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I don’t read my horoscope anymore, which is very unusual for me. It was always a part of my morning routine — reading about what could possibly happen today and forgetting what it said in about an hour’s time. Now I have no reason to read about what could possibly happen, instead I’m living it.
Last Thursday I landed in Heathrow airport in London to begin my year-long adventure of living and work abroad. The morning I arrived was one of the few days there was snow. However, having left -25C I found the “severe weather delays” (probably -3C) amusing. That was just the beginning of adjusting to London.
I knew the London Underground was a vast transport system, but I had no idea how huge it actually was. With more than 10 different lines that can split into two, catching the tube is very easy but navigating can be a challenge at first.
When walking down the streets of London for the first time, looking to the right helps. Also, like downtown drivers in Toronto, they will not stop and allow you to cross. Look out for traffic is my best advice!
London has a lot more stairs, so I’m hoping to come home much more fit than when I left. Although trekking around the London Underground with heavy luggage can bring a girl to tears, at least I have some great-looking biceps.
One thing is for certain — I am out of my comfort zone. I am away from friends and family and totally reliant upon myself, which can be really frightening and refreshing at the same time. I find myself wanting to pull everything together in record time, but I’m not as fast as I hope to be. Many people my age are in similar positions — job hunting and apartment hunting.
Very simple things we take for granted at home suddenly bubble to the surface — such as knowing good places to eat or shop or have a cup of coffee. Rediscovering all of that from scratch is an adventure.
I do miss home and all the people and things that I’m used to, but while I walk across London Bridge over the Thames River, I can’t help but feel excited about the unknown and what is yet to come.
I realize now why so many young professionals take the plunge and work abroad.