Whoa, the airports in England look exactly the same as the ones everywhere else.
I don't think I appreciated the reality of the situation until I was actually on board the plane and hovering somewhere over the North Atlantic. Even while I was packing up my stuff to go, it felt like I was just going away for a little vacation. Stop by Rome, check it out for a bit, have some pizza and pasta, then come back to what was comfortable and familiar. But once I boarded the plane and felt it take off, I realized that there was no turning back. I was going to be living for four and half months in an unfamiliar place inhabited by unfamiliar people whose language I couldn't even speak. Now, a similar realization would probably bring anticipation and excitement, but back then I was a little afraid.
I had to transfer flights from London
to Rome. Everyone there still spoke English, but everything still felt a little different from back home, as if I was in a twilight zone kind of world. I remember riding a bus to a different terminal and feeling a surge of fear whenever the driver made a turn, because he drove on the "wrong" side of the street and I constantly expected to be pummeled by oncoming traffic.