Patrick's story: Relocating to London for work

Patrick Kenning decided that relocating to the other side of the world (Australia to London) was the best way to progress in his career. Patrick spoke to us about his experiences.

Why did you move abroad?

It was a company driven decision. One requirement of my new contract was that my role was to be located in London. Relocating has been the driving force in developing my career. Right from the outset when I left New Zealand after University in search of entering the professional world. There is no doubt that with each move I have developed both personally and professionally.

Was this your first international move?

It wasn’t the first, between 2003 and 2009 I had four international relocations. Each of these were of the classic backpacker type where I was restricted to the limited baggage entitlements of the airlines. A challenge upfront but you begin to master it!

Were you worried about the move at all?

Other than the upcoming adjustment to the weather, we were actually very upbeat about the relocation.

Did you know much about London before moving?

I began my professional career in London in 2008 so I was fairly familiar with it. Although hand on heart it wasn’t at the top of the list of places to live! Although – with time being the best healer – it is a wonderful city, one of the best that I have come across.

Were you alone when moving?

I left Melbourne for Paris in October 2007, at this time I was single, free, and eager to step out of my comfort zone. The anonymity of being a foreigner in a very foreign land created a sense of excitement. It definitely opened the doors to a number of adventures. In my four relocations since, I have been accompanied by my partner Mathilde. These relocations still gave the same strong sense of adventure but the transitions have been much more enjoyable. Being able to share my feelings and emotions throughout the phases and having a sense of ‘home’ even when we were without one has added considerable amounts of comfort.

What do you most enjoy about London?

The diversity and vibe. We live on a market street in West London and on Fridays and Saturdays the place is a real buzz. From British fruit and veg vendors shouting the offer of the moment to the Moroccan food trucks luring you in with their enticing aromas. A short stroll around the corner and you hit Portobello Road. This is a well-known tourist hot spot that includes a smorgasbord of options irrespective of the day or time. Thankfully on Sundays our area is very calm and pleasant.

How was the moving experience?

Overall it was enjoyable. We had set clear expectations with regards to where we wanted to live, what our budget was going to be and what type of property we were after. The actual home search process was probably the hardest part. The London market moves very fast and some agencies seemed to play a numbers game versus working with your perquisites or taking your must haves into consideration.

What advice would you give to others looking to move abroad?

Always ensure you make the most of the opportunity and do your best to integrate yourself into your new location as much as you can. Living away from your core network can expose you to exciting adventures that you might not otherwise have come close to experiencing. I believe that you have a much greater chance to develop yourself when you’re in unfamiliar environments. This is something that an international relocation makes possible.