How it all started…

Dayra how did you decide to come alone for two years to London? It is the question that everyone asks me when they meet me for the first time or with their reactions, Woww coming from so far and alone is only for brave (and for me, it’s something I had thought about for a long time, my friends at the university knew that whatever happened was what I wanted most, to leave the country far to study my master!)

 

I’ll start telling you the country that I come from. Ecuador, my country is so wonderful! I was born in Guayaquil, a beautiful city where its climate is warm and the beach is close, but my parents always lived in Quito, which is the capital of Ecuador. All my life I have been traveling from one place to another for the work of my dad and I think this has helped me, that in any circumstance in which I am, I enjoy life and most importantly BE HAPPY!! I am grateful with my parents for this.  I think that thanks to this, for better or for worse, I’ve always gotten used to traveling to know new things, new people, new cultures, which for me means you move forward and there’s always something new to do. I already had a lot of time in Ecuador and I felt very stuck.  I was born as in a cradle of gold thanks to all the effort and work of my parents, but since I was little, my parents with their demands, they made me demanding! And never for me is anything enough, I always wanted to continue discovering and improving. My father always repeated me since I was little, that the only thing that leads you to the excellent is to continue preparing and studying, that’s why I always looked for courses, I always wanted to learn more, I always wondered why everything, and whenever I traveled to the first world, I felt very identified with the culture than with the culture of my country.

cotopaxi

guayaquil

After having graduated from engineering, the next step was the master’s degree, but first look for work experience and I worked in the UDLA university and TELEFONICA for 6 years, once I saw that everything was the same and monotonous and to be honest I was surrounded by people who did not know what they wanted in their life, I was beginning to feel stuck and that I wanted something different, that’s where my application to foreign universities began, where I was among the United States, Spain or Great Britain.

udla

telefonica

Obviously I was very afraid to go alone away from my house! Far from everything I am, but what pushed me the most to leave was, is to ask me the question, is this the life I want to live? Even though I have a house, a car, I want to live at the expense of what others say? To that although many things are wrong in my society, I must do blind eyes and follow everything they do and agree with that? Have to marry because I’m already reaching 30 years and if I do not find soon I’ll be staying alone? I have to get married or He is not taking me seriously? Because everyone is already getting married I also have to do it, even though I have a boyfriend and the relationship is not going well? Because I need to prove to society that the right thing to do is get married? That the next step I should take is not to continue preparing myself because you have to get married to have a secure future? that all my savings are going to be destined for once I get married to buy house, etc? Have to continue in WhatsApp groups of people with whom I do not feel at all identified of everything they talk and do, but to be able to maintain a good relationship with everyone I had to be tolerant of that? For a relationship to work, it has to go through several approval filters such as friends and family, and if one does not agree then everything will go wrong and they are easily influenced by everything they say about the machismo that exists in the society? All pretend to have beautiful marriages and a perfect lifes, but you go out to many parties and you see that everyone is cheating and lying to their partners?  I see how all my friends have to control their boyfriends, and boys have control of girls so and make sure they do not do things that can cheating them instead of having healthy relationships? It was very hard for me to think, that people of almost 30 years old are still living with their parents and do everything they say, and worst of all, that they still have the responsibility to keep them.  

The culture in my country is very complicated, because everyone gets into your life and the truth that tires and despair and a lot of people fall in that pressure and end up doing what society says or does despite many times that does not make them happy at all! I refused to that and I knew that in the countries that call themselves the first world, things are not like that!! And now believe me that I’ve been in London for almost 6 months now, I can tell you that although it’s true I do not have a house and car here, I’m a really happy woman!  I have never liked to settle for anything, because I really know what is good when you propose and work hard for that. It motivates me to be a better version of me, to see that most people of my age, here already occupy extremely important positions and continue to work hard to keep growing.

With this I do not seek to say that my society is the worst, and that I hated to be there, well no! I love my country and the pride of being Ecuadorian is indescribable, my point is, that you ask yourself the question of why do what you do. Do what really makes you happy, not because you feel pressure for what others do or say.

Now that I am far away, knowing new cultures, I can tell you that it feels so good to be with genuine people, who know what they want and where they are going, that to do things they do not have to ask permission from dad or mom to do it or they need supervision of someone to do because they do not feel confident about what they do or say… and at the end, they are the people who have helped me the most and have really cared about me, that despite all the money or success they have, they do not take away how humble they are, because it has cost them to get where they are and they are willing to give you a hand so that you also get to that place. From this I speak, learn to relate to people who make you a better version of yourself, instead of giving you more money or instead of just taking a party or giving you a status. I speak that, with your hard work and preparation you can get where you propose to be, and everything comes at its right time without pressing anything.

