So, I am currently sitting in a quaint little bedroom, in a lovely Roman flat, composing the first blog of my life.
I never thought I would be here… And by here, I mean in the position where I am required to write a blog, share my thoughts with the world, in return for the experience of a life time.
Until 1 month ago I had never left Australia. I had never been away from the sunny Gold Coast for more than a couple of weeks at a time. I had never lived alone without instant access to parents, trusted friends and familiar places.
Oh how life changes…
Just 3 months ago I said good-bye to my home town heading interstate, with only a 48 hour stop over before continuing the separation for another 5 months… But it is fine. Experiencing the world for the first time makes life too exciting for homesickness (so far).
Until just 1 month ago I had never spent more than a couple of hours in an aeroplane. Before 1 month ago I had never left Australia. Before 1 month ago I had never needed to check into a flight more than 1 hour before departure. It was clear from the start, this trip was going to be an eye-opener.
So there I was, at 11pm, 28 August 2011, being frantically driven to Brisbane international airport to take my first trip abroad.
With only my sister to keep me company between check-in and boarding, we had time to chat. And both had to put on a brave face, not thinking about how much life could change before we were on the same continent again. Personally, I was too distracted hoping I hadn’t packed anything to upset security, but it was still sad.
At around 1am it was time to say goodbye and cross the line of no return, go through security, then sit and wait some more.
Finally, at 2:30am we began to bored. Soon after, we were off. Bound for Singapore.
I did not sleep. I thought that if I could stay awake until it was night time in Europe my jet-lag may not be so bad. Wrong.
Did I mention I had never been on a long flight or left Australia before this trip?
I have no idea how long the first leg of the journey was. All I know is that I only had time to freshen up in Singapore airport before boarding again bound for Dubai.
This leg of the journey I was supposed to sleep. It was past midnight in London. After 8am at home, so I had already been awake for 24 hour… maybe I slept for an hour or so in, but I couldn’t get comfortable. Instead, I continued to watch movies as I had done for the previous 8 hours or so.
When we landed in Dubai I literally got off the plain and half had to run around the maze to find my gate on time for the final leg of the journey. Thankfully there was a slight delay that allowed me to freshen up again, but there is only so much that can be done in an airport! … I was not about to trust a public shower no matter how much I needed to wash my hair.
Finally we were on the home stretch (far from home). Still, I barely slept. I am not sure what it was. Maybe I was too interested in the progress. Maybe I was more excited than I realised. Maybe I was just too over-tired to sleep at this point…
Aafter I have no idea how many hours in transit (although I guess about 24, considering in my zombie state I could recall having watched at least 7 movies during the trip) I arrived in London.
Navigating a major international airport alone when sleep deprived, for the first time, is not recommended. Customs and boarder control are also bad ideas in this state. However, after all the effort I took my first steps on foreign soil.
In the following days I got to explore London and Paris, then made my way to Rome. However, considering the length of this post, the highlights of such spectacular cities shall have to wait. So, until next time!