Monthly Archives: September 2012

Hey England, I’ll be there in 7 hours. You still picking me up from the airport?

Where I have been? What have I been up too? Well…


My best friend Joey and I arrived in London at the Heathrow airport at around 11am, managed to get past immigration customs, and found our bags.

We were set… until we couldn’t decide to take a taxi, train or “the tube” into the centre of London (where my friend Danielle awaited our arrival).

We found the way to the tube (aka our “subway”) and took 30 mins to find Danielle just right outside of Harrod’s. If you don’t know what Harrod’s is… 1) Google it or 2) I can only describe it as the largest department store I have ever seen with almost everything and anything. So many floors from Fashion, to a Deli, to a pet store, to a candy shop. London is the only location where Harrod’s is located, so if you visit London, I suggest you check it out; mega cool.

(I will write a separate blog on my entire trip to London, just
because London, itself, had so much to see and talk about.)

Once we met Danielle near Harrod’s, we walked to her aunt’s place where we would eventually be staying for 3 days and 2 nights. Danielle’s aunt’s place was this beautiful flat in a very ritzy area. It was gorgeous and I was so thankful Joey and I were able to stay there for the days we were in London.

The first day we were in London, we decided to go to the Camdin Market, which was crazy cool. Lots of neat places to shop, eat and enjoy the british culture. The weather was extremely sunny and hot out; a hot summers day really.

Afterwards, we took a long-overdue nap and had Indian food for dinner. It was delicious.

We decided that for our first night in London, we would hit the club areas, meet some new friends (british friends, that is) and ultimately have a good night. It was indeed a good
(and crazy) night.


Categories: Blog, Canada, England, London, Night Life, United Kingdom | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hey Leeds, I Just met you & this is crazy! Where did the time go, you stole it maybe?

Officially moving to Leeds has been officially exhausting & time-consuming. Honestly, I have no idea where the past 5 days have went.

Every day that I’ve been here, I’ve left my residence early in the morning, hit the city centre (which may I add, is breathtaking) and exploring, shopping and trying to keep in contact with my parents and friends back home. I literally just got my phone working tonight, and for the past 3 days have had no contact with the outside world, beyond the limited free wifi that was available at the local starbucks.

Now that my friend Joey has left and finally settling in, I’ll be posting about my trip to London, as well as the long, yet exciting journey to Leeds. The adventure only begins there as I spent most of my nights in Leeds going out with friends and meeting up with some british people; the best brits I know this far.

I think I’m going to like it here.

Cheers for now!

Categories: Blog, England, Leeds, London, United Kingdom | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All Aboard! Next Stop. London, England.

If I could offer any sort of advice when it comes to moving away for a year, or just traveling in general… It would be to NOT PACK THE DAY BEFORE. Kinda obvious. However, not so obvious for this guy. I’m a last-minute kind of guy.

I had everything EVERYWHERE; All in neat, organized piles… just not packed into my luggage’s. Another piece fo advice when packing would be to buy SPACE BAGS. Basically they are these vacuum sealed bags (kinda like big Ziploc bags) that literally suck out all the air and unused and unnecessary space in your luggage’s. My friend Savannah mentioned to me over a Skype call and I thank her for doing so. They are a HUGE space saver, and in my case, life savour, as they made a lot more room available for more stuff to cram.

Overall, packing was fun. The stress of worrying about million other things, not so much. Along with packing, I had to make sure I had all the proper documentation ready for the UK agency border when I would finally land in the UK, as well as all my clothes, toiletries, electronics, electronic cords, power converters, and the list goes on and on.

My mother and her fiance drove me and my best friend Joey (who is accompanying me as well as traveling with me for the next week or so) to the Ottawa Airport. We went out for a very dinner, and came to realize that it would be my very last meal in Canada for a long time.

On the way to the airport, I met up with my dad who drove me the rest of the way in his mustang, for one last time… until next summer, of course. When we got to the airport, emotions and tears were in the air…port. As I had to say goodbye to my parents for one last time, things started to get emotional. We took some pictures before I left to catch my flight and said our farewells. Since I won’t be coming home for Christmas, this would be the last time they will see me until I flew back home next June.

Goodbyes, hugs, and kisses were given right before I entered the security gates leaving my parents behind. I know they’re happy & excited for me, but seeing there only child move away to another country for 9 months would be tough. I’m not an hour drive away anymore (how far my uni was from home), I’m literally a 7 hour flight away.

All in all, it was tough, but had to be done. It doesn’t even feel like I’m going to be gone for 9 months; it just feels like a trip. Get on an airplane and travel the UK for a bit, and come home…but things won’t be like that. I’ll be living in a whole different country for a long time, by my self, with nothing but Skype and Facebook to keep in contact with family & friends back home. I’m super excited, but I know it’ll be tough.

This journey will allow me to grow as an independent individual, and encounter a whole new experience that I would have never had if I didn’t apply for this school exchange.

As of now, I am currently waiting my airplane to start boarding passengers, and I can’t wait to begin a whole new life, in a whole new country.

Categories: Blog, Canada, England, Leeds, London, United Kingdom | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

This Isn’t Goodbye, Just Farewell For Now.

Passport – Check!

Student Visa – Check!

Awful Fake British Accent – Check!

Fitting My Life Into Two Luggages – Work in progress…

Excited & Nervous At The Same Time – CHECK!

What a long strange trip it’s been… and yet,
I haven’t left Canada to start this long strange (more like AH-MAZING) trip.

What I mean by a long strange trip is the long strange process that has taken place in order for me to go across the pond and visit The Queen.

I have been planning to go on a study abroad exchange for over a year now. However, I didn’t know I wanted to spend a full school year in England until last February. My choices were limited to study abroad seeing as how I am a Film & Media Studies major; my choices were mainly England or Singapore. As a result of me being a red-head and unable to stay out in the sun past 15 mins without burning, as well as the fact that I can’t bare the hot, humid summer weather (even in Canada), I decided England was my best bet.

After getting accepted into the exchange program, excitement and stress filled the air. Was I going to be able to afford traveling to another country, let alone live there for approximately 9 months? How will I adapt to the culture? How could I leave my friends and family for almost a whole year? What do I have to do to let me into their country? WHY IS THERE SO MUCH PLANNING INVOLVED?!

With course enrolment, getting a Student Visa application completed and sending it away, as well as figuring out health, dental & travel insurance, along with bank inquiries, visas, phone contracts, and unable to afford to come home for christmas… I almost didn’t survive the summer of planning, obstacles & emails after emails. The list goes on and on…

However, I know it will all pay off. I’m going to be living in a whole different country for almost a year; experiencing, learning and traveling a part of the world I have yet to explore. This will be a year to remember.

It is currently the night before my flight from Ottawa to Heathrow (London), and only have 24 hours to pack my life into two strict, size-dimensioned suitcases and say farewell to my loved ones. I will be sad to leave them behind, but I know that this won’t be our last goodbye; just a farewell for now.

Here is a quote I was sent as a farewell and beautiful way to send me on my way: “Twenty years from now you will be more discouraged by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

Categories: Blog, Canada, England, London | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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