I embarked on my first solo trip to Europe, I am a huge Harry Potter fan so I chose London. I remember when I told my mom, she was so nervous. It’s one thing to travel all over the US for work but to go to a completely different country where I didn’t know a single person, that was a little terrifying for her.
I went with no itinerary, the only thing I booked was the hostel I was staying at, to try to give my poor mother some sort of peace of mind, but when I mentioned hostel, I think that probably made things worse.
I flew into Heathrow, which is one of the largest airports I’ve ever been to & followed the signs for the “Heathrow Express”, a train that takes you into Central London. I could have taken the “tube” (subway) into the city which would have cost about a fraction of what I paid for the train but taken twice as long. While waiting, I met a nice Irishman on the platform who gave me some tips for what to do during my visit. I was trying terribly hard not to smile, I’m a sucker for an English or Irish accent (any accent for that matter) & it didn’t hurt that he was in fact rather handsome.
After parting ways, I made it onto the train, exhausted from the flight, I had flown all night & been up roughly about 24 hours but I was running on adrenaline and just overwhelmed with emotion to finally be there. I got off at my stop with my backpack, suitcase & a local map in hand trying to find my way to the hostel so I could drop my bags off & explore the city. I walked around lost for about 45 minutes, by this point my feet were killing me, note to others, wear comfy sneakers or flats when traveling, save the fancy boots for a night on the town. I turned around, looked up from my map to realize I was staring at Big Ben. I stood frozen for what felt like an eternity & then I lost it. Tears streamed down my face, I just knew that in that moment, that’s exactly where I needed to be.
I was there for a total of three full days, I saw The London Eye, House of Parliament, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Square, Chinatown, Canarby Street, London Aquarium, I had (several) pints with locals, took the Tube all on my own without (much) help, came across some beautiful cafes & met some amazing strangers in my hostel – some that were traveling through there to get to their next destination & some who were also traveling solo in search of something. To this day, it is still one of my most memorable trips.
I will never forget that feeling. I went through all sorts of emotions, nervous, anxious, excited, happy, you name it, I experienced it – I felt fufilled, THIS was the reason I became a Flight Attendant, to see the world.
Today is my birthday, a new year to celebrate my life & I’m making a promise to myself :
* I promise to say YES to New Adventures.
* I promise to say NO to what no longer serves me.
* I promise to continue to push myself & step out of my comfort zone.
* I promise to drink all the coffee.
This is my journey in keeping these promises.