July 2017 was an intense month.
I was nearing the end of the school year and I didn’t know what I was going to do next year. To say I was panicking was a bit of an understatement.
Just to drive it home, the school year was ending for us on the 14th of July and as of the 7th, I still had no job lined up. Even worse, the agency I was working for paid me by the day so from the 14th, I would have no income. I was living incredibly frugally.
The agency had set up a Skype interview with the wrong school but failed to set up other interviews on Skype (I couldn’t exactly spend hundred of pounds to travel to interviews and they weren’t willing to pay for me). I was so fed up with the lack of contact and response to my queries that I spent about an hour on the morning of July 1st (Canada Day!) applying to two new agencies closer to London. One of these agencies was Hourglass Education and they got back to me on the 3rd (Monday). By Tuesday, I had an interview set up for the 10th. The school was willing to put me up in a hotel on the Sunday night so I wouldn’t have to take a National Express bus at 3AM (cheapest way to travel). And by the 10th, I had a job.
Note: I looked back through my emails to get the dates right and seeing the email outlining what the interview would be like gave me nerves all over again, even though I already have the job. What’s up with that?
So, I had a job and would be leaving my daily rate position in 4 days. I wouldn’t have any income for two and a half months! Boy, did I eat a lot of ham sandwiches. And thank goodness for my dad being able to help out because the struggle was really real.
Anyway, I now had a few weeks to figure out a place to live (my rental agreement was done on the 31st of July) and to figure out how to actually get my stuff from Derbyshire to Essex.
I found a room for £400 per month in a house owned by a nice woman and her dog along with another tenant. The room was small, but it was close to work and seemed like it was in a nice area. Plus, dog.
Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to move in until the 9th of August. So my plan was to store my stuff at the property and stay at a hostel in London. Sure, it’d be costly but it wouldn’t be too bad and there would be a lot to occupy my days. However, my family didn’t like that idea and reached out to family friends to help. I have a compulsive inability to ask for help when needed (no matter how desperate I am), so it’s good that others stepped in.
I ended up staying in a spare room in the house of a couple who would be visiting my grandparents at the time, so I never actually met them, but was thankful even if it wasn’t my cup of tea (old house that was too cramped for my liking — and the fireplace smell stuck to my clothes for weeks). I managed to save money and got to explore a really old part of Essex. Also was able to make my way down to the coast one day for relatively cheap (I interviewed at a Tesco close to where I’d be living for a part time position so bought an Essex day pass for £8 and wanted to make the most of it).
I spent a lot of the time between the 1st and 8th of August walking everywhere. Like, I like walking but Jesus…
But wait, how did I get down there?
I looked into moving company costs and laughed myself away from the websites. Instead, I decided to rent a car and Tetris everything I owned into the car. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to drive manual so had to shell out a few more pounds for an automatic (£91.60 for a DAY plus £11ish for insurance protection… just in case. If anything happened, I’d only have to pay £100 regardless of how extensive the damage was. Seeing as it was my first time driving in the UK, I thought that I may as well).
It was legit so easy to drive on the opposite side of the road. Did I try to put the car in drive with my right hand? Yes. But I sorted myself out and packed the car full.
I put my GPS on and the Hamilton soundtrack for my 3 hour drive to Essex and only took a wrong turn once. It was dead easy. Even stopped halfway through at a truck stop.
The plan was to get to the family friend’s place and drop off essentials then drive an hour to where I’d be living from the 9th in order to drop off my non-essentials.
When I got to the family friend street, I found the house number and drove a little past in order to turn around. Well.
I turned onto a street bordered by a lovely brick wall into which I smashed the car’s driver side mirror. Excellent. And with 2 minutes left in my drive. Insert self-loathing here. But hey, thank God for that extra insurance, eh?
I taped the mirror back on and got on with my day, returning the car in the morning and wondering just how cheap ham was in Essex because that was another £100 gone.
On the 9th, I took a bus to my destination. You know in the UK how it rains a lot? And how a lot of the time, it’s that weak-ass rain? Well, on August 9th, 2017 in Essex, no weak-ass rain was to be found. The rain soaked my and my belongings through. I was so desperate to get out of it that I took the wrong bus. My bus was late and although they went to the same place, the bus I took was a significantly longer ride. I had to switch buses at one point (in the rain) and then my landlady was nice enough to pick me up before I had to take the third bus.
Then I just chilled and explored until work started in September.
So, to sum up: moving from Derbyshire to Essex was both a hassle and a lovely adventure. And I might try driving again at some point.