Lordy Lordy, Look Who is er 136

That headline will work so much better in four years time, but never-mind. One of my favourite London rail stations, Liverpool Street, was opened 136 years ago today. As I already made mention of King’s Cross birthday last year it’s only fair I do the same for Liverpool Street as I use both to travel to the capital.

The station that opened in 1874 was very different to the one that serves North East London and East Anglia now.  Originally it was laid out in an L shape, with a long entrance way just off Liverpool Street, running along what what is now (was it then?) Sun Street Passage.

Liverpool Street Station in 1896
The station in 1896. Source: Wikipedia
Nearly the same view on Google Street View. I don't have a photo that was quite the right angle.

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Dearest England, Happy Anniversary

Three years ago today I boarded an Air Canada flight to Heathrow for the very first time. It was a trip that was both amazing and life changing experience in a couple of ways.

For years before, I had been saying how much I wanted to go to England and of course London in particular. It was one of those things that I thought would never happen. Just something to think and talk about; “if onlys” and “what ifs”. In July 2005 with the help of Mike and Pat I finally put my mind to it and started saving and planning to go to London that following October. To do that meant not spending money on stuff I didn’t really need. Like large quantities of junk food, DVDs, movies and games. I never though I’d be able to so easily give up impulsively buying stuff, but it was pretty simple once I had a goal to reach. And it’s something that I’ve kept up ever since.

Prior to that first trip, I had a mental block with doing anything by myself. I was nervous about going anywhere or doing anything without having someone with me.  To decide to go to London on my own was a pretty big deal. I’d only have Mike with me for a day before he left for Germany. Make this life changing thing number two. I spent nearly three weeks getting around all by myself, and I took to it rather well. I had to toss away any shyness at having to ask where to find something, or how to get somewhere (not that I recall having to do the later, I was just so good at navigating you see ;)).

Coming up from the Underground at Westminster for the very first time.
Coming up from the Underground at Westminster for the very first time.

When the time came to leave, I did not want to go. I felt that I had just gotten into the swing of things and then had to leave. I was determined to go back and see and do more. And I did just that several months later in June 2006. I started saving up as soon as I got back from the first trip. I also started looking at jobs in London online with the hopes of landing one and being able to move across the pond. I felt confident that it was something I could pull off.

Getting a job in London is a tricky endeavor of course, but as we all know I landed a job in Cambridge and the rest of that story is history. It was my first trip three years ago that showed me that I really can pull things together and accomplish something that seemed like a pipe dream to a younger Andrea. You’ll have to forgive the possible self indulgence of this post. I still have a way to go I think with things I want to do, but I sometimes forget what I’ve already done. I think I just did a public service announcement in a round about way. The more you know and all that.

For a trip down memory lane, have a look at the travel blog I set up for my trips in 2005 and 2006.