Hello my lovely readers! I know it has been practically forever since I last wrote but there has been a lot going on as I finished up with my job in Canada and prepared to move to the UK. For those of you who don’t know, I have a Working Holiday Visa to the UK which allows me to live and work anywhere in the UK (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales). It has been an exciting and a scary process as I had never been this far from home (though I have lived away before) and had never been on a plane. But now the now pre-process is complete and the adventure is under way. I arrived in London at Gatwick airport the morning of October 16 after an all night flight with only a few hours of sleep.
After a bunch of boring walking and customs stuff, next up was the train ride. The ride itself – uneventful. Little bit of scenery but I was very tired and just glad to not be carrying my bags. Now, getting on and off he train was another matter entirely. When they say “Mind the Gap” they mean it. There is quite a gap! Not a problem if you’re just walking on. Something more of an issue if you have luggage as well as a bag in your arms. And oh yeah, you’re a bit worried the door might close on you. Yes, you heard it hear, fun times . Overall train experience: little bit stressful but good.
Now on to operation “Let’s catch the bus.” First I had to get out of the train station – by dragging my luggage down the stairs. Lovely. Next up, go through the ticket gate. No problem, I had already done this once before, right? Wrong. Same basic premise so that wasn’t the problem. The problem came when I moved through the gate and had it close on my luggage. I had to put the bag down on the ground and drag it through that way. I mean seriously!? You are a train station that services an airport and you don’t allow enough time to get through the gate? bah!
If that wasn’t enough fun on wheels, the next task involved buying an Oyster card, putting money on it (both tasks that are done at the newsstand and not the ticket counter as it turns out) and then finding the correct bus to take me to the Hostel. Now, I already knew that there was a bus that would take me pretty much right there and that it departed from stop F. But could I find stop F? No. Of course not. Because it couldn’t have been one of the ones right in front of the station. Nope. Long story short, I picked a different stop that went to the same place but took a bit longer to get there. And I already knew where to get on that one.
I arrived at the stop right in front of the Hostel, figured out how to cross the road without getting run over (easier said than done as it turns out) and checked into the Hostel. A kind soul helped me cart my bag up one level to the rooms (yep, you guessed it, more stairs) where I got cleaned up, settled in a bit and then checked in with home. After a brief nap I did a bit of exploring and then early to bed. All in all, I would say it was a very successful arrival day.
As I type this, I am currently at the end of my London Adventure: Day Two, and I have plenty more to tell you. But all of that, and more, will need to wait for, you guessed it, another day.
Life’s an Adventure!