I have a manager,  who has two children and lives with his girlfriend, and he always called my attention to how happy and uncomplicated he is (apart from that he is so very handsome jaja). and I had the opportunity to talked with him, and I told him that I was very interested in how he is, because he is the first person I know who is so happy having two children and that he lives with the girlfriend, and I asked him, why do not get married if you have everything and you are very happy? and he answered, Dayra told me why I would get married if I do not believe in any of that? I do not go to church, I do not pray. And only with this answer He leave in shock! and then he asked me, And I wonder in your society, they get married even if they do not believe? And I said yes, there are many people married by the church who do not even go to church on Sundays, and he told me that is so old school. And he also told me, that not married does not mean “I’m not going to leave my girlfriend and my two children because I work every day to give them the best, we have 6 years together and I will not run away if things get complicated. Also told me you have to understand that you will not have everything in life, you have to make sure that wherever you are you should be happy and you will see how things come, but, if you live complaining, things and situations will never arrive! And I was so in shock jaja, with the security in which he spoke to me.  There are many people in London like him and that is what makes this place so wonderful.

Coming to London, I’m not going to deny it, it was the hardest thing I’ve done in my life, and at the beginning I suffered! But instead of staying locked in pain, I began to move to get work soon, to put into practice everything I had learned, go to classes. And there will be more posts to tell you how I got work and how is the study in London. You will stay where you are or you risk having more opportunities than you ever imagined that could come to your life? Because I assure you that the first world will give you much more than you imagine, or if you work much harder in your country instead of waiting for others to do things for you, you will see how things come, but if you do not work on your dreams, let me tell you that nobody else will do it for you, and if yes It requires a lot of sacrifice and work, but I assure you that it feels very good once it is achieved and God and life have the best rewards.

sushisamba london

 

 

Feeling lost in London..? Citymapper will help you!

When I arrived in London, I felt completely lost.  I arrived with three more Ecuadorians and one of them is an expert in technological and digital issues, and he was the one who showed me how to use Citymapper (of which I am eternally grateful)

Citymapper is a public transit app and mapping service.  It integrates data for all urban modes of transport, from walking and cycling to driving, with an emphasis on public transport. It operates by free mobile app and a desktop website, in competition with Google Maps.

logo citymapper

So many questions, so little time…

I believe that you should have all (preferably real-time) data about using your city readily available on your smartphone, with the best design possible, personalised to you, so that you focus on experiencing your city rather than trying to survive it.

Citymapper started in London, which it calls “the world’s most historic and iconic public transport city”, presumably in reference to the London Underground (the Tube) and the double-decker red bus (the Routemaster). Its second city was New York, and it now covers cities on every inhabited continent except Africa. Its headquarters are in London, on the South Bank, close to City Hall, where the Greater London Authority. (which has responsibility for Transport for London ) is based.

Citymapper logo.png
Developer(s) Citymapper Limited
Stable release
6.25 (iOS)
6.28 (Android)
Operating system AndroidiOSMobile Web
Type GPS navigation software
Alexa rank Increase 18,916 (November 2017)[1]
Website citymapper.com

The Economic Impact of Brexit

Brexit is the prospective withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. In a referendum on 23 June 2016, 51.9% of the participating UK electorate voted to leave the EU.

When Britain’s vote to leave the European Union was announced on June 23, the pound plummeted to its lowest level against the dollar in 31 years and more than $2 trillion was wiped off the global stock market in reaction to the shocking referendum result.

Brexit (like its early variant, Brixit) is a portmanteau of “British” and “exit”. It was derived by analogy from Grexit, referring to a hypothetical withdrawal of Greece from the eurozone (and possibly also the EU). The term Brexit may have first been used in reference to a possible UK withdrawal from the EU by Peter Wilding, in a Euractiv blog post on 15 May 2012 (given as the first attestation in the Oxford English Dictionary)

brexit 1

 Brexit Poses Serious Risk to UK Fashion Industry

“Currently, you can have the emergency overnight booking if something falls through… You can get someone in on the Eurostar from Paris by lunchtime, because there is no paperwork,” says Kampfner. Ensuring access to talent is a priority for CIF, which sits on the government’s migration advisory committee. “The government is aware that the creative industries are much more flexible with how they work than other industries, like the financial sector.”

