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.