As I boarded my United Airlines flight from Denver to Newark on 04 September 2014, I looked out the window at my beautiful home for the last time in a long while. Colorado is one of those places where you are literally blessed with everything. We have the beautiful and majestic Rocky Mountains about a 30-minute drive from Denver, a thriving city life in the bustling downtown, and quiet country living in the outskirts of the city. In the wintertime, we ran to Colorado Ski and Golf and bought ourselves seasonal ski/snowboard passes, and cooed over the rad snowboots or the extremely fetching gloves. Our daily wardrobes consisted of beanies, oversized sweaters, leggings and those ridiculous Ugg boots. Denver is a place where culture, beer and snow met. And yet, I was choosing to leave it.
As much as I loved Denver, I needed a massive change. I was struggling. My family relationships were very difficult, and I was feeling so out of place, even at home. Work was so hard on me. I would drive at least an hour, one way, in traffic, to a job where I didn’t really feel appreciated, work at least 8 hours (usually 10) and then drive home in order to go to crash into my bed and do it again the next morning. I was constantly stressed, gained so much weight and just felt so unhealthy and unhappy. This went on for years. While I lived in one of the most beautiful places in the country, I didn’t get much time or have much energy to really appreciate it. When I had the opportunity at work to apply for a job in England, I didn’t have any hesitation. I had always wanted to live in Europe again (I had studied abroad during my college years in Alicante, Spain, but that’s a topic for another story), and my career absolutely needed a jolt in the right direction. So when news came from Hull that I had gotten the job, well, it was a no-brainer. I packed my suitcases and got my passport ready for departure!
The airplane was quite comfortable, which came as a surprise to me. Flying United Airlines wasn’t always a pleasant experience for me in the past. After a layover in Newark, I boarded my plane to London Heathrow. On this occasion, I was sitting next to a woman and her two little boys. “Oh great…” I thought to myself. I was not going to get any sleep next to these two little time bombs. But surprisingly, these two little boys were the most well behaved children I had ever laid my eyes on. How lucky was I? Not a single peep came from them the entire 8 hours, even though the youngest was a little over a year old.
Even though the children didn’t keep me up, my brain certainly did. The entire flight, I had so many thoughts milling about in my head. Did I make the right decision? Was I a complete idiot to go? How can I possibly survive on my own in a foreign country without my parents? What kind of dog owner was I that I could leave my beloved mutt behind? So many questions were starting to sprout in places where I didn’t have them before. I hadn’t doubted my decision, not until I sat on that plane flying off to the unknown.
My long flight concluded safely, as most flights do. After grabbing my carry on, struggling to exit the plane, made it through customs (which was seriously such a stressful experience) I came outside. Thankfully I had a familiar face waiting to pick me up and take me to my new city (my friend Johnny was stationed with the US military in the UK). This made my transition a little smoother, just knowing that someone else had gone through the same experience as I.
Where I was going next, I really didn’t know, apart from a hotel called the Mercure in Hull. That would be my home for the next two weeks, and that was where I had to go.