|In front of the Tower Bridge in London last summer|
I’m moving to London tomorrow. I can’t believe this day has come.
I have a one-way ticket to join Liebling in the UK. I leave Friday evening and arrive at London’s Gatwick airport on Saturday morning. I have truly become the queen of overnight long-haul flights- this will be my third in less than two weeks.
Always the procrastinator, I still haven’t packed anything. I am daunted by the fact that I am only allowed to bring one 23 kilo (50 lb) suitcase with me on the plane. I am shipping the rest of my personal effects and it may be months before I see them again, so I am aware that I need to choose very carefully what I bring with me now. I have spent the last few days trying on things in my closet, testing out their viability/practicality/level of style for what promises to be a long, wet winter in London.
I think that once I get to London I will sleep for the next 100 years. The break-neck pace of the last three months has been taxing.I alternated between being a teacher, student, tourist,and back again, straddling hemispheres and suffering divergent time zones as I vaulted between Asia and the Americas. I studied and partied on opposite ends of the United States. I came home to Toronto.Then I travelled and studied in Guatemala, Honduras, and Chile.
I need a good rest, but wont allow myself to stop moving. I miss teaching. I want to get back in the classroom. So the job hunt begins as soon as I touch down in the UK.
And then, there are people to meet and things to see in London. I can’t wait to explore all the options and opportunities that such a large, vibrant city can/will/should afford. And all this from our new, centrally located London flat.
For anyone keeping score, this is my fifth move abroad. I moved to France for a year two separate times, worked in Mexico for a year, and just spent two years in Hong Kong.
As a little girl growing up in Canada, I never dreamt this would be my life.
But now that it is… I can’t believe I never set foot outside of North America until the age of 21.
I feel like I’ve been on the road forever.
Because now I can’t separate what was “just a hobby” from who I am.
Because being on the road/exploring/voyaging/touristing is me.
I love the sensation of living abroad, the taste, the smell, the confusion, the triumph, the
disappointment, the newness, and I am indelibly marked by this lifestyle, just like Hester was marked by the scarlet letter.
I am Oneika… the Traveller. London, bring it on.
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