My Love Letter To London, It’s Been 5 Years!

London - Regent's Park

Just before I moved to London, I was a timid boy that hadn’t really escaped from my parents bubble. I was the kind of boy that had everything handed on a plate to him, I hadn’t worked a day in my life nor had I have to lift a finger a lot of the time, except for the horses. I had just finished my further education, leaving sixth form with my A-levels ready to face a new world. At the time I was awaiting my results as to if i’ll end up in Essex or in London, but my fate laid in the hands of UCAS.

It was time, where was I going to end up? At 11am I opened the landing page to my UCAS page which revealed I was going to London!! The first thought that went through my head was ‘London’s my new home, the city smoke!’ whilst planning out all the things I wanted to do in my freshers year but then the sudden overcast black cloud moved in over me and it hit reality. I wasn’t ready to move to such a place. I was born and grew up in Bournemouth, a small town where nothing really happened. For the past 19 years I was used to shops closing at 5:30pm, the only pass time being hanging out with friends in the park, going shopping or going out to clubs on Friday and Saturday night. There wasn’t much of a food scene, so Nando’s was the perfect place to grab dinner with friends.

More importantly, how will I survive without my four legged friends and my parents watching over me all the time? It was a scary time, but I had to do it. I had to be fearless…

Before Moving To London

With the move came a new hobby, i’ve always been the person that needed to keep occupied with something other than studies and going out. Horses were my hobby at home, but with them out the picture I started my blog, a supposed online diary for my friends and family back home.

The day came where I moved into my halls of residence, where the window of my bedroom overlooked Borough High Street and I could see the police station exactly opposite my window. Moving out of a large room and a homely house, to a small en-suite box room that housed everything I owned for the foreseeable future. I guess this was the reality now, welcome to London.

University began and here was the start of the rest of my life, starting as a my studies to qualify as a Biochemist and hopefully reach my goal of being a Cancer Researcher.

My first year living as a Londoner was tough, it taught me a lot of life lessons and things that probably wouldn’t have conceded so early on in my life. I learnt how to fend for myself and then I started to appreciate my parents a lot more, the extent the went to make sure we were happy and healthy. Even though my mum used to fill up my freezer compartment in our communal kitchen freezer with her homemade goodies, but it was at this point where I discovered my ability to cook and actually have a passion for it too.

I learnt that whites and blacks don’t always mix, after a few of my favourite white pieces of clothing were ruined by mixing them in the washing machines, but it was nothing a long evening walk along the Southbank, sitting on the benches and staring out over to Westminster Abbey and Big Ben couldn’t fix. For the first year of university, it became my go to place to get relief and to escape from stress and anger that came with making new friends, finding my feet in a new city, adjusting to my new lifestyle and studying at the same time. One evening my best friend and I went for a walk along the Southbank and sat in that very same spot, both heavy hearted we shared and talked into the night with only the moonlight keeping us alit at the early hours of the morning. Tears streamed but it felt like we weren’t the only ones around as a warm breeze that came over us like the big capital was giving us a warm hug in reassurance that everything will be okay.

London - Tower Hill

As I finished my first year of university, I made the choice to move universities to a university that was more tailored to the direction I wanted to excel in, especially in my career. Leaving the friends I had made at university to pursue what was best for me. The university move also brought around a change in living arrangements and I moved North West to Wembley Park to live with my sister in our new apartment. A change from living with with flatmates and hearing the constant sound of sirens going past, to Zone 4 where things were quiet and I felt like I was living in a proper home with a large bedroom and my own appropriately sized bathroom.

At this point, I started to get recognised by brands in regards to my blog (which I didn’t even know was possible), I also discovered the social media community of bloggers that I never knew existed. A massive turn around of what I thought was possible with a blog – I mean making internet friends…. whaaaat?

Every day I worked on my blog, studied hard and spend every other moment discovering London and slowly falling in love with the amazing experiences London has to offer. I went through my fair share of falls outs, heart breaks and the blossoming of new friendships and the removal of toxic ones. These were things I had to grasp, growing into the adult I was, I had to start making selfish decisions that allowed me to become my best and most desirable self.

I have to admit though, the three years I spent university were the best few years of my life. I explored the London food scene, experiencing a different restaurant every night, my love for champagne grew and grew – which became something not commonly seen amongst university students and I became more refined in my ways. I discovered what I was about, who I wanted to be and finally found myself in the big smoke.

Graduation on London Southbank

As the end of university came around I reached another turning point in my life, that I felt wouldn’t have happened without London. I discovered I preferred writing, photography and content creation over sitting in a laboratory carrying out investigations and experiments. My burning desire to be my new found loud, fun, social self has been inhibited by the industry and the style of work I would have to do. Nonetheless, I graduated with a good degree anyway and then decided it was time to break the news to my parents. I no longer want to be a scientist… You can imagine the look on their faces, after spending 2 years in further education and then 3 years in higher education just do get to this point in my life. Fresh And Fearless was 3 years old by this point and it just felt like the right decision especially as I was immersed in travelling and working with tourism boards, hotels, reviewing restaurants and some amazing lifestyle brands whilst getting paid to do it too. I was living the dream!

Not long down the line I found my career path in what I was passionate about, which was marketing but not before I decided to try out the PR field for some time first. I felt right since I was so connected with PR’s day to day with my blog but I realised it wasn’t for me and I was more suited to hotel marketing, something I truly had the knowledge and experience to do.

Freelance Marketing London

I’ve had my fair share of interim and full time jobs since discovering my passion for marketing, but it led me to start up Suave Digital. A freelance business that allowed to truly help those needing it through content creation, photography, social media management and digital marketing. Who would have thought?! I came to London with the intention of being a cancer researcher and now I have my own freelance business?!

Now as I look back on my 5 year milestone of living in the big smoke, I have zero regrets, instead i’m beaming with gratitude. I came out of my shell and became a confident person which was a major contrast to my 19 year old self, I completed a Biochemistry degree, I made some of the most amazing university friends and internet friends that turned into real life friends. I discovered my love for the refined lifestyle through food, champagne, and luxury travel but also using this discovered passion to channel my blog into something that had a bit more of a specific niche. I started a blog that people thought I would get bored of running after a few weeks, but 5 years later i’m still tapping away at my keyboard. I also discovered my love for cooking but more over photography too – before I moved to London I never owned my own camera or knew how to use one. I uncovered what I was passionate about doing career wise and I managed to start my own business too.

Can you believe all above happened in just 5 years?! I feel like all this wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t live in London. The enteral support of my sister and parents, my friends and the constant inspiration of London showing me the path and igniting that passion inside of me to make my dreams come true.

I truly love you London, forever and always.

Until next time…