I waltzed off the plane at Heathrow starry eyed and ready for life to start. I expected my world to immediately transform into something vivid and dazzling, like a living Pinterest quote, ready for the excitement that only foreign places can bring. But that day I found myself tucked away in a tiny, isolating flat, in an unfamiliar and claustrophobic part of town, and upon discovery of a sweet and loving note my mom had hidden in my luggage, I plummeted into an unmanageable pool of anxiety. It's the ugly side of travel, the side so quickly glossed over on Instagram and Facebook. The glamour of a fresh and exciting life melts quickly away with the pangs of homesickness, or with the wildly obvious epiphany that, oh hello!, I've moved to a new country and don't know anyone.
So I won't pretend it's been entirely blissful, but I can say that I'm finding my feet. My three weeks in London have been dizzying, something I wasn't prepared for, but my fear of a static life drives me onward, far outweighing my temporary stress. This apprehension is slowly fading, and so, armed with tea, curiosity, and a constant stream of communication with friends back home, I'm starting to realize that I'm alright, and very soon, I'll be better than alright.