It was the year my six-year relationship ended. It was also the year I graduated from university after studying design for six years.
It was also the year my mum passed away after battling a long-term illness.
Lots of questions spiralled in my head, desperately looking for answers. I was trying to figure out what’s going on.
I decided to make a new, fresh start. Again.
I needed a new challenge. Something to help me stop thinking about the past.
I decided I want to move to another country. To run away as far as I could from my problems, but I didn’t know to where.
Eventually I was in England. It could as well have been France or Spain or Germany, but here I was in England.
I left my past behind me. I left my friends. The place I was born. The place I went to school. The place where I grew up. The place I had my first kiss.
Just me and one suitcase.
New country, new language, new people, new challenge. I felt like a medieval explorer boarding a ship heading for the unknown. Beyond the horizon lay a place I knew nothing about.
While this was not an easy decision, it did not take me long to make. I saved the amount of money I though I would need. I made some basic preparations. I bought an ‘Everyday English’ phrasebook. I hardly spoke English.
I boarded the plane from Wroclaw and landed in Liverpool. My final destination was Manchester. I gave myself two weeks—learn to swim or drown.
I had one point of contact in Manchester, a friend of a friend who promised to help me find a place to stay when I arrived until I found more permanent housing. I texted the mutual friend when I got off the plane in Liverpool to let her know where I was and told her I would update her on my journey.
There was no response. She must be busy, I thought.
I boarded a coach from Liverpool to Manchester. Texted her again. No reply. I started to worry.
The coach arrived to Manchester late that evening. Dark and raining, I could see people heading to bars and restaurants for after work meals. This new place excited me and made me anxious at the same time. I texted my friend again. I wasn’t sure where to go. Again, there was no reply.
I never heard anything from her. Lots of things have happened since.
In Manchester I met my wife, Ruth. We got married in 2011 in York. We bought a house. We have two daughters. Florence is 7, Magda is 3. I’ve changed jobs a few times.
And sometimes, I still wonder what happened.