My Bright Green Suitcase


To You,

What I’ve come to realize over the past few weeks is something that truly shouldn’t astound my soul, nor make it feel an odd queezy vibe of unsettled wonderment. Although I find that sometimes the fear of which acknowledgement brings to the table is when you lay out in the most basic of words, unable to skirt around the issue any longer in metaphorical realization but more so giving voice to the words that ring true. In this case, such a thing has occurred due to too much time to actually sit and think about life. My life. The epiphany?

I am a hobo. A nomad. A traveling gypsy who is getting to the point where all of my materialistic possessions will soon have to fit inside my suitcase in order for me to keep them in my grasp.

Okay, perhaps I am not a ‘hobo’, but I am living out of a suitcase. I’ve discovered that ‘living’ for me comes with the package right now of not really having a house. Now, this is not to be confused with ‘a home’ because I have many homes. I have my home in Canada where my ma and puppy dog live, and everytime I head back in that direction I know I’ll be greeted with all things ‘homey’. And I have moments of feeling at home in Indianapolis when I’m able to cook my dude dinner, organize his room without his consent, and even raiding his closet and seeing if he notices. I also consider England and London to be my home when I go and stay with family as they are the homes I visited regularly growing up and I know the routines, the bus routes, train stops, parks and stores, and I never feel like anything but a Londoner when I’m there. And now my brother lives in Oz and even though I’ve yet to hit up that continent/country, it’s still home since family is there and he loves it. So yes, I have the luxury of having many ‘homes’, of feeling ‘at home’ in many places. But there’s just one thing keeping me from feeling settled when I’m at ‘home’.

My fucking suitcase. It’s a beautiful case, bright green with two compartments, wheely wheels and a trustworthy handle. It has served me well in many countries, many trips, and has survived many flights with the sight of that bright green mass of my life’s possessions being chucked along the luggage carousel always bringing a sigh a relief to my soul signaling the culmination of a successful trip. I love this case. To be honest, the fact that this piece of luggage is mine, purchased with my own money brings an ounce of satisfaction to my uneasy mind – maybe this suitcase is my house?

Okay, that was too depressing. Let’s scratch that out. Done. It’s scratched. I scratched it rather than deleting it to make a point that I was once so glum, but bitch slapped myself back into place. Kudos to me.

Here are some photos of my suitcase. Where it sits. In an empty room, out and ready to be replenished with denim, cotton-polyester blends, and wooly goodies.

My suitcase. Tired. Worn out. Slumped over for a rest.

Lovely Canada tag. Nothing says “This chick is a Canuck!” better than a tag with dancing polar bears on it.

I love traveling. It defines me. Some people travel to cross a place off their list, which is still a valid reason for travel. Honestly, I love returning to places I’ve already visited to see if I can connect to a homely vibe in that spot to which I now have a new home. The more homes, the better and then that leaves me with the challenge of being a stranger in a new hideaway and starting from scratch all over again. I dig the idea of couchsurfing, but I’m not a people person. And that’s not to be taken as I hate people or despise dialogue, but more so that I like getting off a plane, train, out of my car and figuring out my path into people’s lives. I’m kind of a loser loner, but the people I’ve met and stay in touch with (sincerely) are good people in life. I’ve known a lot of shit people who I kept in my life much longer than necessary and so I want to connect on a genuine level… I’ve very cautious about this now, and very stand-offish to some but it comes with the territory of being scarred numerous times over.

So yeah. I’m feeling unsettled with being houseless at the moment. Homeless, I will never be, but houseless… that’s another problem. It’s materialistic to some, but I’m a quiet, hide-out quirky lass who sometimes wants a place to create, to think, to unwind. This whole not working, not earning money shit right now is driving me crazy because I want something to do! I NEED something to do! Productive. I got bills man. Bills.

First world problems, am I right? I’m bitching about this whilst punching away at the keys of my MacBook Pro and sipping on my latte.

This isn’t a life problem, it’s just an unsettling vibe for my soul. I am in need of a life and soul re-vamp, it’s just been hard finding the confidence lately in myself to figure that out.

