England, Europe, Expat Living, London

Expat Living: Laura Martin in London, England.

February 16, 2014

Say a big old hello to Laura Martin, the latest adventure seeker to be featured in my Expat Living Interview Series.

Originally from Frankfurt Am Main, Germany, she now lives in London, England.

All About Laura.

I’m a 29 year old Chilean-Spanish-German woman. I’m from Frankfurt am Main where I worked as an Account Manager for an IT and Telecommunications company before moving to London four months ago to start work as a Business Consultant. I love the multicultural flair of both, Frankfurt and London, and I am very happy to be in London now. And yes, I like Guinness beer!

Laura Martin in London 2

Where are you from?

From beautiful Frankfurt am Main, Germany (also where one of our other interviewees, Georgina Rico now lives.)

Where are you living now and how long have you been there?

I moved to London, England four months ago.

Have you lived anywhere else around the world?

I studied a semester in the Spanish part of the Basque Country (split between Spain and France).

Do you plan to stay in your current location or move somewhere else in the future?

The only plan I have right now is to stay some years in London, but how many that will be and where I’ll be afterwards? No idea.

Laura Martin in London

What’s your personal story? What made you decide to take the big leap and leave home?

I had a serious romantic involvement with a London resident who I got to know during my studies in Frankfurt. When he moved to London after graduating, we had a long distance relationship going for quite some time.

I then decided to find a new job and started to look for new opportunities in London. After a short search period, I got an exciting offer from a small consultancy in and accepted immediately. Three weeks later, after arriving directly from the airport, I found myself sitting down at my new desk in London.

Four days after my arrival we moved into our new apartment,  less than four walking minutes away from the Tower Bridge.

Do you ever miss home? What do you do to cope?

I miss my family and my friends A LOT and thinking about my mother and closest friends frequently causes me to feel homesick. But as I work a lot and there’ so much to do in the city, it fortunately keeps me distracted.

We often use Skype and WhatsApp and that makes me feel like I am on holiday and will be home again soon. When there’s a birthday party, I connect via Skype video conference call everyone feels as if I’m actually there.

How do you blend in and be accepted by locals?

Due to my work, I’ve gotten to know a lot of people. The British are masters of small talk so you get involved in conversations quite easily. The pop culture generates a lot of new contacts because when everybody is totally drunk, you can make new friends in seconds. If these people remember you the next day is another question.

Often when I tell people that I like porridge and English breakfast, they think I’m just trying to be polite.

Laura Martin in London

Did you have to learn a new language? If yes, what? How did you go about learning the language and how long did it take you to become fluent?

I learned English at school and then worked for a UK based company which uses English as their operational language.

British English is very complex and rich – the British have thousand words for one thing! I learned very early which roles irony and sarcasm play in the whole language game. New expressions like “whatever floats your boat” is my favourite so far.  

What has been the most shocking thing you learned about the local culture?

The English really drink gallons of alcohol and also, the weather in London is really bad, like really, really bad! I’m very sorry my non-continental friends but that’s reality.

What is your number one tip about how to live life as an ex-pat?

Have knowledge of the language, no matter where you go.

Laura Martin in London

What do you love most about living abroad?

London offers a lot to do so it never gets boring. Even if you just go out to the supermarket on the weekend, the drunk people I meet on the street always make me smile because they’re pure entertainment.

Did you make the move solo? Or are you with a spouse or significant other, other members of your family, or friend(s)?

Fortunately, my boyfriend took care of finding a new apartment which took that big task out of my hands. It’s nice to have somebody close with you, especially at the beginning when you really don’t know anyone.

Laura Martin in London

What do you do work wise? Did you have a job before you arrived or did you look for work when you got there? If you didn’t have a job, how did (or do) you land work?

I’m a business consultant. I hated my previous job so a change of position was a major reason to move to London. I’m very happy now!

I recommend having a signed employment contract BEFORE moving to London as the living costs are very high!

Find Laura

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuraLioba

Expat Living Information

If you thought what Laura Martin in London, England had to say about expat life was cool, then check out even more interviews in my Expat Living section. If you’re thinking of a move to Berlin, then check out my handy Berlin guide

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10 Comments

  • Reply Sam February 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Great interview! I love your impressions of London, Laura. As a native of London, I think they are spot on. “Whatever floats your boat” is a favourite expression of mine too! And living four minutes walking from Tower Bridge…wow, what a great location!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      Thanks Sam! I really loved Laura’s story and I’m sure being a native of London, it must be interesting and amusing for you to read. šŸ™‚

  • Reply Laura @Travelocafe February 26, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Thank you for introducing Laura to us. I love her name. šŸ™‚ I will make sure to follow her adventures in London.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 26, 2014 at 11:23 am

      Hi Laura! Ha ha. šŸ™‚ I love sharing expat stories. It’s always inspiring to find out what makes people move around and learn how they perceive the new culture that surrounds them.

  • Reply Michael February 27, 2014 at 6:31 am

    I have always found Germans to be excellent at other languages and they have so many big cities themselves, that it seems easy to adjust to life as an expat. Congrats on the new romance!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 27, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      Yes, I look forward to following her adventures. šŸ™‚

  • Reply Devlin @ Marginal Boundaries February 28, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Always great to hear about other expat’s and their beginnings. I couldn’t agree more with Laura’s answer about language “Have knowledge of the language, no matter where you go.” … Even if it’s just enough to get you a taxi or order some food at a restaurant, every little bit helps.

  • Reply Mary @ Green Global Travel March 17, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this. I love the interview style of it. Good luck with everything in London. I hope you really enjoy it! Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 17, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Thanks Mary! I love stories of love and romance that take people abroad. šŸ™‚

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