My eleventh day has passed in London, and I am not “counting the days” but nearing the end of my initial adjustment.
I know how to walk home from the two nearest “high streets” (what we would call main streets). I can ride the tubes and buses myself and understand the station stops or how to detour if there is service disruption, like what happened yesterday during my trip to the National British Museum:
I now know to check the website for weekend disruptions.
I wake up earlier in the mornings and jog most mornings on the high street or to a nearby park. Then I settle in and read or do more paperwork or research for permanent apartment, job, etc…I still feel like some of these things are happening waaayyy too slowly though.
My bank appointment is tomorrow, which was like the only appointment available in the London area of all January! So hopefully I can open an account, can’t believe it took so long!
I also finally figured out the difference between NI and NHS. I thought they were the same thing and have been going around telling folks that I paid for an NI number online and a card should be coming in the mail to me.
These photos are a courtesy of http://justsomething.co/23-hilarious-photos-of-surprised-animals/
But then I actually called for it last week and applied for it, silly me.
Well, until my first seminar starts on Thursday, I decided to let my hair down just a little, and visit the British Museum. I have tons of photos that I will post separately, but wanted to share the featured image with you all first.
The makeshift wooden cross was the first piece I saw when I entered the museum. It was made from scraps of a boat that carried some Syrian refugees across the Mediterranean. Being a dangerous journey, its easy to see why someone would want a religious icon that would hopefully bring comfort and peace in the rough seas.
Even though I had a more comfortable trip to the U.K with “proper documents”; I’m reminded how lucky I am to be here and able to do this. I certainly did not choose my birthright and could have easily been born on an island in the Caribbean, if my parents weren’t fortunate or determine enough to come to the United States when immigration laws were different. My blue passport is the difference between waiting a couple of weeks for a visa, versus a couple of months, or maybe even a year.
Nonetheless, I feel some homesickness for the things I miss:
- My YMCA back home, where I worked out everyday.
- My normal sized car that always gave me a heart attack when the check engine light comes on.
- My softball mitt.
- My own bed. My own kitchen where I know where everything is, and can whip up a 5 course meal easy.
But then I remember why I decided to move abroad
- Stuck in a rut with my job and career, I didn’t want to make a lateral move
- I moved back home (’nuff said)
- I needed something different, I have a routine there but nothing really keeping me here
- No one keeping me here
- I kept romanticizing the European lifestyle, I just had to see if I can come and live it out.
So in essence, we all come and go because of a dream or to live a better life. And by remembering these decisions, as well as the opportunity I have, it makes me feel determined again.
At least until I read the syllabus last night that contained 96 items that we are expected to read in the short 10 weeks of term.
I’m still fortunate.
Thank you to my readers and followers for sharing your ideas for places to visit and things to do, including solutions for jet lag!
So, have you ever been away from home for an extended period of time? How have you dealt with homesickness? Or even with friends and family members reaching out excessively or “upset” that you left?
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