According to the OECD, labour productivity in the rest of the UK is declining following the Brexit vote and the economy has slowed to 0.3 percent in the second quarter 2017. Brexit could reduce the UK’s GDP by £40 million ($52.7 million) by 2019.

The creative sector is bigger than oil or gas, life sciences and aviation put together,” says Kampfner. “This is the absolute growth engine for the UK economy. Anything that is done that imperils this growth won’t just damage this sector, but it will damage the economic well being of the country at large”

brexit

London Fashion Week

Hey you! As you know, London Fashion Week (LFW) is a clothing trade show that takes place in London twice a year, in February and September. Showcasing over 250 designers to a global audience of influential media and retailers, it is one of the “Big Four” fashion weeks,  along with the New York,  Milan and Paris.

london fashion weekOrganisation

Organised by the British Fashion Council (BFC) for the London Development Agency with help from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, London Fashion Week first took place in October 1983. It currently ranks alongside New York, Paris and Milan as one of the ‘Big Four’ fashion weeks. It presents itself to funders as a trade event that also attracts significant press attention and benefit to taxpayers. It states that it is attended by over 5,000 press and buyers, and has estimated orders of over £100 million. A retail-focused event, London Fashion Week Festival, takes place immediately afterwards at the same venue and is open to the general public.

On-schedule events take place either at the British Fashion Council’s own show space, 180 Strand, or at external locations around central London.

lugar del fashion week

british fashion council

selena gomez, fashion show

London Fashion Week Festival

Following London Fashion Week each season, the 4-day London Fashion Week Festival (LFWF), formerly known as London Fashion Weekend, offers a consumer-orientated fashion week experience.

Held at The Store Studios, 180 The Strand, LFWF allows consumers to shop a curated edit of designer collections at show exclusive prices, sit front row at catwalk shows by London Fashion Week designers, get a head start on the key trends of the coming season and listen to talks by industry experts.

TOM FORD,  one of my favorites!

TOM FORD

I hope you can attend this great event, all brands present and that’s for sure, if you are a fan of fashion, you’re going to love it!

LOGO DE BRANDS

 

 

 

 

VISITOR OYSTER CARD LONDON TOURS

VISITOR OYSTER CARD LONDON TOURS

oyster card

If you’re heading to London, one of the best bits of travel kit you can get is an Oyster card. Similar to Hong Kong’s Octopus card, the Oyster is a prepaid tap-and-go smartcard used on public transport throughout London.

Oyster is a smartcard which can hold pay as you go credit, Travelcard and Bus & Tram Pass season tickets. Use it to travel on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line, River Bus services and most National Rail services in London.

HOW TO BUY AN OYSTER CARD IN LONDON

Oyster cards are for sale at all Tube stations, including Heathrow Airport’s Tube stations – although there’s quite often a queue to buy them at Heathrow.

Although you can’t use Oyster cards on the Heathrow Express, if like most London-bound travellers you take that high-speed train from Heathrow to Paddington you can pick up your Oyster card when you arrive at Paddington Station.

The card itself carries a refundable £5  deposit and can be loaded with up to £90 over the counter or using automated machines which take credit cards and cash.

overground

OYSTER FAQS

WHICH CARD TO BUY?

  • An Oyster card may be the most cost-effective option if you are only visiting for a few days.
  • A 7 Day Travelcard is a good option if you are visiting for a week and only plan to visit central London.
  • You can also use contactless payment, which has both a daily and weekly fare cap. This may work out cheaper than a Travelcard. 
  • A Visitor Oyster card can be delivered to your home before your visit, or Oyster cards can be purchased in all London airports along with stations.
  • Visitor Oyster card holders also enjoy a range of special offers and discounts across the city. 

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF A VISITOR OYSTER CARD VS. A PAPER TRAVELCARD?

A Visitor Oyster card is one of the cheapest ways to pay for single journeys on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services in London.

If you plan to stay in London for a couple of days and make two to four journeys a day, or want to travel to the outskirts of the city, then a Visitor Oyster card may be the cheapest option. It is delivered to your home by post before you arrive in London saving you time when you arrive.

There are a range of great value special offers and discounts available to Visitor Oyster card holders at leading London restaurants, shops and entertainment venues, plus discounts on Thames Clippers river buses and the Emirates Air Line cable car.

If you are in London for a week and plan to travel only in the Central London area (e.g, zones 1 to 2 or zones 1 to 4) on a daily basis then a 7 Day Travelcard may be the most cost-effective option. You can buy a 7 day travel card online from the TFL Visitor Shop.

