From London Parties To Sydney Clean Living, An Interview With Expat Jennie
If there’s one thing I’ve really noticed about moving from London to Sydney is the apparent change that pretty much all of the British people I know have been through and it involves changing their lifestyle.
Take me back to five years ago, I was someone who ate whatever I liked, rarely exercised, partied way too much which involved drinking too much alcohol and I was constantly tired. I wasn’t focused with work at all and the bottom line is, I wasn’t happy. I knew a change was in order so I booked myself an around the world ticket and haven’t looked back since.
In 2011 with a drink in hand after many drinks already that evening, London
Since moving to Australia 4 years ago, my life has changed drastically. I’m in the best shape of my life; full of energy and have a clear, sharp mind with goals in life and work. I’m now an alcohol free vegan who runs and cycles 20km everyday. How did this all change? I honestly think it’s down to the addictive healthy culture which is thriving in Sydney.
After completing my first ever half marathon 2015, Sydney
I recently came across a British blogger called Jennie of My Tale Of 2 Cities – a blog who’s tag line is ‘From London Parties To Sydney Clean Living’. Bingo! This is exactly what I had been looking for. Not only could I relate straight away to this tag line but I decided I needed to interview Jenny to find out why she changed her lifestyle ways for the better since moving over.
Table of Contents
Tell me about your first year in Australia – did you find it hard to settle?
J: It definitely took a while to settle in. After 3 months I got to grips with the city, after 6 I felt more settled as I had found some good friends but it really took a year to absolutely love it. I think you need to give it a year. The friend thing was the hardest. I think this is something that’s more important for girls than it is for boys. My boyfriend was not bothered in the slightest but I really really missed having a close girlfriend, a partner in crime. Once I found a couple of those Sydney became home.
What do you miss/don’t miss about London?
J: I miss the shopping! The Topshop on Oxford Street. And Urban Outfitters!! I do miss my sister and my friends immensely, though many of them are growing up, getting married / having kids and doing their own thing anyway now.
I did miss the nightlife and the music scene to start with, but there is enough going on in Sydney to scratch that itch when you want to. And most of the events that I’ve been to here have such been civilised affairs, perfect for the thirty something that I now am. So much space, so little pushing, hardly a drop of beer spilt over me and no hour long tube ride home after.
I definitely don’t miss the tube. The idea of the tube upsets me. And I don’t miss the rush, or the stress, or the frenetic 1000 mile an hour way of living.
What do you love/hate about living in Sydney?
J: I love the Eastern Suburbs and the beach lifestyle. That’s been life changing for me and I don’t think I’d want to move anywhere far from the ocean now. There’s nothing better than waking up early when everything’s still quiet, making a coffee, then wandering down to the beach barefoot for a surf as the sun is rising from behind the ocean. I probably do this three or four times a week and it just doesn’t get old. I also love how it’s perfectly acceptable to wander round with no shoes on, even when you’re not going to the beach!
I don’t really hate anything about Sydney. But the one real downside is how far away we are from the UK. I definitely hate that 24 hour flight home, and the resultant week of jet lag.
Why did you decide to change your party lifestyle to being healthy?
Jennie in London after the after party at 5am
I was tired of partying. I was tired of feeling hungover, worn out and emotional. I think even if I hadn’t have moved to Australia I would have wanted to make a change. It was just far far easier to do that from here as I’d already broken the pattern. And I didn’t have any friends to go drinking with when I first arrived anyway. The rest, the changes to my diet and to my daily routine just happened gradually. Once you start with these things and realise how good you feel, you want to take it further and further.
Why do you think most Brits turn to a healthy lifestyle when moving to Australia?
I think the weather helps! It’s definitely easier over here. You feel naturally more energetic and inclined to get up and out into the fresh air when the sun is out. There is also a noticeable culture of exercise and healthy eating in Sydney, particularly in the coastal suburbs, which influences people.
A key difference that I noticed between work social events here and in London was that here the drinking socials are interspersed with non-drinking socials, such as boot camps, yoga, walks, team running events and cricket matches. I don’t think I’d ever got sweaty with work colleagues before moving to Sydney!
Why did you opt for a no sugar diet?
I came across Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar movement when a client of mine at the time struck up a partnerships with her. I started reading the I Quit Sugar blog, then progressed to read more and more about the impact of sugar on your body until I couldn’t wait to get the stuff out of my system. I came to realise that sugar was the biggest poison for me personally as I don’t smoke and I’ve really cut down on drinking since I moved here.
What have been the struggles since you changed your diet?
J: The first few weeks of cutting down on sugar were the hardest. I had cravings and felt hungry all the time. Strangely the thing that I missed the most was sugar in my tea, my five daily cuppas just weren’t as satisfying without it. In hindsight, I think that the whole reason that I was drinking so much tea in the first place was to get the sugar hit.
But that’s all passed and now it’s really not difficult at all. For me it makes it easy to have a rule of no sugar on weekdays. That way I don’t have to make a decision each time someone offers me birthday cake at work as I know I won’t have it. I don’t get cravings often now, only very occasionally if I am under the weather or really exhausted. If I do get cravings, knowing I can have something sweet at the weekend if i still want it makes it easier to resist.
Would you consider moving back to UK and why?
J: Yes. I miss my family and sister enormously. It’s a massive hole. I try not to think about it too much as if I do I get upset and I want to make the most of every minute here, but eventually I will move back. I’ll probably have to have children at some point if my boyfriend gets his way and I don’t want to do that away from my parents and sister.
If you are thinking of moving over to Sydney, this is a great interview to put it into perspective of the pros to living in Sydney. I know I wouldn’t be in as good of a place as I am now if I was still living in England. Sydney’s healthy culture is easy to grab hold of. The accessibility to healthy food, exercise classes let alone being able to work out outside thanks to the consistent good weather, it would be hard not to be happy in this city.
Have you moved over to Australia and do you disagree with this? Let me know in the comments below.