Moving to London: Ana’s story

After seventeen years in Asia, Ana and her partner decided it was time to move back to Europe and spend more time with their families. We caught up with Ana to find out what it was like moving to London and share any tips they learnt along the way.

Now that you are settled into London, what advice would you give to anyone planning their own?

I have a few!

  • Start the process early enough
  • Use a professional company for your relocation to ensure your belongings are well packed to avoid disappointment. They will also help you with the documents required for shipping your items.
  • Make sure you have a proof of address. Get your bank to send you a letter to your address in your new country. For our move to the UK it was quite challenging for me to get a proof of address so it delayed my bank account opening, which in turn made it impossible to sign for a phone plan, apartment lease, etc.
  • Make sure you go to the post office to have your address transferred.

What was your packing story? Did you discover any helpful tips?

We have some nice antique wooden furniture and big mirrors. Before the crew came to our place, we looked at everything and decided what to take and what to donate. We just decided that everything that had not been used for the past two years would go to the donation box. Then we asked for some boxes to pack our clothes and books. We were flying out on the same day we had our packing so it was a bit hectic. Make sure you tell the crew what to pack!

Packing tips

  • Go through all your drawers and cabinets to see if you can donate anything.
  • Sort out your food and donate your spices, dry food, cans, wine etc before your pack date.
  • Look up charities in advance. Contact them to see what you can donate.
  • Use stickers to mark things that you don’t want to pack to signal to the crew that you want to donate/dispose of those items.
  • Make sure you have some cash with you to tip the crew.
  • It’s nice to have water and other soft drinks for the crew.

Since moving to London, do you feel settled into your new home?

The apartment is nice, spacious and comfortable but we haven’t settled in yet. It is a bit challenging to adjust after 17 years spent in Asia! Even though we grew up in Europe, coming back and trying to adjust after being away for so long is difficult. This is a very big culture shock for us.

Is there anything you would recommend to anyone thinking about moving to London?

Start with the Sandeman’s walking tours. It’s nice to discover the city and hear about its history, culture and little anecdotes. When you have people visiting and you don’t know the city yet, it’s a great way to discover it together.

Download the TodayTix app to get cheaper tickets to shows and see what shows are out there.

Check the Time Out magazine online to find out about all the fun stuff to do. Before you relocate, check out the real estate’s websites to see start arranging viewings as soon as you arrive.

Planning on moving back this year? Take a look at our UK destination guides for tips on settling in