Travelling is an important part of one’s life. The purpose is not only leisure, but also to be a part of learning process through new information, about the places and culture, and our observations. This is what my dad says all the time and thank God I got a father like him, otherwise I have seen dads who do not give travelling much thought, and think it as a waste of time and money as they don’t usually want to acknowledge the fact that they don’t have time for their families and recreation.
Last summer vacations, I had promised myself I would go somewhere. Although there were a lot of options within Pakistan and I would have loved to travel around my country but when I asked my dad, he told me he was not free and nor was my brother those days and I could not go alone. All my excitement came crashing down, but then seeing my face, my dad suggested I could go to England because I could have fun there as well as meet my relatives living there.
At first, the prospect of going alone made me reluctant to go but then the excitement of visiting a new place, took over. The places I had only read about or seen on television, I would get to see them now with my own eyes. So my dad had already booked me ticket. By the time July started I was ready to my fullest. The day came and I went to the airport. After passing last minute goodbyes and hugs to my family, I hurried through the airport procedures. Before boarding the plane, I felt hot July air blowing in my face and thought about the days ahead that I would be spending in the cool and rainy atmosphere of united kingdom. It soothed me to an extent and I waited for the plane to move. The flight was direct to London and the journey is normally about eight hours long.
The plane started to move slowly and the scenery, which was visible from the window beside which I was sitting, became a blur and as soon as the plane ascended I got to see the bigger picture of the area below. And soon I dozed off and woke up four hours later. I had lunch and started observing the people around me as there was nothing else to do much.
After four hours, the plane started to descend. I could see a strange view of countless hut shaped, red roofed houses in rows. The weather outside was cold. There wasn’t any sun and it looked like it was about to rain. The plane landed at the famous and the largest airport in the world, the Heathrow airport, which I had only heard about. Now seeing it myself, I could see the numerous terminals, countless people, the restaurants, cafes and shops, all at one airport. One visiting UK for the first time would surely get lost, because it was that large, I thought.
I met my mum’s brother and his family there and two sisters of mum too. I had not seen them for years as they were avoiding coming to Pakistan due to the instability. They directed me and my luggage towards their cars and that too luxury ones. But looking around I could see cars, which are considered luxurious in Pakistan, all around. Then I remembered that it was not a third world place I was standing on.
My initial stay was at an aunt’s home, located away from the London main city, in Ill ford, Essex. I had decided to stay one week each at each of my relative’s homes. Now the fun began. Each day I had a different schedule which kept me occupied all the time and did not let me get bored even a little. The schedule included all the dinners I had to attend, all the restaurants and places I had to go and above all, observing the people and atmosphere of a new country had to keep me occupied for sure.
The food which I consumed at my relatives’ homes was mostly Pakistani. The only difference I noticed was that it was less spicy. But that was okay, as long as I knew I won’t be staying here forever.
That first day out was epic. My aunt took me to London city which is the central London and the busiest area of the city, just like the M.M Alam road in Lahore back home. This commercial...