Realities of Living in London

I've lived in London for two years now, I love it and wouldn't change it for the world. It's not for everyone though and quite a lot recently, a lot of people have been asking me a few things about what it's like to live in London. 

Not as expensive as people make it out to be - I mean, it's expensive, for what I am paying for where I live, I could have my own flat back home. But that's the price what comes with living in the capital. Budgeting is something you just have to do when living here. I should take my own advice though as I'm not good at it but it all depends on how much you're earning to what you can do. Rent and bills is the biggest factor of course. However I simply just take that away when I get paid and then allow myself to have a certain amount to spend each week. That allows me to do as I please (within reason) on the weekend, whether that is heading to Brighton for the night or going out for brunch and dinner.

You don't need to live in central London - Yes it's amazing, I lived next to the river for the first 10 months I lived in London and I would move straight back if I could. But it's not possible for everyone as it's very expensive and living in zone two and three is a normal thing. There are some amazing places in London outside of zone two, sometimes an extra ten minutes on the commute is worth it. I love where I live as it doesn't feel like central London, yet it only takes me about 40 minutes to get to work on the bus and tube. 

It's big but lonely - London can be lonely, that's a known fact. There are so many people living in the city yet it's possible to know no one. But you will make friends, through friends or at university or through work or just in a bar. It's the same in every other city, yet more prominent here. 

Never bored - You will never be bored living in London as there's always something to do. Whether it's going to the latest pop-up (aka every single day) or to a museum on the weekend (if you can stand children everywhere). Make the most of it and grab opportunities when they come because that pop up will be gone in a weeks time, or never like boxpark...

Food lovers dream- So much food, so so much food. Not all good but if you find the hidden gems and you'll be surprised. You may have to wait 45 minutes for a table at peak times as you can never book anywhere, but it's expected and worth it. Head to a street feast or one of the many food markets, you can find every cuisine here.

I love living in London and I think you either love it or hate it. There's so much to do, so many places to go and so many people to meet. You have to move past the things which annoy you about the city (like crowds) and realise it's beauty. Simply look up when walking around, people don't do it enough, just look at the beautiful architecture.

Luce x

Stepping Out Of A Blogging Rut

Even though my blog is coming up to two years old, I still get stuck into a blogging rut. These past few months have been spent thinking about what I really want to do with my blog. Both my blog and I have grown since starting and we're simply not the same as when we started out. After crawling out of the rut, I'm back feeling very excited about Bonjour Luce.

Bonjour Luce was started as predominately a beauty blog but I've grown a lot since then and now I focus on a lot more than beauty. I was a little apprehensive about sharing more about me and my life but that's what I enjoy the most. The majority of the blogs I read now are 'lifestyle blogs' if you want to put a label on them, just writing about their life, food and travelling, some with the little addition of beauty. I'm still experimenting as I'm unsure as to what my readers will enjoy to read but I'll continue to open a little more of my life to you all. Beauty will still appear as it's my main interest but maybe more in a personal approach.

Not only have I changed but what I enjoy has changed. I still love beauty and will continue to do so, but creating the same content which I could have posted a year ago has become a little boring for me, just like how I felt with my attempt at beauty YouTube videos. But allowing myself to change my blog has made me excited to blog again. That's the most important thing about my blog, I want to feel excited about posting on it and I do.

I've had to accept that sometimes content I put out will not be as popular as other times I have posted, but that's okay as long as it's always quality over quantity for me. When I asked myself why the interaction had stopped on my blog, it was because I was posting about things I wasn't as enthusiastic about and that was clear. Since changing the direction, I have noticed that people are enjoying it more. That bit more effort and love for it does a huge amount and I think many people can take away from that too. Whether that's for a blog, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, they all need attention. 

A little push and determination was what I needed and being surrounded by friends who are so successful in what they do, whether it's blogging, YouTube or freelancing writing, it's the push I needed. 

Luce x

Why You Should Travel Alone

As I have mentioned a few times, I went to Sicily a few weeks back for a week away. I didn't go with friends or family, I went alone. Some people thought it was amazing, something people were confused and some people just thought I was strange. I know so many people who have traveled alone and it was something I had wanted to do for a while, so it was a natural thing for me to do. Since returning, I've thought it through and think that everyone should travel alone at least. Now I know for some people, it's not possible but if you can, I would seriously consider it and here is why...