Peace & love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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Welcome to Durham… With a ‘Typical-Victoria’ Twist


Durham City

Durham City

Good evening,

After months of anxiety-ridden anticipation, I have arrived at my destination. And let me assure you, the arrival and departure were filled with all of those month’s worth of anxiety piled into 4 hours. For those of you that do not know my history of travel all too well, this will introduce you to one of my epic tales of near-travel woes. A worthy trip would never be suited for me without one. To start off…

London King’s Cross to Durham Leaving at 12:30PM

My morning kicked off with my computer sounding off its alarm clock around 7:30AM. I awoke, having not slept entirely too much the night before, partially awake since I had not reached that level of deep slumber of which I was craving. Said my goodbyes and an unfamiliar “See you shortly!” to my brother as he left for work, and I made myself some breakie: tea, orange juice, and a bowl of greek yogurt. Clearly not the breakfast of champions seeing as I smoothly drifted into a “painful desire to sleep” mode. This would have been a lovely choice had I not been due to head down the Kensington streets to the bank and then to finally set myself up with a mobile phone. But, alas, I fell asleep at 9AM for a short 30 minutes before forcing myself to awake, finish packing, and head into the city. This pulls us up to 10:30AM. And finally having finished my tasks, I made it back to my brother’s flat… at 11:50AM. Reverting back to the section head of this paragraph, my train was to leave at 30 minutes past noon. In what I consider to be a crazed-hurry, I grabbed my suitcase which must have weighed close to 80lbs, my laptop bag filled with laptop and books, my travel backpack (throw in a ballpark of 40-50lbs), and purse and hauled it out the door. Running and stumbling, I left Kensington Garden Square, and in seconds, madly hailed down a tax. One by one, I threw my bags into the back of the taxi (black cab’s are made for my travel needs – massive interior to fit me and the equivalent of me in luggage variations) and we were off. I look at the time – its 12:01PM. Twenty minutes pass of me sweating, panicking, and feeling rather sick from the exhaustion and lack of solids in my tum. We pull up to King’s Cross train station, my stop. With signs pointing in all different directions, and my mind flying in several others, I run inside. Now, you’re thinking “Oh, arrived with 10 minutes to spare! How nerve-wracking!” Yes, this would be true.. however I arrived with 10 minutes to spare while still having to pick up my ticket from the concierge. I run, hand over identification at 12:26AM, am told “YOU’VE NO TIME TO SIGN THE RECEIPT! RUN FOR IT!” by the ticket assistant, and so as per usual, I followed instruction and ran. Train whistles blowing, announcements of “HURRY THE FUCK UP VICTORIA!!” sounding off on the intercom (actual announcement lost in translation), and me waving down the platform assistants. With new laws of not being allowed to handle travelers’ luggage, no help was provided to me. Piece by piece, I pulled my luggage onto the train – and the automated and timed doors closed. Seconds later, 2 German lasses ran up and experienced what I was very near to experiencing myself – no allowance to board. Breathing heavily, ready to vomit, and sweating like a marathon runner whose jacked up on crack cocaine, I now had to lug my belongings through three First Class carriages with aisles the width of my suitcase to then arrive at my Economy Class carriage. I stowed away my belongings and sat down. I think I frightened some passengers – “Is she going to cry? vomit? pass-out? ever stop perspiring?” All of which I wasn’t quite sure about as well. So I sat, trying to wrap my head around the last hour of my day. Mind you – if I had missed the train, I would have lost my 77 pound sterling seat reservation, and would have had to pay close to 100 quid for another seat later in the day. This translates to a crap ton of U.S dollars (or numerically, around $280) for a one-way three-hour train ride.

So yes – peaceful at last, my extremely fast paced moment of travel was now a moment of laughter.

