London, England

London, England

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone talks about London, England? Grey.
You couldn’t be more right. It’s just that, grey.
But in its grey and rainy coating lies history and character.
My first visit back in March 2012 stretched over a 24 hour layover. Arriving in the small town of Gatwick where I could stretch my arms from side to side and touch both sides of the road, to a short train trip into London.
Besides squealing with excitement, I remember thinking “grand, this city is grand”. You could just smell royalty!

Walking through London Victoria Station was surreal. I’d never seen so many people jogging in all different directions. It’s a wonder no collisions have been reported.

Hyde Park next to Westminster, much different by comparison to others I’ve walked through was so well maintained. Luscious greens, perfectly trimmed grass, bouquets of flowers oozing with glorious colours. And the lawn chairs? Were they bolted to the ground because where I’m from they wouldn’t last long enough for someone to take a picture.

My first real fish and chips lunch with a pint of beer. The sizes were enormous! Was this normal? I tried to be discreet and check out the situations at other nearby tables. Later, I realized that when ordering a beer in the UK one must ask for ‘half pint’ otherwise you end up with a fish owl.

And just like that it was over. I returned home from my first real taste of what my future will look like.

Aside from the exhaustion, slight jet lag, and not enough words in my vocabulary to describe what I was feeling I was the happiest girl in the world! And I couldn’t wait to get back on that plane to another adventure.

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Taking it back … 345 days earlier

I got the call! My heart was beating a thousand miles a minute. Nervous, shaking, sweaty palms and with a dry mouth I managed to get through what I thought would be the worst part: an unexpected dreaded phone interview. This was then followed by a day filled with faces I was sure to never see again, names that flew by me and disappeared into thin air.  A day started with introductions, interviews and testing, divided by eliminations and ending with thank you’s and a uniform fitting.

One of the most exhilarating days that I could ever remember. By the end I was sure I had it in the bag, but I tried to be modest and kept quiet. After all, the greatest disappointment would have been a rejection.

Two weeks later I was en route to my month long training course. A room-mate, 5:30am wake-up calls, a hotel filled with eager and competitive trainees, kraft dinner and sandwiches and an intensive 21 day in class course.

Adrenaline was pumping on high.

After numerous sleepless nights, vivid horror dreams, delusional days, I GRADUATED!! This was not just any graduation, this was one I’ve wanted for years. One of my biggest achievements, one of my proudest moments.

They told us, “this training you may not remember after all, but the people you meet here, the people you spend all your days with … will become some of your closest friends”

They were right about one thing, I did meet some amazing people!

This is where my adventure started… keep reading for my exciting journeys …