The Little Story of Me Moving to London: Part 2

Posted on 08. Jul, 2010 by in Europe Travel, expat UK

This chapter is the second of the series The Little Story of Me Moving to London – check out Part 1 and Part 3 and the final chapter.

***

I woke up that morning feeling perplexed. I was eager to leave, but a part of me wanted to stay curled up in my bed and never go away. We get so attached to our surroundings, our things, our habits, we don’t realize how hard it is to let go and move on into a totally different life.

Had a small, forced breakfast. Kissed the cat and the dog goodbye. Packed my luggage. Next thing I knew, I was in the car with my dad, on my way to Burlington Airport.

Montreal's streets

It was a bit strange having a look at my neighborhood for one last time, not knowing if everything would stay still while I was gone, if the faces would still be the same one year later. I tried to snap everything I liked about this place so I could hold on to that later on.

Eventually we reached the US border. Once we went cleared the customs, my dad gave me an envelope, which I could tell contained money – lots of it. I asked him how much there was in there, happily surprised by his gesture. “Enough for things to be okay for a little while”, he said. I smiled at him, sincerely. As I safely put the envelope in my backpack, I thought to myself how much I would miss small attentions like this, the constant and secure feeling that there’s a wise person looking after me, no matter what.

The remaining of the journey was pretty silent, not weird or awkward - a silence where you take in the last moments you have, already nostalgic.

You can’t take a picture of this, it’s already gone.

Finally, we arrived at the tiny Burlington Airport. I tried not to think about the inevitable. I made a few jokes, laughed at the ridiculous souvenirs, pointed at funny looking people. I wanted to eat something but I knew nothing would make its way through the knot my stomach was tied into. We walked all over the airport and then reached the point where we couldn’t go any further – it was it. Both my dad and I felt awkward and uneasy, not knowing how to handle this. What is there to say, really? “Enjoy! Send me postcards!” It was heart breaking not having any idea what to do while having so much on my mind. I opened my arms and hugged him really, really tight. That’s all I could think of. He kissed my forehead and rubbed my shoulder. “Take care of yourself, will you”, he said, a bit teary. It was the closest I ever got to my dad, and yet I was about to leave to another continent.

We looked at each other one last time and then I went through the gate, handing in my passport to the officer, holding on tightly to my boyfriend’s hand. It was my only grip from now on. All the times where I doubted my decision, I looked at him and knew I made the right thing.  A lot of people around us said that this adventure was either going to break us, or make us  - I haven’t let go of his hand much since that moment at the airport.

When we finally embarked the plane, the stress started to come over me. I am one transportation-sick passenger and the whole take-off / landing thing was scaring the crap out of me.  Especially on tiny planes like the ones traveling between Burlington and New York. My hands were never more wet than at the take-off of this particular flight. I felt like I couldn’t breathe anymore, wondered about every cracking sound - until the plane was so high I could see the Adirondacks from up above, then my mind completely switched states. I was hooked (if only I knew I would fly over the Alps a couple of months later!).

Sunrise from the plane

The flight was smooth and easy. Luckily. I’m not sure I would have boarded a giant transatlantic plane if the first flight hadn’t been nice. We hanged around LGA while we waited for the second leg of our journey. And then it was time for the real thing. The giant plane with the lovely attendants in funny looking outfits. We jokingly argued for the window seat - it was in vain, he knew he didn’t stand a chance. I made myself comfortable with what would be my environment for the next hours - I hysterically laughed when I found the “Feel-Better Bag“. I was a bit disappointed to see we had a shared television, meaning it was a single movie for the whole audience.  After a while, the sun rose, above the clouds. It was magical. It’s like entering into a new day makes the goal so much closer. Shortly after the end of the last movie, we were served a yummy breakfast, which I ate with appetite. Only to realize a couple of minutes later that maybe it hadn’t been such a good idea, considering the weather. Sure, the sunrise is nice from up above but approaching British soil comes with clouds - lots of them. And that’s when I learned that clouds usually rhymes with turbulence, which I knew my stomach, full with the yummy breakfast,  wouldn’t be able to deal with.

I didn’t exactly appreciate that last part of the flight. That “Feel-Better Bag” took its revenge on me with its most harmful tool: its  purpose, which ironically, did not make me feel better at all. The lovely flight attendant handed me a small dental kit - which I was very glad to use.

Unfortunately I still felt light-headed and dizzy after clearing the customs - which meant riding the tube with four luggage was out of question. I walked outside the airport, on a mission to find fresh air, mission that obviously failed.  Fresh air at an airport? You might as well try to find Wally. I eventually managed to stand balanced on my two feet, smiled at my boyfriend and said: “Ok, let’s go“.

We grabbed all of our four luggage, bought our Oyster Card and hopped on the Tube. Direction: Southwark.

 

You might also like:

  1. The Little Story of Me Moving to London: Part 1
  2. London’s Oyster Cards, Explained
  3. My 10 Favourite Things About London
  4. 5 Reasons Why I Love London Double Decker Bus

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6 Responses to “The Little Story of Me Moving to London: Part 2”

  1. Alexandre Léveillé

    09. Jul, 2010

    I love you :-)

    Reply to this comment
  2. Tara

    20. Jul, 2010

    I love this post. I too am looking to make a big move at this point in my life, but it is really scary. I can relate to the attachment to all of the things that you mentioned. Are you still there or are you telling the story in retrospect?

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      20. Jul, 2010

      Unfortunately, this is a retrospect. How I wish I could tell you I was still there! I could go on and on about that but that rambling will be for another chapter of the story. Thanks for your comment, I’m glad you could relate to it.

      Stay tuned! ;)

      Reply to this comment

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  2. The Little Story of Me Moving to London: Part 1 « Eurotrip Tips - January 10, 2011

    [...] This chapter is the first of the series The Little Story of Me Moving to London - check out Part 2 here. [...]

  3. The Little Story of Me Moving to London: Part 3 « Eurotrip Tips - February 6, 2011

    [...] This chapter is the third of the series The Little Story of Me Moving to London – check out Part 1 and Part 2. [...]

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