The Great Pond Jump 2008 - Where to settle?
Montreal Travel Blog› entry 4 of 6 › view all entries
It is 10:11 am on Wednesday, October 31st 2007...17 hours and 11 minutes since I've been back home in Canada (details of my AMAZING UK & Ireland trip forthcoming). Words can't really describe the anguish I feel, having left London and the rolling green hills of England behind for what I call a "7 month working holiday" in Canada. 7 months till I can return to my real home in England, for they say "home is where the heart is" and my heart is definitely out there amidst the mists of Avalon, the ancient forests with its gnarly trees, the rolling hills and fresh air of the countryside, the bustling energy of the cities and the unforgettable feeling of the "old world". I definitely feel the loss of being there, as if a part of me is missing and still back in England even though my body is sitting at my desk in the office and typing away on this keyboard. I know it'll feel like this until I am back there and I will just have to live with this feeling of loss until I return.
I feel like I am less of myself here. When I was traveling, I was FREE and happy and filled with a sense of wonder and adventure. I was REALLY living! I didn't have to hide. I could be me, passionate, adventurous, on-the-go, quirky, fun. It was fabulously liberating. The first week of my trip was CRAZY as I was jumping from one place to another and going all out. What fun! Sure it was exhuasting at times, but it was so exciting pushing myself to the limits and beyond my comfort zone. Here. Well, I am back in the Grind...and making plans for the next 7 months to prepare for my pond jump.
When I was over in London, my childhood friend Erin and I were talking about my big pond jump. We're both really excited about it as I will be fulfilling a dream and she will have a Canadian friend over the pond with her. She and I have known eachother since primary school and it is quite amazing that we had gotten back in touch after years apart. She asked me on the very same day that I had arrived if I was interested in being her flatmate when I move over. Am I interested? What kind of question is that? Of course I am! The question of where to settle is always on my mind but having her propose finding a flat together really just solidified my plans and made things much easier to plan.
London seemed like a logical choice in terms of work prospects. It was always my number one choice in terms of moving. I had done some research and there seemed to be a great deal of design jobs available with salaries ranging from 20-32k a year, definitely a salary I could live comfortably on. Work, save, and travel when I can. I originally planned on finding a flat in the same neighbourhood as Erin, East Dulwich, because it's such a nice place to be and it's in Zone 2, very very close to the city centre. If I couldn't find my own small flat, I'd flatshare and end up meeting new people as I would likely flatshare with complete strangers. But, I was hoping to find my own place as it's nice to have privacy and Mom and Dad are planning on visiting a lot so having my own space would be much more accomodating to visitors.
However, visiting Edinburgh, Dublin, and Glastonbury this past trip, I started to wonder if I could settle elsewhere. I can easily see myself living in all of those places but each would take me in a different direction. Life might not be as "easy" as in London. I might have to find any sort of work to make ends meet. I might not be able to travel as much. I'd know people in all of those places so socializing wouldn't be too bad. My main concern would be work and now that I might only be able to work 1 year out of two, I'd have to consider my options wisely. I don't know how, but I WILL find a way to stay so I have to keep acquiring a work permit from a company in mind. It's funny. I'm not even there yet and already I'm afraid to leave. It doesn't help that circumstances will likely make me lose 6 months on my visa.
All of these options make planning very difficult. What are my priorities? What are my goals? Fun? Dublin and Edinburgh lifestyles would be filled with fun. Travel? A good salary could fund travel and a good salary means I'd be looking for a design job. This means London. No doubt. Living my spirituality? This would definitely mean settling in Glastonbury and the job prospects would be slimmer. I'd have to find any sort of work and consider freelancing to get by. That work situation would make it less likely of obtaining a work permit from a company and after my visa runs out, I'd have to leave. So many choices...so many paths.
I've been thinking about it ever since I spoke to Erin and her offer to be flatmates does make my decision easier. If I want to push to find a way to stay, I really do need to get a good design job and find a niche that makes my skill sets valuable. I think I have a good portfolio, great experience and a well-rounded aptitudes. I believe I have good chances. Settling in London makes the job hunt so much easier and the decent salary will mean I can save to travel later on. Erin, being a Londoner already, can easily look for a multiple room flat (there are a few other girls who might be moving in as well) and just living with a friend will be so much fun!
I'll build a solid foundation first and then see where life takes me. Maybe I will end up in Edinburgh or Dublin or Glastonbury later, but what matters first is that I focus on one goal and try to get there first instead of drowning in all the options. Work first. There will be plenty of time for play later.