13 September 2017

My First Day Experiences In The UK

THE NIGHT I ARRIVED:

It’s official! I’m typing this post from the United Kingdom!
I’ve been here for a total of two hours and I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t cried yet- and multiple times at that. Home sickness is a bitch. I don’t usually swear on here but special times call for special circumstances. 
Tears have crossed the threshold of my eyelids three times already; I cried once in the South African airport when I said goodbye to my mom, my dad and my sister which ultimately meant that I bawled my way through the security scans and customs. The strange thing about crying in airport queues is that people don't bat an eye lid. There's some kind of mutual understanding about crying and missing people, which I found oddly comforting. I cried a second time when I first spoke to my parents from here. They're more kilometres away than I'd even like to calculate. Out of interest, I sure do want to know the exact number, but not right now, not yet. And now I’m crying again. I don’t think I’m crying exclusively from sadness though,

 I’m also crying due to change; It sort of feels like I have 1001 some-little-some-bigger things that I need to do and buy, like changing the time on all my devices and packing all my clothes away. Another thing that didn't help is this: I ended up at the South African airport with one bag too many- one bag that the airline wanted 250 US Dollars to take on board. At first when I heard '250' I thought "yeah, reasonable'...but I was thinking in Rands, South Africa's currency; 250 South African Rands would have been reasonable. As soon as the lady said 'US Dollars', my ears shot up like a victim hearing it's approaching prey. I cursed the exchange rate and frantically asked as many questions as I could fire out of my mouth. Luckily (and as always), mom stepped in to save the day. Using her magical mommy powers, the fifth bag was halved into the extra plastic bags my thinking-ahead mom had brought with her. I had to sacrifice my pillow, hangers and favourite South African snacks but eventually we made two badly wrapped, ambiguously shaped parcels small enough to fit as hand luggage and take on board.

Another thing which frustrated an already tired and stressful Steph is wire ties (those pesky plastic things you can use instead of locks to close up bags). Well, after lugging up suitcase after suitcase, I arrived in my room (which just so happens to be on the fourth floor) and came to the realisation that I couldn't open my bags; The kitchen had no utensils which meant no knife or scissors and since I couldn't carry anything sharp with me on the airplane, I didn't have any. After another trek down those 4 flights of stairs (which I'm sure you'll come to hear more about in the future) and another uphill battle afterwards, I returned to my bags with a mint-coloured pair of scissors in hand.

Eventually, the demands of my growling stomach got loud enough to force me outside and into the cold- just as a light drizzle started falling. After a lovely walk in the very apt British weather, my brother and I stumbled upon McDonalds which ended up being the dinner of choice. We then passed an Aldi, which is like a food store, and bought some food for breakfast (because that's what I call planning ahead). 

Feeling happier, fuller and brighter but more tired, I made the climb as I had done many, many times before in that day, up the four flights of stairs, unlocked my room and called it a day. At some point I was awoken by crashes of thunder, pangs of lightning and the sound of rain hitting my windows, but instead of crying, I smiled. I guess this was the best way the UK could welcome me. And with that, I rolled over and reached for my pillow-less bed and slept.

Till next time-
Steph

A NOTE OF THANKS
Also, I just wanted to say a MASSIVE thank you to every person who reached out to me and offered me a free pass to 'slide into their DMs at any time' or the people who kindly gave me words of support. You all had a way of making me feel safer and more at home. Thank you!

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this but my twin brother made the move to the UK with me (although his deciding was a lot more last minute than mine). So, I have half my family here (my twin brother, my older sister and me). My sister is currently in Greece but making her way back to the UK at the end of the week. I'm so grateful to have them nearby, too. But, when I was crying my blog family really stepped in and helped me. THANK YOU AGAIN!

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28 comments

  1. Good luck with your moving ! Good if know everything is good for you !
    https://afrenchgirlsthoughts.blogspot.fr

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I've had a few bumps along the way, but mostly its been great!

      Delete
  2. Good luck with everything!! I know how hard it is to move to another country, but it always gets better with time! x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You said it!
      Time has definitely helped.

      Thanks Ariadna.

