In my previous post I talked about the stresses of preparing for my year abroad, and how I in particular was stressed because I was still waiting on my Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to arrive so that I could Go to London to go get my Visa ( as I took a risk and Booked my flights before my COE had arrived you can read about that and the stresses of getting ready here) but thankfully, my risk paid off and my COE Arrived, I squealed loudly when It was confirmed it had arrived and all my family celebrated, because after all this time, and these years of study, it was finally becoming Real, my last hurdle was to get my Visa ( and well to actually pack, but that is another story) and so I headed off on the train proudly towards london. Still a little bit anxious, still filled a little with doubt, what if it went wrong, what if my Visa got rejected, these were still legitimate fears that I held. but onwards I went, the words of Dr Seuss in my head:
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
I was bought a copy of Oh the Places you will go when I started uni, and it will be coming with me to Japan. When I feel the pressure is too much, or a little home sick I read this book and it reminds me that I can do this even when I reach a slump.
Arriving in London was a whirlwind, I met my Friend at Oxford Circus, and we traveled onwards together to the Japanese Embassy, Your not allowed to take photo’s inside but here is a little photo of the sign outside of the Embassy
as you enter the embassy you are met by a security guard who will ask you why you are visiting the embassy, I told them I was applying for a Visa, showed them my passport then had my bag xrayed and had to go through a metal detector and then up the stairs to the waiting room, it reminded me a little bit of being in an airport, but the building and the decor was much fancier, I took a ticket from the machine, and waited to be seen, it didn’t take long, within ten minutes, my number was called up, and I went into the room, where desks stood, It reminded me of a bank with all the workers on the other side of protective glass. I passed through my documents, and Visa application form. The man checked them over and then told me to return in 4 days and gave me a passport retrieval form. It felt strange leaving my Passport behind as if I had left behind an important part of myself.
I had four days to wait and it was going to be cheaper to stay in london that travel back home and then take another trip to london again, so I stayed in a hostel, a magical place that all travelers know. this would be my first experience of staying in a hostel so I was afraid. Of course I had heard all the horror stories, Things stolen, what if i was kidnapped or someone tried to do things to me while I was sleeping. but these fears were far fetched, the girls I spent the next few nights with were lovely, some only there for a night others there longer, each night a new cast of people, a new cast of friends. I had a wonderful experience. each day going out into London alone. something a few years ago I would have been too afraid to do. I explored the museums, The Tate modern, the V and A the Science museum, I walked from London Bridge to tower bridge, went shopping and explored all the sites, turning this trip from something bureaucratic into a mini holiday before my biggest adventure yet. Japan. you can check out some of the things that I got up to in my Vlog
Below. ( If you want to check out my YouTube channel my username is EmiDot you can get to it from this link here don’t forget to like and Subscribe :) )
The days passed quickly and soon I found myself saying goodbye to the hostel. I checked out and headed towards the Embassy. I Hadn’t even had breakfast yet, I was far too nervous! I got to the door and was once again met by the security guard. I went through the same procedure, Bag Xray and metal detector before taking a ticket and waiting to be called through. being so early in the morning there wasn’t anyone else waiting and a meer 10 seconds after getting my ticket my number was called up and I went through to collect my Passport. I handed over my form and my passport was retrieved, the man at the desk opened the pass port to show me that I had been granted the visa and explain everything that it said, I Paid the admin fee and Left.
I Had done it.
The Last hurdle was out of my way.
I would be going to Japan.
All that there was left for me to do was fly.
This is it everyone, I will be going to Japan. It all starts here.