After 12 hours of catching flights and layovers, I’ve landed in London … And I’ve never felt more alone.
It hit me all of a sudden. I’m in a foreign country without my family, friends, or even acquaintances without an international cell phone plan or even WiFi connection. Traveling alone really makes you think about the support system you take for granted back home.
My luggage gave me the worst strain in my back. The London Heathrow airport is gigantic, which makes a tiny girl like myself feel even more insignificant. I hadn’t been able to sleep during the flights (the view from above the clouds was much too beautiful – I felt as if I would miss out if I even blinked!). I burst through the door of my hotel room in Terminal 4 and collapsed on my bed. All I wanted was to fall asleep.
Even so, I forced myself to shower, freshen up, grab my camera, and explore the city. All by my lonesome.
Luckily, my mentor came to the rescue (as usual). Her best friend happens to be a teacher here and she showed me around. Well, I should say that we explored the city together, as she was new to the city as well. We saw the Tower Bridge and went to a very English pub where I devoured a traditional fish n’ chips meal washed down with a local beer.
As uncomfortable as I felt, I realized that there are worst destinations to be traveling alone in. After all, the locals love tourists (especially once I disclose my Canadian nationality!). I’ve been requested to have my photo taken several time, which was a huge ego boost.
In retrospect, I should have …
1.) Split a hotel room with someone from the SAS Facebook group.
2.) Left Calgary about a week earlier so I have sufficient time to feel accustomed to London.
3.) Brought sweater weather clothes! (London’s weather is even more unpredictable than Calgary’s!)
I can’t wait to see the ship tomorrow, and to make new friends. Spending this much time alone with my thoughts can’t be healthy for an extrovert like me.