Yeah. Right. Like it stops there. Two hours into the trip…

Arriving at Durham Station at 3:30PM

As briefly mentioned above, I was extremely exhausted. I sat on the train, checking emails, schedules, playing with my new phone and making accidental phone calls to my mum. And then it happened – my eyelids started to wear heavy. Foreshadowing much? Yes indeedy. I figured, “No harm, no foul. I’ve an hour left on my trip, the little girl opposite me is yelling at full volume, and loud announcements of the series of stops to come is ringing clear every 15 minutes. I’ll just close my eyes to rest them and avoid this lovely nausea that I am experiencing.” So I did. I closed my eyes. And apparently fell into a quick, deep slumber. With the sun in my eyes, I opened them to a barely awake squint to hear the passenger opposite me on his mobile phone. “Yep, we should be there shortly. We’re just about to leave Durham station and will be in Newcastle in about 30 minutes.” No alarm has ever woken me so efficiently and speedily as those words uttered did in that moment. In all literal speaking, I jumped out of my seat, grabbed my purse, laptop bags and two shopping bags at my feet whilst simultaneously scaring the shit out of the man on his phone. I ran down the suitcase-wide aisle looking like a sweaty lass on crack cocaine again, and the look on my face quickly alerted a train worker to say, “YOU HAVE TO GET OFF HERE??!!!!!!!!” And without words, I nodded “YES!!!” at a pace of 20 nods/sec. “WELL YOU HAVE TO GET OFF NOW!!” So like before, I thought “Yeah, these are good words of advice to follow” and I threw my purse and laptop bag onto the platform, hurled my suitcase and backpack off the luggage rack in one full swing and onto the platform, and then my body followed suit as I then launched out the door. And again, not a second later, the doors closed and the train was in motion. As I muttered “Holy shit!” with a good crowd of travelers watching me in disbelief, the ticket collector from the train, a young man, stuck his head out the moving train’s window and hollered, “What happened, eh?!?!! You fell asleep?!” And with a dazed smile, I yelled back “Yes!!!” He laughed and wished me a good/better day. Apparently in Durham they aren’t rule followers, as a train station attendant picked up 2 of my bags, and helped me through the ticket gates.

And so, there you have it. I had arrived in Durham. In a lightning speed leap off a train. Quite an entrance if I do say so myself.

And my attitude was quickly readjusted to a calming revelation as my taxi pulled away from the station and around the bend, and out the window I see the 11th century-built Durham University sitting on a luscious green hill beside the historic cathedral. With the madness of my morning, and the minutes prior to this moment, I audibly gasped at this sight. And the anxiety was gone, and I was in complete wonderment as to the year I have ahead of me in a city of which the likes of it I’ve never lived before. Ecstatic doesn’t begin to describe that moment. But I was most definitely happy 🙂

Welcome to your new home

About 4 minutes in the taxi, we pulled up to my new home on a cul-de-sac street overlooking the Cathedral and University sites. My flat had a vibrant door and brass letter box and knocker. My landlord greeted me, and we went in. Through the door, and down the narrow hallway, I was in my new flat. Clearly very kind, the landlords had purchased me some new items knowing that I was moving from abroad and would have no kitchen ware which was lovely, to say the least. Within an hour of arriving at my Durham home, I ventured into the city.

Cobble stone roads, ancient buildings, and views of a lifetime – this was my new home, and to be honest, it is the place I have always dreamed of living. Small side roads, open pedestrian squares with people sitting and watching those around them, buskers ranging from guitar players, to accordion players, to bag-pipers. Out my window and to the left, I see the cathedral. To the back, and above the back garden, I have another cathedral. I’ve a few photos to start, and they will be added to in grand numbers throughout this year. This place is stunning, and I do hope my poorly snapped photos will lure you to visit me before I depart!

But until then, I shall end with a Good-night, and further updates soon as I head to the University tomorrow for the first day of registration.

Bon nuit!

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Whip ‘n’ Curl


To you,

Today I spent my day re-sorting my luggage scheme (it’s never ending, I tell ya) which pretty much consisted of me re-packing my belongings without having any conscious outlook as to how much each suitcase would weigh since I am not flying to Durham, but taking the overground rail. Yes. I have been in London for a few days now, and what I choose to report to you lovely readers is that of my packing scheme. You thought my London stories would consist of tales of tea on the Thames? Perhaps shopping through Picadilly? Or maybe strolling the streets of markets and chimney sweepers? Think again people – this here is REAL! My apologies, I do promise for postings to get more entertaining, but for now just humour me.

To move on, I am now in west London staying with my mum’s youngest sister which is proving to be another couple of days of me chilling and researching Durham details so that I am the utmost prepared for my arrival and subsequent duties. In a bit of fun, however, I decided to doll myself up a bit before departing Oliver’s (brother) flat.. and.. well.. I’ll let the pics speak for themselves. Rather… rolley if you will.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

A lil’ curly curl. I’ve never had rollers in my hair, and as fun as it was, my hair quickly deflated as it was raining out as I walked from my brother’s flat to the Bayswater tube station. Oh well.

So there you have it – London tales of luggage re-organizing, hair rollers, and Durham prepping. I ain’t sugah coating nothin’. (Actual Londonesque photos to be uploaded shortly. Forgive me people, but this isn’t my tourist town so I kindly forget to do such travel-related things. 🙂 )

Until next time, I bid thee adieu!

Love from, Vic Louise xoxo