My arrival to the UK

Just before going through security
Just before going through security

After spending a year almost to the day back in Canada, it was time for me to move on. This time on my own. I received my visa and booked my flights. New adventures awaited me! My favourite thing in life is never knowing what the future holds. Most people find it scary. To be honest so do I from time to time. But I mostly like knowing that everything is possible and that I’ll make sure to get the most out of every situation.

My parents came to the airport in Quebec City, and I was so focused on my new adventure, that I even forgot to turn around and wave goodbye as I walked through security. The short flight from Quebec to Montreal was quite a rocky ride and when we landed we got stuck for about 30 minutes on the runway because of a thunderstorm. My connecting flight was delayed as well and when they called for our flight, everybody was packed around the gate anxious to miss their plane or lose their spot if they were not right in front of the gate… The staff tried their best to be quick, but with the number of travellers not listening the whole process of getting on the plane was very slow and inefficient.

Last picture with my parents for a while
Last picture with my parents for a while

It’s not easy leaving everything and everyone behind. I almost felt bad for not feeling that sad about my decision yet. I thought I would cry in the plane, but no tears were shed yet. It took me up until my 1st flight to start realizing what I have decided to do. But as soon as the stress came out, it vanished almost entirely. It is different through to wait in an airport by myself. I haven’t done that since my first trip, but it is all coming back to me. I know I have to trust myself and my instincts. I do feel it might take me a while to get accustomed to having nobody to share the discoveries or experiences with. When I feel like that, I have to remind myself that being alone is my choice and if I don’t want to be alone anymore, I just have to strike up a conversation. And if it sounds overly simple, it’s because it is! Most people are happy to have a chat, be it either in hostels, restaurants, trains and even park benches.

My longer flight across the pond and my arrival in the UK were pretty smooth. The lady at the customs desk seemed a little rough on the edges, so as usual I saw this as a challenge to make her smile. She asked me the regular questions; where I was from, what my plan was for the UK and I told her about my job interview in Perth. She wished me luck and stamped my visa. I told her to have a nice day, and with a bright smile she let me go. Mission accomplished!

After the custom, I grabbed my bag, bought a coffee and tried to figure out what kind of underground ticket I should buy. With the many options such as Oyster Pass, daily pass or single ticket, it can quickly become confusing and overwhelming. I finally opted for the Oyster Card, putting the minimum in £5+£5 deposit. I got off at Hammersmith stop and easily found the hostel right on the other side of the street.

Check-in was only at 2 pm so I put my bag in a locker and went for a walk. I found a Whole Food store where I bought hummus, crackers, and peanut butter. Right after the supermarket, I found Hyde Park. I sat on a bench and did some people watching. Two ladies from Koweit sat beside me and we had a nice chat. There were a lot of Londoners in Hyde Park on a sunny spring Sunday. Lots of families with young children picnicking.

After enjoying Hyde Park for a while, I went for a walk towards Victoria Station. Back at the hostel, I looked at the menu at the bar, and couldn’t find a vegetarian option except nachos. I did a quick Google search and found an Indian restaurant with vegan meals. I hungrily walked over there, making quite an entrance when pulling the clearly-marked push door. The food was good but I was starting to feel quite lonely, so remembering my new resolution, I went back to the hostel with my leftovers and struck up a conversation with the Aussie and Irish guys from my dorm. And this was the end of my first day on English soil.

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