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Headshot of me with long hair, pink lip stick, light makeup Kara Babcock

Moving preparations

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It is hard to believe, but in less than two weeks I will be moving away from Canada to teach in England. What started as a possibility in January has swiftly become a solid reality. Over the last few weeks I’ve received my visa, received my Ontario College of Teachers certification, and booked my flights to Toronto and London. I also made a somewhat unwise trip to the library, where I acquired enough books that I have to read about 1 per day until I leave—hence the marked increase in frequency of reviews lately.

I leave for Toronto on August 21 at around 3:45 pm. We land a little after 5 pm, and my flight to London–Gatwick airport departs around 10 pm. There’s at least one other teacher going to the same school as I am on this very flight, although I haven’t met her in person yet. I’m planning to meet up with a few of the people I know from the iday who are also flying on that day, albeit with a different airline.

I should arrive at Gatwick around 10:30 am local time on August 22, where someone from Engage Education is picking us up. I’m not sure what my day will be like from there, but eventually I expect to make it to my accommodations in Bury St Edmunds. One of the other teachers on the iday, Jodie, was already working for Engage on a more limited contract. Both she and her husband, Ian, found full-time positions elsewhere in England, so they’ll be looking for a new place to live closer to their schools. Jodie kindly put me in contact with her current roommate, and I have kind of inherited her place! I’ll be living with one other person in a house in Bury St Edmunds, which is about 25–30 minutes away from Thetford by bus. I’ve seen some pictures and am quite excited—plus, it’s nice to have my living arrangements sorted out before I leave.

Last week, my dad and I went hunting for a light suitcase, since the weight restrictions on my luggage are an issue when I’m moving away for so long. We found a nice, black, hard-shell suitcase that weighs around 4 kg. Yesterday I weighed my clothes and toiletries and discovered that I can actually fit everything within about 20 kg, suitcase included. That doesn’t count the ~8 kg of books I want to bring over as a kernel for my classroom library—I’m going to ship those separately. The rest of my rather comforting collection of books will have to stay on this side of the Atlantic, unless I win some kind of book shipping lottery. That would be cool.

Today I picked up the British pounds I ordered from my bank. I also paid a visit to the TbayTel dealer and cancelled my contract, effective September, and switched my phone to a prepaid plan for when I visit at Christmas and in the summer. There isn’t much left to do. Aside from all my reading and the physical act of packing, I just need to clean and tidy and organize everything that isn’t going with me. I also need to rip my DVDs to an external hard drive, so I can bring my small but useful collection of TVs and movies over without the encumbrance of physical media. Slowly, my ties here are dissolving—but not permanently!