Alexia: A Mum In London
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Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to London, etc.
I'm Alexia, translator and full time mum, half French/half Greek. I moved from Athens to London in September 2012 with my husband and our son.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I decided to start blogging 6 months after our move because it seemed like a nice way to open up, explore and share my expat life with my friends and family, but also with expats from all over the world.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
That would be the My Expat Life: the Good and the Bad series where bloggers from around the world share their best and worst aspects of their expat life.
Tell us about the ways your new life in London differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
The main difference between London and Athens, not surprisingly, is the weather. Rain and cloudy skies are the biggest challenge for us. I wouldn't say we experienced a culture shock in London, as its multicultural character makes you feel at home.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in London? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
We made a lot of preparations before coming to London and were quite organized, so we did not encounter any problems or mishaps.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
Driving for 3 minutes on the wrong side of the road! Other drivers' angry looks brought my driving attempts in the UK to a brutal end.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in London?
- Thoroughly research the cost of living when it comes to rents, commuting and nurseries' fees.
- Don’t worry about fitting in: Londoners are probably the most cool and polite people in the world.
- Be prepared for grey rainy summers.
How is the expat community in London? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
There are people from all over the world in London, forming great expat communities that help each other. And, thanks to online expat communities, like InterNations, it's easy to find fellow expats and feel more at home.
How would you summarize your expat life in London in a single, catchy sentence?
From sunshine to rain!