a prize raffle. All for £10.

2) Pop up painting exhibition

How about an Irish Paint night instead? Have fun whilst painting the Emerald Isle at the Jam Tree in Clapham tonight.

3) Rather have a pint instead?

According to the Standard  the Porterhouse near Covent Garden, the Toucan in Soho and the Auld Shillelagh in Stoke Newington are amongst the best you could choose for an Irish Pint.

4) Silent Disco Night at the Shard

It is definitely the highest of the events running in London, as the Event organisers have appropriately defined, it and will  involve you in silently dancing traditional Irish Music whilst sipping a Jameson with ginger ale and lime.

5) Irish Party in a pub in Shoreditch at the Water Poet

The event will be running all day and will be fulfilled of Guinness Galore, irish dishes and live music.

Hope you have now gathered a few information on what is happening today, the 17th of March 2015, in London in case you were lacking of inspiration.

 

 

 

 

A first taste of London

Having just recently celebrated my third year in London I thought it’d have been nice to share some of my favourite shots I’ve taken that I believe most represent my relationship with the City…. Here you go!

 

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Emirates O2 arena. Photo by Roman In London

 

An astonishing view of the skyline at sunset whilst riding on top of the Emirates Air Line. Even though that was my first – and only – time I’ve ever used this “unconventional” method of transportation I’d definitely recommend it for the chance to admire the landscape. Perhaps not as terrifying as I thought it would be… (A little scared of height).

 

snow over London

 

This picture features a London covered by an icy and glossy white. You can landscape view is visible from the top of the Hampstead Heath park in north London, and it is one of the highest natural spot that you can possibly find in the City. The hike to the top of Parliament Hill is a must do, especially if you live nearby the area.

Parliament hill

 

And yes, once you are there, why not dusting off your sledges to fly down Parliament Hill?