You'll make so many new friends. This is the main thing I realised and one of the first things what happened to me. I stayed in a hostel in the center of the city so I was surrounded by people who were also travelling alone and were looking to make friends. On my first day there, I made friends in the line for the bus as she was the only English speaking girl and I wasn't sure what to do with the ticket. I ended up spending the whole day with her and have made plans to meet up with her once she moves back to London. The next day I made good friends with someone at the hostel and then ended up spending the week with her.

No one there to stop you doing things. Sometimes you can go away with friends or family and you'll want to do something else than the others. This way I had no one to stop me doing things, if I wanted to do something, I would do it alone. 

You have unlimited time to be alone. I think you have to be a certain type of person to be spend so much time alone and I am that type of person. I'm perfectly comfortable in my own company and I really enjoyed it. Even if I was lay on the beach surrounded by other people I had just met, I was alone and I loved it.

You step out of your comfort zone. Following on from the last one, you have to be brave. I couldn't speak a word of Italian but I had to go with whatever I thought when I was getting around. Attempting to get public transport is fairly easy once you get the hang of it as it's the same in every country. Just trying to pronounce the cities name is the hardest part.

A break from reality. This is what I needed the most, a break from life in London. Every now and then it gets a bit too much for me and that's when I usually escape back up North to my home, this time it was just to a different country. It's a sort of breath of fresh air, clean good Italian air. It just forces you to switch off as unless you want an expensive phone bill that month, you can't get 3G and are only restricted to wifi in the hotel. 

Just a few of the reasons why but all I can say is that I'm already planning my next trip out of the country.

Luce x

University Isn't For Everyone

It's that time of the year when you're deciding of what to do with University, whether to go or not. A lot of people have been writing posts or filming videos on the subject but I've been wanting to put my own little say out there. This is more of a 'this is what I did and do now' post, not telling you what to do.

So two years ago I went to university, I moved to London to study marketing and I was very excited. I was never academic, throughout both sixth form and secondary school, I never enjoyed school. I know for a fact that many of my friends and tutors at sixth form were wondering why I was going to university because they knew I didn't like it. I applied because I didn't know what else to do and I also wanted to prove to myself that I could actually get in, against what other people thought. So I got in and I moved away from the north, where most people I knew were staying. Christmas came around and I knew I didn't like university. I didn't enjoy being a student, I had got myself a job and I was more excited about that than university. It got to around Easter (I think) and I told my parents that I wanted to drop out of university. I thought about it a lot, I had spoke to so many people who had done it and who hadn't gone altogether. I had no idea what I was going to do, but I just knew university wasn't for me. I completed the year and never went back, even when I did hear that I actually passed the year.

I don't regret it at all. I didn't get the student life. I didn't enjoy going out, especially in London as I would get extremely anxious about being drunk in a city I didn't know that well. I hated halls, as much as I made friends. I also never 'clicked' with anyone there. I kept seeing people on Facebook having so much fun and thought 'why am I not doing that', so I knew it wasn't for me. 

What I quickly realised is that there is a life after dropping out. I moved back home for around 3/4 months and even though I did think it was the end of everything as it was demotivating having to move back with my parents, I got on with things. After deciding I wanted to move back to London, I got myself back down. I applied for so many jobs and I got the job I really wanted, working for a skincare brand I really love. I had a beauty background from my job at university but also blogging helped me a lot. It's not what I want to be doing forever, but it's helped me get back down here and I'm not doing too bad for myself. 

If you don't want to go to university or want to drop out, don't feel like you can't do it. There is always someone you can talk to (including me, just email me) and there is always something else you can do. Education isn't for everyone, especially for someone who is quite creative and doesn't like lectures. I may have walked away with a lot of debt for one year (damn the raised fees), but I'm proud of myself for it all. I know my parents and sister are proud of me for it and as much as I was worried about telling my parents about dropping out, they fully supported my decision. 

You will get to where you want to be, you'll just work a lot harder and it will show too. When your friends graduate, you will have gone through a lot more than they have and may be ahead of them. Sometimes you don't need to go to university as you can still get into the job you want. I would say it's more if you want to be a doctor etc, then you definitely need to go to university. 

Luce x