European winters are well known for their potential severity, particularly to anyone more accustomed to warmer temperatures! If you are an Australian teaching abroad in the UK this winter season, here are some tips to surviving your first UK winter!
Many people like to ignore the impending reality of their first European winter. While this is much easier, it’s definitely a mistake if you want to be prepared! Though jokingly announcing that you going to flee the experience altogether may be fun and might even distract you momentarily, it is important to embrace the reality of your first UK winter.
Instead of dreading the weather, get excited about the snowmen, ice rinks and snowflakes you will get to enjoy! Then prepare yourself for the more difficult parts of the experience.
Do Your Homework
It is essential to know what you should be expecting this winter. Between sunset at 3:30 p.m., nasty cases of the flu, and general freezing temperatures; knowing what you are in for is an important part of preparing yourself. The short days and lack of warmth can be depressing if you aren’t expecting them and can’t brace yourself. Research the possible highs and lows in temperature and ways to keep yourself safe, warm and happy in the coldest months of the year.
Time for Shopping
You may have experienced some chilly winters, but your regular jackets and sweaters are not going to suffice in Europe. You may look like a marshmallow in your new winter outfits, but practicality is more important than sleek fashion sense when the snow really comes down. Some online shopping from locations that are more accustomed to severe winters is in order because the clothes you will find at your local stores are not going to be enough.
Shoes are a whole other mission to tackle. You may be able to get away with flats or other casual shoes in Australian winters, but the UK can almost promise a snowy, wet winter, and you need the right shoes for the job. Stock up on some good, reliable boots to get you through the winter. You can opt for tough hiking boots, casual slip-on boots or balanced trail runner boots, but just make sure you shop quality, reliable brands that you can count on to keep your feet warm and dry.
Most importantly, don’t forget to shop to dress in layers! You will likely find yourself in many different areas throughout the day with varying degrees of available heating, so make sure you can you dress up and dress down as the day goes on.
Take Advantage of Festive Events and Sightseeing
Make sure that you do all of your preparations ahead of time so you can truly enjoy the perks of the winter season. There are always fantastic festive opportunities to take advantage of, and a lot of classic venues are much less crowded in the cold. Keeping active and moving from place to place will obviously help satiate your thirst for adventure, but it will also keep you warmer than standing still.
Making sure you stay busy will help you avoid the sluggishness that is often associated with winter as well, and staying happy and energised will go a long way in making this season both manageable and enjoyable. Don’t get too caught up in the concerns and fears of the cold winter ahead of you to enjoy the beauty and excitement that London can offer you!
Teaching abroad can introduce you a lot of changes in atmosphere and lifestyle. Make sure you are prepared to survive your first UK winter so you can make the most of your experience with Point to Point, and don’t forget that we are here to support you in your endeavours!