      Delete
  3. Aww Steph! Everything's going to get better. Just have some faith! It can be really scary and stressful, and it's unfortunate what happened at the airport, but hey, that's what moms are here for right? If we could do it all ourselves, we wouldn't need them xx Stay in touch if you need anything S! x N

    BLOG//Jasmine Loves

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly what mom's are for-and a whole lot more!
      It has been scary and stressful but it's getting better!

      Thanks N!

      Delete
  4. Good luck with everything! I hope it all goes well✨

    ReplyDelete
  5. I might have teared up a little reading this, but then I might just be a little emotional thinking about moving out next week. I'm glad it seems like you're doing okay now, and it's cool you have your brother and sister (well soon) with you, bet it's going to make living here a whole lot easier. Best wishes xx

    Sophie's Spot

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sophie, you're going to do amazingly! It'll take some time to get used to the move, but after that I hope you'll be okay.

      My siblings make the UK feel a lot more like home.

      Thank you, Sophie!

      Delete
  6. Amazing post, Dear!
    I`m following your blog with a great pleasure in Google+
    Follow back? Sunny Eri: beauty experience

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Eri!
      I'm so glad you liked it!

      Delete
  7. It will get better, I promise!! I'm glad your siblings are there with you. Can't wait to read future posts about how you have awesome leg muscles from walking up all those stairs. ;)

    xo

    Bobbi

    http://www.bobbihearts.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I'm doing more walking here than I've probably ever done! I'm definitely going to have leg muscles to show off when summer rolls around!

      Things have already gotten better! Thanks Bobbi!

      Delete
  8. Ahhhh you're finally there! I can't even imagine moving that far away from my parents at 18, SO proud of you and I think you'll look back on this experience and decision and be so happy about it! We're considering a trip to the UK very soon, so we'll be keeping and eye out for your recommendations. You got this girl!

    Susie | http://milehighdreamers.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'M FINALLY HERE!
      Thank you for your constant support! Its been tough- but as you said, I have no doubt I'll look back at this chapter of my life and be so grateful.

      I have a whole list of places that I'm going to explore, suggested by the UK readers of this blog. I hope the recommendations help!

      Delete
  9. I'm very happy you are there and you habe your siblings near, it will make the things better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Siblings are the best! They make the UK feel a bit more like home.
      Thanks C!

      Delete
  10. It's amazing that your twin brother made the move with you, that must be a big comfort! Paying extra for luggage is so annoying, I nearly had to pay 50 quid when I flew back to London because my suitcase was 4 kg too heavy haha. Anyway, welcome to London, I hope you have an amazing time over here xx

    113thingstosay.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It is a MASSIVE comfort!
      Yeah... I've also learnt that airlines are quite unapologetic when it comes to being overweight with luggage.

      Thanks Mira!

      Delete
  11. Been really enjoying reading your posts! I'm sure you will settle in quickly, even though it's hard because you're far from home everyone at uni is feeling out of place. Like you say, the change is huge! I'm not South African but my bf (and his family) are and you can definitely get specialist shops that sell South African food. Even my tiny town has one, so London will have tons! Might help when you're craving treats from home! X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That means so much to me Amber, thank you!
      I've already found a South African shop- and bought some biltong. That shop is definitely like a slice of home away from home; It also helps to have my siblings around!

      Thank you for your lovely comment!

      Delete
  12. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.
    Best Hair Transplant Delhi India

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oohh welcome to the UK!! Homesickness is an absolute bitch at times and it has a nasty habit of creeping up on you when you least expect it, but you will get through it! Last year I moved away too and it was bloody awful at first but it turned out to be the best decision I ever made. Good luck girlie!xx

    Anne // http://www.basifpa-and-did.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. IT'S GOOD TO BE HERE!
      You're right; It does magically sneak up on you!

      Thanks Anne. It's definitely getting easier as time goes by!

      Delete
  14. Good luck with your future life in UK!
    I was seeing myself while I was reading your post. I feel you girl!

    I wish you a lot of awesome moments and acquaintances in UK!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Frertsu!

      So far, England is treating me very well!

      Delete

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