I made it! Even if it required incredible persuasion to convince the immigration officer that it was not unreasonable to come to England without having an exact plan for how I intended to exit. “I’m going on a trip around the world. For one year. You can’t plan everything that you will do over the course of one year.” He stared back, unimpressed.
An hour later, after many questions and a call to my local friend to verify some of the information I had provided, he finally let me go through, but, not before giving me one last piece of advice: “Next time, be more prepared”. Thank you officer, I’ll pass the message along.
Staying with my aunt in Queens before leaving NYC was perfect. I hang out in Astoria, which is a clean and very happening neighborhood with minimalist bars, underground Indian beauty salons and laundry mats that (not surprisingly) also sell pizza slices.
I have left American soil and the countdown is officially over, but do not fear! The adventure has just begun.