Relocating to a new country, city and culture it is a BIG deal. No matter if you know the language or even if you speak a version of it, that will not be enough to get the grips of what is going on.

But what gives? Knowing the sayings? – “it is not my cup of tea” – or perhaps knowing how it is the tea ceremony? or the ability to name a few types of trees, flowers and fish? -years living here and I cannot get my head around those!-

I believe that to feel like a “local” and have that sense of “belonging” you need to know what is happening around you and do as the locals do. But how would you do that without being a walking version of the Time Out Magazine?

Here it is what I do that helps me feel like a “local”:

  1. Read a gossip/socialite magazine, you will know who is the latest celebrity with a new face lift or that handsome guy the new boyfriend of the English sweetheart
  2. Watch the sport section in BBC News/Sky News and you will know how the local teams are doing or the latest competition (Vamos Wimbledon!!!)
  3. Subscribe to your local business directory newsletter, you will know they new openings of restaurants, shops or offers in the area
  4. Read everything that comes through the letterbox, yes maybe a lot of junk mail there but you might find out about a competition or a new theatre play coming to your area
  5. Listen to your neighbours, on the street, at the bus, at the school gates, they are possibly the best source of information
  6. Learn a few names of trees, flowers and fish :-0

Do you have your own list of activities that helped you to feel like a “local”? Do you feel now that you “belong”?
Please do let us know, we will love to learn more.

Until next month!

P.S. To know more about how we can help you while relocating to London please visit

Madam Mayor of Merton with Beatriz Garcia-Martinez
“You feel that you belong when you become the winner of recycling in your area! Not because I am the neighbour who recycles the most but I did know about a competition and joined in”
Madam Mayor of Merton with Beatriz Garcia-Martinez