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Best places to live in London? - East London Rulezz

16/10/17

Uprooting your life is a big decision, HUGE decision really. Before you decide to move across the world there are lots of factors to consider, many sleepless nights, and, if you’re anything like me, countless pro/con lists to make. So you’ve taken the plunge, and have decided to take the amazing opportunity to teach overseas, now that this “easy” decision is out of the way, there are so many more (some could argue more important) things to think about like:

Does it really rain all the time in England? What do I need to pack? Do I need this winter parka? Will one pair of Sorel boots be enough? How many different umbrellas do I really need? Is this tenth pair of shoes a necessity? How many bags can I check for free? What do I do about my phone charger? How many travel adapters is too many? (the answer to this, I’ve learned, is you can never have enough) Where am I going to stay before I find a flat? Am I going to make friends? (yes, I’m 24 years old and still concerned with making friends) Will it be the same as teaching at home? Are the accents really as cute in person? (sorry, the answer to this is no, they get old quite quick.) Are the kids really as crazy as everyone says?

And the most significant questions:

Where am I going to live? Where do I even start to look for a place to live? Are people going to be nice?

Coming from a small town in Canada (a country whose reputation is all about politeness, courteousness, saying “sorry”, and “eh”) arriving in London was a surprise! I had never been exposed to the Central Line Rush Hour mayhem - which is a game where you see how many people can shove in one tube carriage that feels like it is 30 Degrees Celsius- or people not apologizing when they push in, hit you, and generally get in your way. I had no clue what the proper response to “cheers” was when you hold the door for someone (I should be 100% honest here and say that I still don’t really know the proper response, I normally go for a closed-lip smile and a quick nod, or a simple “no worries”, both of which I’ve been assured are acceptable responses) and I really had no clue about how life in London was going to be, or rather how I was going to adapt to life in London (because much to my disappointment, a whole country won’t change for just me).

After searching for a place to stay through jet-lagged delusion for what felt like weeks, which in reality was three days; I started looking at East London for accommodation upon recommendation from Kath, who completed my initial induction meeting. Kath had said that the East London team was looking for more teachers, the consultants were really nice, and with the low number of protocol teachers in the area, there would be work every day; all of these things made East London seem like the perfect place. Once I had a coffee (or three) and really focused my accommodation-hunting on the area, within a day I had found a nice house to live in, which was reasonably priced (as reasonably priced as London can be), 10 minutes walk to the underground station, on Central Line, and 15 minutes from Westfield Shopping Centre (which doesn’t seem like it is important, but it really is, there is literally nothing you can’t get at Westfield).

Eventually, somewhere between moving my million (actually 4) bags from where I was staying in South London to my new house in Leytonstone, the weekly Sunday shopping trips to Tesco, and the strolls along Brick Lane; East London, more specifically Leytonstone, became home. East London has its unique history, which includes many different things, from Jack the Ripper to the 2012 Summer Olympics, it is also home to so many other things to do, see, and eat! It is home to the Curry Mile, Poppies Fish and Chips, Dum Dums Donutterie, and Beigel Bake (FYI a salt-beef beigel at 2 AM = heaven!). There is also shopping at Westfield Shopping Centre (where I’ve said before, you can find literally A N Y T H I N G), Old Spitalfields market (which has an eclectic assortment of things, from tarot card reading to Lululemon), all the quirky shops along Brick Lane, and the super trendy area of Shoreditch (where you can always find an Insta-worthy shot). As an area, East London is situated just close enough to Central London, that it’s super easy to go downtown, whether it is to “see the sights” or for a cheeky night out, but you still get to come home to quiet streets and nice people.

A large part of why East London is such a great place to live, is because it’s such a great place to work. Rajia, Courtney and the entire East London team are so kind, considerate, thoughtful, and helpful. They do their best to make sure that professionally, your best interests are always looked after. They are quick to call in the morning with work and they really make an effort to ensure that you are working in schools that are a “good fit” with your qualifications, and personality. They always follow up with you and see how your experience in their schools are. I feel like with the East London team, they really put an effort into the relationship between teachers and consultants, which results in getting to know the teachers better, and enables them to “match” teacher with school better. And after a long work week, sometimes they plan a night out for drinks, which is always a bonus, and more often than not, needed!

Seriously though, me moving to East London was the result of some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten, and I can not imagine living anywhere else in London. East London has turned into a home away (super far away) from home.

Nicole xx

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