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Old 11-17-2006, 02:24 PM   #1
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Alright, so I've been living abroad, away from Australia, moving around, working in London and in Canada.
Now I'm back in England, and in Leeds, and boy is this the toughest stretch.

I need some advice.
I want to ask a serious question:
How do you cope?

With the following:
keeping warm in winter (it is *^$* freezing, and I know it's gonna get worse)
finding a steady job when you're only here for 7 months (there's no hiding that expiry date on your visa)
making friends when you're pretty much alone (i'm not the go-to-the-pub-on-my-own kinda gal)
keeping costs down
keeping yourself entertained (highlights of the city and area)
keeping your cool when your morning train is always delayed

There must be some of you out there that have found yourself in a similar predicament: hit a low peak while exploring the world and finding yourself cold, poor with inconsistent (or non-existent) work, and alone in a damn well expensive country.

Speak out! Share your stories and wisdom!

How do you handle it?
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:17 PM   #2
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Well, in terms of meeting people you've gotta find places in which people hang out looking for people... If you're in London, perhaps try going to the bars in Hostels... they're full of people who are travelling alone.

For a job, register with a temp agency... they can place you in jobs that only require you for short periods...

Keeping costs down all kind of depends on how you're living.. you can always live in a cheaper place, right down to a hostel. Make sure you use the grocers instead of restaurants..
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:20 PM   #3
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being British i:


wrap up warm...head to Primark where you can buy a thermal vest for 3 and 2 pairs of gloves for 1. You can get some really warm long jumpers for 8.

As for the job sign up at a temp agency. If you advise them you are looking for temp work im sure they will be able to find you a 6 month contract somewhere

The friends will be difficult unless you have a job! If you are living with people make friends with their friends. Join a club or volunteer!

Keeping costs down is not easy but you are in the North where things are cheaper! Look out for own label brands when in the supermarket or google for student deals in your area.

Leeds has great transport links! Use websites such as megabus or the national express website and find funfares and get out and explore! Visit local attractions such as museums which are free. Look out for the theatre where you can get cheap deals usually on mondays

Get used to the trains its a regular occurence with british rail! or the bus services
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Old 11-18-2006, 04:38 AM   #4
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Ok, To keep warm wrap up, but dont keep your place boiling, and wear tshirts and that indoors, no joke it keeps you warmer when you wrap up to go outside.

To get a job and meet people, I'd say get a job in a bar some where, it shouldn't to be to hard for a couple of reasons, England is binge drinking capital of europe, your in a city, so lots of pubs and lots of drinkers, and leeds is a Very Big uni city, It has two unis, students need to drink alot more than your average joe, fact, plus within the next month or so all the students will go home, so if you can't get a job in november, you'll be able to get one in december for sure.

Once you have your job you'll have more money coming in and you'll either meet people at work (even though most will be drunkards) and its usually the case that you'll go out for a few with the people you work with.

Keeping you costs down... well for food shopping remember your in a student town, so it should be cheaper in the right places, Go to Aldi, i love that place, Tesco and Asda are pretty cheap as well, as is morrisons, Make a shopping list before you go out, trust me it works, if you don't you'll go out for milk, fruit, cereal and bread, and come back with Pizza, drink, milk shake and chocolate and sundried tomatoes. as beergirl said get the very cheap label brands, if a deal is buy one get one half price, don't bother if you dont need two, if its buy one get one free and you can stick it a freezer then go for it. If you can't already LEARN TO COOK! its soooooo much cheaper cooking for yourself than buying ready meals, or things that are partialy ready, for example you can by a tin of pasta sauce, or you can get some tomatoe purie, some cream what ever meat and veg your having and make you own (frying pan - 10 - 25mins you have a shit hot meal for cheap)

to be honest i keep myself entertained by losing my sanity, but i can understand why thats not an appealing option for all, i find cooking and music generally keep me entertained - try dancing to some ska whilst chopping veg , but mainly alcohol/climbing/kickboxing, but thats me not you.

for late trains..... get hold of some Jack Johnson....

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Old 11-18-2006, 04:49 AM   #5
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i get the impression that you are dealing more with homesickness then you are actually having a rough time in england. Life is all about perspective and the enjoyment of the moment. We have all for the most part hit our low spots throughout our trips but I think once we realize that it isn't the place so much as the realization that we have begun to feel lonely and cold. I think those are the best times to begin to realize who we really are and start to see what we are made out of.

Personally though I run, I run like the dikkens when I start to feel like you're feeling. I go to the train/bus station buy a ticket and take the last train to clarksville.
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Old 11-19-2006, 09:55 AM   #6
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I second the Jake. A priest once said to me that you can't go back home. You can go home, but never back home. Live for the moment and enjoy what is right in front of you. When you are in a difficult situation, think of it as a challenge to overcome.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:47 PM   #7
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yeah cherish those low times. Being down and out only makes you enjoy and appreciate the good times even more. And just when you think things are sucking pretty bad, they turn around. I say go stay in a hostel for your social and low budget needs. I was jobless in London for about a month, but at least I had a bunch of loser friends around the hostel who were in the same boat.
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Old 12-09-2006, 02:38 PM   #8
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A big YES! to beergal's suggestion of warm clothes at Primark...they've finally opened one in Exeter and I love it.

As for food, I know Sainsbury's isn't always the cheapest, but their "basic" line is pretty good and very cheap. (right down to the 8p ramen noodles!)

England in the winter can be a hard place to get used to. Hang in there!
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