August 11, 2015
So here I am, just over a week away from my big move to London. Why? Well, even I’m trying to figure out the answer to that… I ask myself that question at least twenty times a day, and that’s only a small portion of what goes through my head. Most of it actually sounds something like, “What the heck are you thinking? Are you crazy? Insane? Do you need professional help?” I know what you’re thinking.. “You’ve lived in France for a year, this should be nothing new to you.” Oh, but it is… When I moved to France, I was an immature 18-year-old who was going through a depression and wanted to rebel and leave everything behind. I didn’t care what anyone thought, and I think I found satisfaction by rubbing it in everyone’s faces. Now, (I’d like to think) I’m a mature 25-year-old who somewhat has her life figured out, and has family and friends who love her. Plus I’m happy! So why am I leaving everything I know, everything and everyone I love, to move to the other side of the world?! I’ll let you know the answer once I figure it out…
I’ve been packing up my stuff for the past 3-4 weeks and while I’ve made quite a bit of progress, I still have a long way to go! For those of you who don’t know, I have to get everything packed whether I’m taking it with me or not. Everything I’m not taking is going into storage and therefore, all that should be left in my room is furniture (side note: This didn’t end up being successful…). After filling up seven large containers from Ikea, I finally went to Walmart and found the biggest (121L) containers I could find. But amidst all of this packing, I’m still working at Mi Hong every day AND everyone I know seems to want to meet up. All of a sudden. For once in my life, I know what it feels like to be popular! And it’s actually pretty stressful; I really don’t think I could handle it on a daily basis. The thought, “Why do I have so many friends?!” has crossed my mind multiple times, I’m not going to lie… Seriously though, I go through the past year hardly hearing from or seeing anyone (I admit, I’m part to blame for this one). Maaybe getting one text each week if I’m lucky. Pooosssibly meeting up with one friend each month if I’m really lucky. And then all of a sudden, people are texting me, facebook messaging me, phoning me and I’m writing plan after plan in my daytimer. Yes, my daytimer. I have three separate meetings with friends tomorrow alone, which of course has to fit around my work schedule. So not only is being popular stressful, but it’s also extremely expensive! I’ve gone out for at least one meal every day this week. I mean, I should be saving up for London but how is that even possible when food is thrown into the mix? I guess I’ve kind of thrown this upon myself, as I love food. And I much prefer one-on-one visits as opposed to just having a big get-together with everyone I know. It just takes a lot more time, dedication and money! SO I’ve decided that if this situation ever occurs again, I’m just meeting up with friends parent/teacher-interview-style. Example: Set aside two or three days (preferably my last weekend) when these “interviews” take place. Send around forms with 1-hour periods from 8am to 10pm, where friends can sign up for a slot. Pick a coffee shop and just sit there all day, waiting for my interviewees to arrive at their chosen times. Less travel time, less running around, less trying to fit people in, etc. I think it could work! However I probably shouldn’t complain cause I’d much rather have too many visits and spend too much money than leave for London feeling like nobody loves me :-p
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August 21, 2015
So here I am, already in London, sitting in a cafe, eating a panini, drinking a macchiato, and trying SO HARD to keep myself awake until at least 10pm. Right now, it’s 4:15… I arrived in London this morning at 9:30 in the morning, which is 2:30am Saskatoon time. Somehow I’m pulling an all-nighter in the middle of the day and my body is hating me for it! And because I’m tired and hungry and can’t find wi-fi ANYWHERE (even at my own hostel), I’m just feeling really bitter. Which is my usual feeling about a place when I’m jetlagged and have just arrived. It’ll wear off, I’m sure. But sorry if this post seems really negative. Let’s rewind a little bit… The last week before my trip was filled with some of the most stressful days I’ve endured in awhile. Originally, my plan was to stay with a friend in London until I found a flat of my own. But due to unforeseen circumstances, she wasn’t able to house me anymore. Which was fine – I figured I could combine staying at hostels and couchsurfing. My only concern was carrying around my bags from place to place, which would never work. Even though I’ve done this whole travelling thing many times before, this was the first time I didn’t have a permanent place to go to. And I think that made me feel uneasy, which made me need plan A, plan B, plan C, and sometimes a plan D in order to make sure everything worked out. And when I was putting those plans together during my last week in Canada, I felt like I couldn’t even figure out a plan A! No place to stay, no place to leave my bags, no responses from couch surfers, no responses from flat owners, etc. And on top of that, the dollar plummeted, so the pound ended up being 2.08 of the dollar. Meaning all the hours I put in at my two jobs during the past 6 months were being cut in half (and then some!). Anyway, enough about all the negatives. My flight was relatively easy. Far less emotional.. I remember when I moved to France and cried the majority of the way there, while the person beside me probably thought I was a crazy person. This time around, I shed no tears until I watched Age of Adaline and **SPOILER ALERT** [she had to put her dog down.]** And then I thought of Zipper and bawled my eyes out. Of course, this had to be during dinner so once again, the guy next to me was probably wondering, “why is this crazy person so upset about the chicken dinner?” Other than that, the flight was good! Originally, I thought I could handle carrying my bags with me because I was only planning to bring one suitcase so I could avoid the $100 fee for an extra bag. Of course, that didn’t end up happening so I had two 50-pound suitcases, a backpack, and a purse (which may as well just be a suitcase). And while this is nothing new to me, I’m not as energetic as I was seven years ago. Being in your mid-twenties is tough! Luckily, my friend agreed to store my suitcases until I find a place so now I’m backpacking it for the next week and a half! After I dropped my bags off (thanks to the taxi that was supplied by my agency), I made my way to my hostel. But for the arrival at this hostel, you were supposed to call the office as soon as you got there so someone could meet up with you in order to check you in. Which I’ve never had to do in my history of hosteling. And it’s very difficult to do when you don’t have a phone! So I sat there on the front step for around 30-45 minutes until someone finally walked into the hostel and I asked to use their phone. And then I waited for another 20-30 minutes until someone brought me a key. And that’s how I ended up in this cafe, since I hadn’t eaten all day and it was already 4pm by the time I got moved in!
My plans for my first few days in London are to:
A) Get a bank account. Unfortunately, in order to get a bank account, you need an address. And guess what you need in order to get an address? If you guessed bank account, you’re 100% correct. So that should go smoothly…
B) Get a cell phone. Preferably with a data plan so I don’t have to run around looking for the nearest McDonald’s and Starbucks in order to steal their wifi. Not sure if I need a bank account/address for this?
C) Find a flat so I can hopefully move in by September 1st. That gives me just over ten days.
Not being able to find wifi makes the above tasks kind of impossible. So I’m HOPING I’ll run into it somewhere. It’s probably my old-school iPod that’s causing me problems, really… But if you’re reading this post, I guess I finally found some! 🙂
Can’t Stop Now – Keane