Today is a special day in my calendar. On April the 8th 2010 I got on a plane at Auckland airport to Los Angeles to begin my journey to London, my new adopted home. I left with a totally positive attitude, I was naive, young, careless and most of all free to do what I wanted. I had never been to London, I had travelled a little bit through South East Asia but I had never embarked on a journey this big on my own. I left my home, my great job and my family and friends behind without a care or much thought. Everything I was about to experience was new, scary but ultimately a step in the right direction for me.
I had no idea what was in store for me. I thought it would be easy to get a job as a teacher in London. I thought I’d be able to find somewhere to live fairly sharpish and I also thought I’d be earning good money to support myself and lead the travelling lifestyle that I hoped to live. I thought I would be in London for about two years and earn some great money to return back to New Zealand with and well, I thought life would be pretty swell.
Five years later life is pretty swell, actually no, life is bloody brilliant! All of my dreams have come true. I’ve got a job that I enjoy (most of the time). I have a great group of friends who I love dearly and love spending time with here in London. I found myself not only a best friend and travel buddy but an amazing husband who completely dotes on me and looks after me so well. I have travelled more than I ever could imagine and I have a lovely place to call home. I feel completely at home in London and adore this life I have built here.
But with all the highs that have occurred there is always lows. When I first arrived I did relief teaching for 6 months and worked in some horrific schools all over London. I almost gave up because I genuinely couldn’t handle it (and I’m pretty tough) but then I got a call one day for an interview at a school in North London which led me to my current job and my husband. I didn’t have a home to call my own for 6 months, just several couches and pull out sofas from very generous friends and I didn’t have much money at all. But London is a tough place. It’s hard, it’s cold, it’s impatient and it doesn’t hang around for you.
The last five years have been epic! I have backpacked around Europe twice, seen the pyramids twice, been on safari in Tanzania, eaten a shit load of pizza in Italy, seen the Northern lights in Norway, had a hens do in Paris, got married, stayed in a over water villa in the Maldives and so much more! None of this would have been possible had I not taken that giant leap five years ago. Leaving the comforts of home, the financial security and my groups of friends was hard but nothing has been more rewarding.
I honestly don’t know what the next five years will bring and I kind of like that. I don’t have a plan, I can only hope it is as great as the last five years. There is so much to look forward to and I am in no way ready to give up this wonderful lifestyle I lead. I don’t know how long I will stay in the U.K. I don’t know when or if I will ever go back to New Zealand. I don’t know anything at this point other than I know that with my husband by my side and my eagerness to see the world things will work themselves out.
So here’s to the next five years, whatever they will be.