Travel Stories

Beginning the Year in UK

2019 flew me across the pond to England. My first time in England and I had a housesit with the perfect Homeowner for a first timer. Belinda picked me up at Gatwick airport and my first mistake….went to the “wrong side” of the car to get in, not drive! Ok, I was just awake on a plane full of families with children that didn’t sleep for 8 hours. Arriving in the morning enables you to acclimate to the time change quickly. We took a quick tour of Dorking, the closest town to the home where I would be staying, a quick hit of the ATM and then a pop in to the Vodaphone store for a sim card so my phone became british very swiftly. Then a quick run through the market and off to the house. A converted barn that was truly wonderful, warm and homey. Belinda had arranged for friends and a neighbor to come by so that I could meet them should I need them whilst she was away, very nice and fun people, I was already loving the Brits! Next, the kitties, two sisters that had totally different personalities from each other. By 3:00 I was done, off to bed for a nap which became an all nighter! Awaking the next morning to the most beautiful green field with pheasant and sheep. The homeowners had left in the wee hours and at this point I could have been anywhere sitting.

Housesitting can become a very lonely existence unless you make yourself get dressed and venture outdoors. And don’t worry, there is always someone there to help.

So, a walk up the road, winding and lined with a 4 foot hedge (just like you see on TV) I arrived at the main road and bus stop. A bus ride is becoming a favorite thing for me to acclimate myself to the area and interact with the people. At the market to get provisions, a woman behind be kept looking at me as though I should know her, well I should, she was the neighbor I had just met (after the 8 hour overseas flight). She reintroduced herself and just like that I had a ride back to the house with my bags of groceries!

During one of our conversations the homeowner mentioned that she and her family had gone into London to see Hamilton (the story of an american founding father done in a rap musical with an update to the interpretation of history) well my mind started plotting and planning. So after a bit of investigation on google and a justification for a self imposed birthday gift, I had tickets! Much to easy; train to london, cross the street to the theatre, center stage lower level and I was a happy American!

There was also a meetup in London with fellow housesitters that I had met in Mexico, Andrew & Christopher. We met at the Victoria Station (yes, found each other very quickly) and toured Westminster Abbey. Truly amazing! The Abbey and those two Aussies!

The kitties where amusing companions, always on the hunt for field mice to bring me which at times proved exhausting! But they were such great girls to be with that I have a return sit in August! As well as the homeowner being such a delight!

Next, a train ride to Hove…..

1 thought on “Beginning the Year in UK”

  1. Just found this. Great to read of your first adventures in the UK and also get a mention. Love our meet-ups with you.

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