One of the great things about traveling internationally for anything longer than a quick holiday (look, I’m speaking British already!) is the sense of accomplishment – even in a country where there is no language barrier and the cultural differences are relatively minor. Otherwise mundane tasks from your life near home become monumental occasions for celebration in a foreign land.
Look! I grocery shopped! I have brought home food and will not, in fact, starve to death! I figured out how to get a train ticket, get on the tube, and get to the opposite side of London! And then wandered around with a massive bag and a happy/bedraggled/ sufficiently sympathetic look that strangers helped me carry my stuff up stairs and point me in the right direction! None of these would be a big deal near Chicago, but when you’re far away from everyone who looks and feels like home, it matters that you feel whole, planted, and capable.
All this to say that I have arrived! The flight was smooth and thanks to the generosity of so many friends and strangers and family members, I am on my way to the work I so very much want to do. I caught some strange looks for my in flight reading – trading off between Simon Pegg’s “Nerd Do Well” and “The Human Trafficking Assessment Tool” (the March 2009 Mexico edition), but strange looks aren’t foreign to me.
I’m living near a park and about a ten-minute walk from the nearest tube stop, so all should be well there. Still meeting the various housemates and the set up is a quirky rehabbed warehouse, full of artists. Post grocery shopping and a surprise visit with a dear Brit, it’s time to do some more reading, outline my plans for the first chapter of the anti-trafficking curriculum I’m writing, and sleep the jet lag away.