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Jacintha: Urban Pixxels

In our InterNations Recommended Blog section we let you take the spotlight! Expat life in general is, of course, a perfect breeding ground for great, user-generated reads, and life in London makes no exception. Take your time and browse the great blogs showcased in this article!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to London, etc.

I’m originally from The Hague in the Netherlands. I love to travel and exploring new cities. Last year I decided I wanted to move abroad again, and luckily I found a job in London. I moved here only a few months ago (March 2013).

When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?

I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a while. I love writing and photography, so it’s a perfect way to combine the two. But I wasn’t sure what the blog could be about. So when I moved to London, I decided to give it a try and to share my photos and stories of my new life in London.

Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but since I love going to food markets the ones about Borough Market and Broadway Market are two posts I really enjoyed writing.

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?

London is not that different from home actually. The city is a lot bigger of course, so I had to get used to how long it takes to get to the other side of the city. But I guess it helps that I’ve been living abroad (Paris and New York) before so I kind of knew what to expect.

Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in London? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?

So far so good, so I wouldn’t change anything right now. But ask me again in a few months…

Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?

Cycling in London (being Dutch you won’t get me off my bike) can be quite funny when it’s not totally dangerous at the same time. I wrote a post about my cycling experiences, just because it keeps surprising me how different it is from what I’m used to in Holland. Looking at the cycle lanes here I’m not surprised people rather leave their bike at home.

Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in London?

  • Because it’s such a big city, think about in which area you want to live. I didn’t know London that well, so a good source for me was this website that describes the differences in rental prices and the kind of people that live in each area.
  • Find a place that’s near a tube station. It’s going to be your number one way of transportation.
  • Say yes to everything. Making new friends takes time, but is not so hard when you stay open-minded and positive.

How is the expat community in London? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?

The expat community is great. It’s such an international city, so you don’t have to look very hard to find people who are looking to make new friends too. It is however different from the last time I was living abroad, which was when I was still studying. This time it takes a little bit more effort, but through websites like InterNations and you’ll make friends in no time.

How would you summarize your expat life in London in a single, catchy sentence?

Connecting the dots in a new city by experiencing new things every day.

Jan-Peter van Tijk

"I wish I'd found InterNations sooner: It would have made my first few month as an expat in London much less overwhelming."

Therese Yeboah

"For me, the InterNations events are the best part. I attend almost every get-together and always get to know lots of friendly fellow expats."

Global Expat Guide