I tell ya, that feeling I had on the plane coming into Heathrow when I moved to London by myself at 26, was one part terror ‘OH MY GOD what have I DONE?!’ and one part euphoria ‘OH MY GOD look what I’ve DONE!!’ (Insert ‘jet-lagged & bloodshot’ smiley face here). I may have had a rogue tear escaping down my face while looking out at the grey London sky and the endless rows of depressing brown houses which I would soon come to love. I realised at that moment I was completely alone in a massive city; literally on the other side of the world from everything that I knew and called home.
Well, I tell a little fib. I wasn’t completely alone. I was in contact with a girl I kind of knew in high school and had seen around our hometown a little bit. We met for brunch once a couple days after I arrived and then she promptly up and left back to NZ 2 weeks later. Sooooo I was kinda all alone.
I headed for the lovely 14 bed mixed dorm I’d be staying at for a week. That was uhhh, shall we say character building? Luckily the other newbies who’d just moved to London that I met through Britbound, were also at the same hostel. Good ol Clink 78 in King’s Cross, ahh memories…
After that it was a kiwi share house for 2 weeks just to give myself a break from the hostel, because when people come in at 3am and start rustling plastic bags like they’re making music, it starts to feel like God’s testing you. Then it was another share house in my ‘dream’ part of town, Camden. But that soon turned into what would be some people’s idea of a nightmare. My first night cooking dinner I had some extra housemates I wasn’t aware of join me – 3 big brown rats. One perched on the rubbish bin, the others running across the floor, waiting to see if I’d share.
So then it was onto South Kensington to a long term hostel. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d SHARE A ROOM with 2 others for FOUR MONTHS! (Again, here’s where that character building bit comes in ya see. But hey it was cheap, and my friends were there too).
UNTIL I finally found a dream flat with my new Canadian buddy Laurel and our soon to be new English buddy Aimee! (International friends are like Pokémon to me – Gotta catch em all!)
And there I stayed happily ever after. Until I got kicked out of the country.
If you’re still here, thanks for reading!
Check out Part 2 here: