Tuesday, 6 September 2016

IT has been exactly 12 calendar months to the day that I moved from a tiny dot on the map to a city far larger than my own dreams. What a crazy, emotional, wonderful year it has been. I had to go back to my first post from this series and I simply cannot believe how fast this year has gone by! It seems like only yesterday I was planning my one way ticket and in a blink of an eye, I'm sat in my bed in my flat in London writing this. This is a nostalgic look at the past year, with all its highs and lows! Okay, then...


Quite honestly, I don't know where to begin. Maybe I should touch on my feelings now as compared to a year ago. Needless to say, my emotions are more stable now. A year ago I was literally jumping into the unknown without anyone to tell me how big the fall actually is. Now I've learnt about council tax,  how to manage my expenses, paying bills, cooking, cleaning, laundry and all things adult. When I thought about the previous before I moved I would wonder how other people do it. However, it's not as scary up close.

I was lucky enough to find a job within my first week (I had been sending CVs weeks prior just to plan ahead), so I feel that helped me to settle in a lot quicker. Learning travel routes was easy and to this day I enjoy walking around this beautiful city. One year on and I still catch myself smiling when I'm walking the streets of the West End on my way to work.

Eventually I started school and I made new friends from all over the globe. I enjoyed talking about
my home country and learning about so many different cultures. I went back to balancing work life and student life - and cooking and cleaning somewhere in between. It wasn't an easy task but a fulfilling one. The course helped me to get out of my shell more and try things which were out of my comfort zone. Therefore, I
not only improved vocally but also on a personal level. It's incredible how much you learn about yourself when your confidence gets a little bit of a boost.

Friends and family came to visit over the months and I spent Christmas Day in London with my parents and my brother. I've been on countless trains to visit my friends in Watford where I attended a Ball (the #1 most unplanned thing in my life so far). I also got to visit Malta a few times and it was incredible.

I simply cannot put into words the most important part of my year: how much I've matured and how much more about myself I have learnt. Every single thing that I've experienced - be it at work, school, walking home alone in the dark or trying a new recipe - has taught me at least one thing about myself and my strength. Honestly? I have never been happier in my life. Granted, I have had days were I was sad because life is too expensive, or stressed because of my exams. There have been moments were I sobbed my eyes out and others where I laughed so much it hurt.

One thing that I do know for sure, however, is that I could not have survived 12 months in a foreign country without the support of my family and best friends back home; and especially without the presence of my best friends here in the UK. I consider myself lucky that I happen to have two of my dearest friends so close to me.

As one chapter closes, however, another is set to begin. I am so excited to start my degree, BA (Hons) in Music Journalism, next month! Same uni, different class, new people, new opportunities and of course new and (hopefully) exciting experiences. Even though I know what I will be studying for the next three years, I am so excited to see where my side projects will see me within the next year!

That will be it for my London series on my blog. I think that it has served well in sharing my experience, as have my Twitter and Instagram accounts. Be sure to follow me on all things social for more London related moments. It's been a wonderful year, bring on the next one!

Maria x

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