Alternatively, you could get an Oyster card, which looks a lot like a Visitor Oyster card and is used in the same way. You pay a £5 refundable deposit to get an Oyster card. The advantages of an Oyster card are that you can top up your credit online and add an electronic 7 Day Travelcard onto the card.

You can also get an Oyster card before you arrive in London if you live in the UK.

If you do not live in the UK, you can still get an Oyster card but only when you arrive in London.

You can also pay for your travel with a contactless payment card.

CAN I GET AN OYSTER CARD IN LONDON’S AIRPORTS?

You can get an Oyster card at all London airports.

  • Heathrow London Airport – exit the airport and follow the signs for the Underground. You can buy an Oyster card at the airport Tube station cashier window.
  • Gatwick London Airport – exit through Customs and buy an Oyster card at the Concierge outlets in Gatwick North Terminal or Gatwick South Terminal, at the Skybreak Service Centre in both terminals or at the Gatwick Airport train station.
  • Luton London Airport – buy an Oyster card from National Express at the airport or in the Onward Travel Centre.
  • Stansted London Airport – you can buy Oyster cards at Stansted Airport train station, before continuing your journey into Central London with the Stansted Express.
  • London City Airport – exit the airport and follow the signs for the Underground. You can buy an Oyster card at the airport DLR station cashier window.

Alternatively, you can buy a visitor Oyster card before you visit London. It will be posted to your home address.

 

underground

 

DO I NEED SEPARATE OYSTER CARDS FOR MY CHILDREN?

If your children are 11 years old or older, you will need to buy a Visitor Oyster card, Oyster card or Travelcard ticket for each child. You can get a Young Adult discount (half adult rate) added to a Visitor Oyster card or Oyster card at Heathrow Airport Terminals stations, zone 1 Tube stations and TFL Visitor and Travel Information Centres.  

CAN MORE THAN ONE PERSON SHARE A VISITOR OYSTER CARD WHEN TRAVELLING TOGETHER?

No, adults cannot travel together on a single Visitor Oyster card.

DO I NEED TO BUY A VISITOR OYSTER CARD IF I BUY A 6-DAY LONDON PASS?

If you buy a 6-day London Pass with travel included, you don’t need to buy a Visitor Oyster or Oyster card. If you buy a London Pass without travel included, you will need to buy a Visitor Oyster card Oyster card, or 7 Day Travelcard ticket separately.

ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL OFFERS AND DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE WITH A VISITOR OYSTER CARD?

Yes, Visitor Oyster card holders can enjoy a range of  special offers and discounts at more than 25 leading London restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. In most cases, all you need to do is show your card to take advantage of the offer.

WILL THE VISITOR OYSTER CARD HAVE MY NAME ON IT? AND DO I NEED TO PROVIDE A PASSPORT PHOTO TO BUY A VISITOR OYSTER CARD?

No, this means you can lend your card to family and friends to use when they come to London too.

I AM COMING TO LONDON FOR A LONG WEEKEND. HOW MUCH CREDIT SHOULD I GET FOR MY VISITOR OYSTER CARD?

Visiting London for two days?  Start with £20 credit on your card for unlimited off-peak travel in Central London.

Visiting London for four days? Start with £40 for unlimited travel in Central London.

CAN A VISITOR OYSTER CARD OR OYSTER CARD BE USED IN OTHER CITIES LIKE BATH, EDINBURGH, STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE?

No, it is only eligible for travel on public transport in London.

I AM GOING TO LIVE IN THE UK SOON. WHEN SHOULD I GET AN OYSTER CARD?

If you are moving to live in the UK and are planning on opening a UK bank account, I recommend you buy an Oyster card when you arrive in London.

I hope you have found these very valuable tips about Oyster Card and have answered more than one question of many, if you have some comments, please let me know

 

A Stay at Wood Green… LONDON

sushisamba london.jpg

Parliament

this is london

london eye and big ben

A-hello there! Today’s post is brought to you from the lovely Wood Green, one of my places to stay in London. Since I’ve arrived in London, I have moved three times in four months, if you come to London, prepare to move several times, because what is safe here in London is CHANGE!  In Wood Green (district of North London) you find everything and at the best price, you have a huge Primark for you, can you believe it? Yes PRIMARK, and with only 30 pounds you can buy a new wardrobe!

Since I’m here in London, I was more than ready to make this experience the best of my whole damn life.  I have a lot to share with you, there are a million things to do in London, and I’m sure you would be interested to know everything I do in this wonderful city, what is most needed is TIME!