Monday January 2nd, 2012
I am sitting here on my bed with lots of lists and papers and documents spread all around me. I feel like I have so much to continue planning, but I already need a break. I am leaving my home, my family and my friends here in Canada in just 10 days for a “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” kind of adventure to the United Kingdom. London, England, more precisely.
Throughout the past few months that I’ve been gearing up for this move, I’ve had a lot of people giving me advice that I have been trying to process and store in my mind. I feel like I’ve heard everything possible about London; it’s dangerous as hell, the men are seedy, it isn’t any more dangerous than other major metropolitan cities, I’ll have a blast, that all my things might be stolen, it feels colder than Canada…
Now, I know almost all of these tidbits from people will be things I have to learn on my own. I am hoping to be as proactive as possible and take any of these extreme warnings with a grain of salt, because otherwise I might be too scared to really try anything for myself. And let me be honest, I really am scared to death that I won’t have fun, or be able to adapt to life there, or that I will have all of my things stolen. However, I don’t want these forewarnings from people to scare me too much right away. Right now I am looking at the projected weather temperatures for tomorrow, and I must say, London’s wet 12* Celsius is looking pretty appealing next to Ottawa’s biting -16*. I understand that it is a different type of cold, but I am hard-pressed to believe that at 30 degrees warmer, London’s cold will be the end of me. So at least as far as toughing out the weather, I think I’ll be fine. I can only hope this will be true for all of the other warnings or “what-ifs” I’ve received.
I’ve been trying to prepare myself as best I can for this adventure, but even still, I feel like I am lagging behind. No, I don’t yet have a job or permanent residence. I don’t have a gaggle of friends to help me adapt easier, I haven’t been reading the BBC and I don’t have as firm as grasp on the British political status as I’d like. I do have all of my paperwork together, I’ve updated my CV and I have an idea of what I need to do once I land though, so I think anything else I do accomplish before I leave will be an added bonus.
I am really not one for resolutions, so much as I believe in striving to make changes—particularly within your own mind and attitude—in order to work towards a happier life. I think this should be apart of our everyday goals, as well as year-round achievements to hit. It just so happens that some upcoming changes for me are happening now at the start of a new year.
So what do I hope to accomplish, in my adventures? I picked the United Kingdom as my home base while in Europe because I want to experience a different way of life, without it being too extreme of a change. I don’t think I could ever pick up and go to a country where English isn’t spoken, for example. Furthermore, London is a great city I’ve had the privilege of visiting before, and I really don’t think I’ll get bored there. It is also one of the better places to be for traveling around Europe from, so I hope to see quite a few more cities in the coming months. Yes, it is expensive but when will I ever have this sort of opportunity again? I am young and without any responsibility, really, and I want something new. I’d like some stories to tell, a camera full of pictures and this blog as my record of these memories I hope to make.
I know this experience will be overwhelming and daunting at times. I know I am going to be lonely and homesick. I hope nothing horrible beyond that happens, of course, but in all I hope that my moving to London for a period of time will help me grow as a person. As it stands, I think despite the tough times that will get me down, this will be one of the best things I will ever do.
In closing of this first post, I want to explain my use of this blog a little more. I hope to share it with friends and family to give them an idea of my life, through my words, pictures, and videos I hope to include. I also want to use it as a record for myself, so while it will be primarily to share my life, it might also be somewhat reflective of my thoughts as well.