#Stories London is where you belong

#Stories from those who have lived in a RoomForTea. They share relevant insights into the experience of moving to a new city, living with new people, and finding your groove.

Have you ever wanted to live in and experience London for a while? London undoubtedly has a buzz that not many cities can offer. It is full of exciting career opportunities and a great variety of communities, art and fashion. It is “entrepreneurial” and “funky”, it is “royal” and “historic”. It is so international, that you feel that you belong within an instant. Every day you can meet citizens from every nation of the world.

I have lived in London for almost two years before moved as a freelancer to Bali six months ago, whereas I knew nobody when I first came to the city. I am Austrian but had lived overseas before. Luckily, things worked out well for me as I was fortunate enough to meet the right people at the right time and lived in good conditions, sharing houses with friends at extremely affordable prices. That was back then, but when I decided to come back to the city for a long-term visit it seemed more difficult to find a place. I didn’t want to crash on people’s couches for weeks.

As my life tends to be fast-paced, it was not until four days before my arrival that I got in touch with my (roomfortea) host Blessing who lives in East London with her little daughter Jessica. Blessing has been incredibly welcoming and super sweet to allow me to stay with her on such short notice. It was raining and cold when I arrived after a two hour delay. I didn’t feel exactly excited about being back until Blessing welcomed me with a cup of tea, which felt soothing and so we ended up chatting for a while about what we do in life. We already realized that we had some common interests through the Room for Tea site, so it felt nice that there was something to talk about.

The room I am living in has a view on the canal, which is why I wake up to the sound of seagulls and ducks in the morning. And it is super nice to hear Jessica calling my name before she leaves the house for school every morning. The little girl and I get along really well and I like having a bit of a “family” feeling wherever I go.

That’s what I was looking for. A host with whom it’s not complicated to live with, who is there for a welcoming chat every now and again but who also gives me privacy. A host whom I can easily trust and feel safe with. The word ‘safe’ might appear odd here, but I have ‘airbnb-ed’ before and sometimes had uncomfortable experiences living with men — subtle but not really relaxing. Maybe you know what I mean.

Apart from the comfort of living with a trusted host, living together also has practical reasons. I can borrow her iron and do my laundry in her washing machine, I can use everything I need in the kitchen and the bathroom and her cleaner comes in every now and again to vacuum my room.

That is the magic of Room for Tea — urban co-living at its finest. Bibi was a Guest on roomfortea.

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