First things first, I AM OFFICIALLY booked and (pretty much) ready to go. I depart on April 26th, two weeks from today.
But I am getting ahead of myself soooo let’s backtrack to after my previous post discussing the visa process…
I got an email the Friday after my VAC appointment from Britbound with log in information to their portal. From here I filled in information so that I could select my orientation time, bank information, order the sim card for my phone ( I opted to pay 10 pounds to have it shipped to me before I left), and just start to get acquainted with all the steps from the other side.
About two days after filling out the initial Britbound application, I received a couple more emails detailing that my arrival information session was booked, as was my bank account set up appointment. After getting these steps out of the way, I basically just had to wait it out to hear back from the consulate before being able to confirm the big stuff.
Well 10 business days after my VAC appointment, I received an email from the consulate stating that my visa had been approved. Wahoo! I got it back in my hands within two days after that, so March 26th. It was so exciting to have my passport back with the physical visa glued inside, all ready to go.
From here I booked my flight using aeroplan miles that I had saved up over the past couple of years. So as stated, I depart April 26th. I fly out of Calgary on an overnight direct flight to London Heathrow.
Also got my hostel set up, I booked for 14 nights at Astor Hyde Park. I spent quite a bit of time researching what hostel to stay at over the past year. I narrowed it down to three choices but ultimately I choose Astor Hyde Park based on other swappers recommendations, location, and lack of party atmosphere. Expect a full review, as always.
If I have not got my thoughts across yet, let me mention this again, I am SO happy that I went through an organization in regards to this whole visa process. There were so many details I had not considered and so having a helping hand with it was great.
To end all I can say, holy sh*t this is actually happening!!!!!
– xoxo Veronica