• Assunta French

Take That Chance

It's January and I'm living in London it's freezing cold, it's windy and grey, (I never knew winter to be like this). I have a flash back to this time time last year when I was working in paradise on Hayman Island sweating it up in the beautiful sunshine in the Whitsunday's. I am then brought back to reality by what seems to be sunlight and I happen to mention to my friend from back home (who was visiting on a spontaneous trip to London) how I needed my sunglasses and the look she gave me followed by laughter and "you've been living in London too long" and I thought "oh yeah, I do live here" and continued laughing. So, this time last year I was also planning a trip to Europe and move to London with my friend from Hayman Island and with a few months planning we signed up with a Topdeck Tour around Europe where we would camp for 34 days. The thought of camping was not ideal but it's about being out of your comfort zone and building life skills so that's what we did and organised our UK visa's which was a trip to Brisbane and two weeks to receive our passports from Manila because that's apparently where visa's get processed...who would have thought? In the May, just two months, before we left I decided I would book a return ticket and stay working at Hayman Island for another six months to save more money and then move to London. It seemed like a good idea, I was wanting to move away from working in the spa to more of a guest relation position in the hotel and just before we left I handed in my third application for a position of guest experience and I never heard anything back even after recommendations and praise. It was now the End of July and we were boarding our flights to London and were so excited, my friend had decided to stay so she had a few more bags and I was thinking should I just take a risk and move to London? I was not having any luck branching out, is it a sign? We landed 24 hours later and checked into our Hostel to await our Topdeck tour in a few days. The next few days were spent exploring this history ridden city full of architecture and cobbled stones and excitement. My friend was madly applying for jobs and as watching and helping her I thought what have I got to lose? It had been my dream since I was 16 to live in London and I had a visa...there was nothing to loose by putting it out there in the universe and apply for jobs so I started to apply for Spa Reception roles (I wanted more of a guest interaction role). We were maybe a week or so into the trip when I heard from a hotel saying they would like me to attend a group interview, I explained I was on holidays so unfortunately I couldn't but I could do a Skype interview and that's what I managed to organise alongside with our trip leader. My first interview was in Venice and the second was in Budapest....let me tell you it wasn't easy but I was determined to get this job and I wasn't going to let this nasty cold, camping, showering with thongs (flip flops), a camping towel that is basically a shammy but actually so handy, sleeping on a air bed or sleeping bag get in my way. By now, our European adventure had finished and I was back in London and it was Monday (the day I was due to fly out) and I couldn't do it but I also hadn't heard back from the hotel (they said it would be about a week or two) and I no idea what to do. Do I go back to what I know? The familiar? The safe? Or do I take a risk and stay? If I take the risk how do I tell my parents? I don't have enough money (the exchange rate will literally make you cry) Where will I live? Luckily I had another friend to stay with in hostels if I decided to stay. Then I remember the wise words from Ryko (a dear friend from Hayman Island) and he always said "trust in the universe, trust that it has your back, you just need to have faith" and that's what I decided to...I had a credit card if I had to buy a ticket home if it all didn't work out. By that afternoon, I had organised my bank, my flights, gotten a UK mobile number and told my parents that I was staying (who actually reacted a lot better than I was expecting - I had felt so sick thinking of how am I going to tell them) my friend who I would end up staying in a hostel with and I went out for lunch. As we were sitting down I checked my emails and there was an email from the hotel, and in that email they hoped I had a great holiday and would I be free to go in and meet the team. I had no idea what that meant but it sounded promising, so I went in on that Friday in the mean time applying for jobs like a mad man "just in case". I met my now manager and some of the team and I started at orientation the following Monday on the 14th of September and I now am so glad I listened to Ryko. I have now been living in London for four months and still can not believe it, I catch my self on the tube and wonder how I got here. It hasn't been easy by all means. I had the job and a great one at it, the hotel is amazing and a completely different level to what I am or most people would be use to, but when you are trying to learn a new job in a completely different country and living in a hostel for two months...it's not easy. There were days when I wanted to just pack up my bags and leave London, I cried, I had a melt down at the station one morning because I couldn't work out how to put money on my Oyster card ( to be fare it was 5:45am on my way to work with no coffee), I didn't know what I was thinking, I was all by myself, I had been woken up in the middle of the night asking if he could "join me", I had been showering when I realised that the water was having a party around my ankles (noted to self not to use that shower anymore), when showering having to press the button to keep the water running, TESCO was a life saver (3 pound deal anyone?), the daily conversations of "what are you doing here? where are you from?" and (my personal favourite) "you don't sound very Australian". Then there is waking up in the middle of the night because your bed bunk is moving and let me tell you, it wasn't because of me... It may not sound like such a big issue, but after two months of looking for a place to call home, seeing room after room with little or no luck, climbing out of bed and being by your self it starts to take its toll even when you think it wouldn't. I didn't really talk to my family that much I didn't want them to know that I was struggling at 26 turning 27 you kind of think you would have your life more together and don't want that judgement from family. Then finally I found somewhere in Canada Water, it was the quite opposite of what I was looking for but I love it. It's small with two other females (one from Brazil and the other from Italy) and both so lovely and welcoming! I have my own bed, I can cook, do my laundry and do other things and not worry someone is going to steal anything, I have a proper towel, and at then of the day a place to call home! I think now that I'm glad I had those two months in a hostel, it taught me to appreciate the smaller things in life, to not place such a great importance on material things, to be understanding of other people, to be respectful, to be grateful, to always be kind because as you have no idea what other people are going through, that every obstacles allow you to grow, to learn life skills, and that there is always light at the end of the tunnel...you just need to "trust in the universe, trust that it has your back, you just need to have faith".

AF xo

#Chances #Believe #Trust


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