The other day I flew to London from Montreal. A one way ticket into my journey around the world before I properly settle in England. When I arrived at the airport they told me my flight did not exist anymore and in a panic I thought to myself “oh no it’s a sign”. Suddenly, I found myself wondering why I said that and what I meant by it. Why would it be a sign? A sign of what? A negative occurrence had me thinking that my trip was a bad idea. Why is it that when something goes wrong in some way, that everything is thus bad and doomed? I think that perhaps I was questioning my decisions way before I got to the airport. I know for a fact that I have been so excited to travel and move, but that I was also scared to fail, and worried I might not make it. This, in turn, made me look at this glitch in system in a negative light shining on my entire life plan.
The lady at the counter ended up putting me on the last seat of a flight not only going straight to London, rather than stopping in New York on the way, but that departed a couple hours later so I was able to spend some quality time with my parents. Soon, I got to thinking that maybe it’s a sign that I am definitely, meant to be in England, fast tracked, and direct.
When I finally got to London I spent the day there and had a blast as always! Things took a nasty turn when I missed my flight to Portugal that evening. I was in such a state, sitting outside Victoria train station, sitting on my backpack, trying to find cheap flights to Portugal. The prices were, obviously, outrageous. I grabbed the next train to the airport and even asked the airline if they had anything available. Once more, prices were outrageous. I remember thinking: “ok wow, this is really not a good sign. This is not good”. All of a sudden, I got myself sorted and realised that I didn’t even want to leave England in the first place. I mean, Portugal is a beautiful country and I was gutted to let it go, but I would gladly choose England over Portugal, especially in a moment like that.
I promptly bought myself a train ticket to Southampton, the city to which I will be moving, and looked for accommodations during the ride. There being very little available I paid a hefty 400$ for 4 nights. Yup! On top of the back and forth trains that day, and to return, losing a flight, having to book a new one to Madrid from London this time rather than Portugal (and flying to Portugal to catch my original flight was more expensive than just going straight to Madrid). I decided on a distinct change of plans: I was to visit Southampton, make it an investment in my future, do some networking, do some touristing, really get into a groove, and live it to the fullest. So what about my bad sign? Not so bad after all! I got to spend four absolutely amazing days in Southampton, made friends, looked at flats, lined up a couple job options, and went on my merry way to Madrid. I LOVED Southampton, and I promise when I say I would not have had it any other way.
Once I arrived in Madrid, they told us that our luggage had not been brought to Madrid. We all had to fill out forms to provide, our names, addresses and so on. They said they would deliver our bags to wherever we were staying the next day. You must be thinking that this has been the crappiest week of travel eh? Well, you’re not wrong, I’m not used to all this happening, especially not at once. However, as established previously, the first two ended up being great signs yeah? This one, however, was a bit more rough. It was hard to see the good in this one. Well, my dear readers, let me tell you. Silver lining #1: I did not have to carry my backpack that night! Yay! #2: My belongings stayed in London, so I chose to see that as a sign that I belong there and will be just fine when I move. (I am aware that everyone else’s things stayed in London too but you get my drift…)
So you see? It’s all about choices, and also about your situation. When they say “it is what you make it”, that’s what they mean. I had no baggage for 5 days days, I only had very basic back up stuff in my carry on with me, but I managed. Why? Because it was not life or death. It may sound cliché, but they are just things sitting in that bag. I am in no way saying I would choose to lose my luggage, but at least I had my money, my passport, my valuables, my health, and the beautiful city of Madrid!
So folks, not such a pretty first week, but boy oh boy has it given many laughs, a few tears, one or two mini panic attacks, half a pack of baby wipes, and that simply beautiful feeling of “wow, I did it. I made it. What a story. Thank you for having my back Southampton, and thank you Madrid for melting away my troubles as soon as I laid my eyes on you”. And oh, beautiful it is indeed. 🙂
Write you soon,