So here I am, a little over 3 months living in London, moving over here from Canada. This was something I’d always dreamed of doing, but never thought it would even happen… at least not without winning the lottery or something!
Moving over here without really knowing anyone has been the biggest challenge of my life, and at times I wonder what the hell I was thinking!
The rest of the time I keep kicking myself in the ass for not doing this sooner!!!!
I admit, moving to another country, regardless of what country you’re moving too, is not an easy task. It can be stressful, annoying, crazy, scary and pretty much any other emotion that can get your heart pounding so fast you’d almost think you were about to have a heart attack.
But once you’ve done it, even if it’s a country where they speak the same language as you (regardless of the accent), you get this feeling of euphoria and empowerment. You come to realize that there’s nothing that truly stop you from whatever your heart desires.
Surprisingly, I arranged this move fairly smartly, with TONS of help from my family (especially Dad). For those that don’t know the story, I sat down to think August 2007 about where I’d truly love to live. At the time, I had been living in Montreal for over 7 years and needed a chance of scenery.
Upon reflection, I’d decided I really didn’t want to live in Toronto (sorry guys… totally pales in comparison to Montreal), Ottawa, or Vancouver, but I had always wanted to live in London, or anywhere in Europe for that matter. I thought about it for a few days before emailing my Dad, who was born and raised in London before moving to Canada about 40 years or so ago. I simply asked him what I would need to do if I decided I wanted to move to London. He took that simple inquiry and ran with it…
Next thing I knew, we were applying for long-form birth certificates, passports, and looking at flights to London. I don’t remember when I made the actual decision to move here, but I do remember realizing it was actually happening… and almost chickening out. Several times.
Long story short, I spent the next 9 months doing research online into life in London (nothing like the brochures… and that’s a good thing!), flights, accomodation, transportation, and saving as much cash as I could. The money came in real handy, as it allowed me to not work the first month I was here, but too bad it wasn’t enough to last forever, as I eventually did have to find a job.
Of course, just like any other well laid out plan, things didn’t go as I’d originally wanted. My original arrival date was supposed to be around the first week or so of July, with me leaving Montreal at the end of June (with a bit of time left in between to spend with family, obviously). Due to delays with my British Passport (that’s right, baby… I’ve got dual citizenship!), I still left Montreal as planned, only to go stay with family in my home town for the entire summer.
That definitely wasn’t in the plan… but it turned out to be a great thing. It allowed me more than sufficient time to spent with some of my family (the rest, well, just didn’t seem interested…), and it allowed me time to de-stress from my job in Montreal while lazing around my sister and brother-in-law’s house. I spent the summer doing nothing more than playing with my little nephew, surfing the internet, smoking way too many cigarettes, and playing around on my bro-in-law’s XBox 360. Oh, and spending 2 weeks at my parent’s trailer on Lake Ontario…. still got a bit of that tan left.
Anyway (so much for a short story), my passport eventually came in and things got really real for me. All of a sudden it was time to actually get things going after it had been in a holding pattern for way too long. Talk about a complete freak out! That night I drank my face off, smoked about a half pack of cigs, and eventually puked my guts out, thinking. “OMFG, I’m moving to LONDON!!!!!”.
With two days of getting the passport and realizing I actually had to do this crazy, f’d up thing, I had secured myself a temporary place to live in somewhat Central London, had changed over a large chunk of my cash into British Pounds, and had my flight booked thanks to my parental units…. and I was actually leaving in about 2 weeks!!! What a roller-coaster.
During that last two weeks, I think I freaked out about a million times, and almost backed out daily, but I stayed the course. I was about to do something most people could only dream of, let alone actually do. I was moving to one the most magnificent and historic cities in the world… all by myself. Talk about scary.
But I’m so glad I’ve done it. I’ve been enjoying London immensely. Guess I’m writing about that next….