When it comes to finding your way around, it can be a little tricky at times. When you are overseas the places, things and systems that you are used to are all slightly different, or non existent and at times it can leave you a little bewildered or confused. This has been particularly true of my school experience in the UK so far. I thought I had asked enough questions, and done the right research, however, not being able to see the ‘bigger picture’ until I arrived here, I couldn’t have realised that I was going into one of the worst performing and behaving schools in East Sussex.
On the 30th of June, Pete and I will celebrate our 6 month anniversary of being expats. Unlike most people who go to live in the UK, we are not neck deep in other Aussies and Kiwis on the same adventure. Out here in East Sussex, we are something of an anomaly. Just the other day a waitress at our local restaurant asked if we knew Olivia, because she was also Australian. Apparently being few and far between also means you stick together. Unfortunately in our case, no.
It's February. The days are longer, the sun is peeking out from behind the clouds and if you're lucky you can go out with just a coat, minus the gloves and beanie that January dictates.
30 minutes to Battle
Sometimes smart phones are smarter than you and sometimes they are just ironic. Knowing I like history and knowing the area I was going to live in, my British pal Gary had told me that to see the site of the battle of Hastings, I'd need to visit the town of Battle and not the town of Hastings. Thinking this would be fun, I Googled Battle to work out which trains I might need to catch to get there. Holding this search dear, my phone keeps telling me '30 Minutes to Battle' every morning when I leave to work. I thought it was quite fitting, as settling in in a new country can seem like a bit of a battle sometimes!
I'm old school. I'll admit it. I love letters in the mail, postcards and paper airplane tickets. There was just something impressive and important about air travel when you had to hand over that precious carbon copy document in order to be allowed on board. When you paid the travel agent the required sum of money, it felt that you were exchanging it for something a bit special, something important, something that you must definitely not lose. There was no reprinting, or flashing your mobile phone, if you wanted to depart this country for another, that ticket was the only thing that was going to get you there.
As a tourism student, I spent many hours learning how to manually complete carbon copy tickets for planes and for buses and whilst I love how accessible travel is and all of the improvements modern technology brings, a paper ticket just seems to make it feel all that much more real to me.