Unless you’re one of those few Aussies lucky enough to have a UK passport, life on the other side of the world will probably only be very temporary. From the moment you get your visa, you know all the fun has an end-date.
It is inevitable that people will come and go during the time you spend in London, as you will do during theirs. New friendships are made, old ones reignited, and Australian ones – for better or worse – get left behind.
While meeting new people was from all over the world was a blast, one of the best parts of my London adventure was actually the rekindling of some old friendships.
When deciding whether or not to take the big leap to Blighty, I got in touch with several old Aussie friends who I knew were living in London. I caught up with most of them; some only once, but one of the friends who I regularly hung out with in London I had emailed from Down Under for some advice after a series of events left me feeling rather lost. What I got by reconnecting with her was more than I could have ever expected.
She advised me on everything: from the perils of London job hunting, to how to use an Oyster card. Hell, she even let me sleep on her lounge room floor for five weeks and wouldn’t let me pay a penny… at a time when I was still calling them cents.
We joked that she was like a big sister to me, but in all seriousness there was no other way to describe our relationship. If I had a biological sister, I’m sure she wouldn’t be half as welcoming. Without boring you with the soppy details – and before I tear up – I’ll get to the point.
This beautiful friend soon had to leave to return home to Australia. Her time was up and she was ready for the next chapter. It really was a sad seperation. And it was just the first of many such London farewells.
Eventually your time will come too.
London expat lives expire, often in rapid succession. The friendships that grow along the way don’t have to fade, but sometimes they do. It’s just something you have to get used to. But a new friend is always just another holiday, flat share or beer away… until the dreaded visa expiry date come and gets you too.