After weeks of painstaking preparations, nervous running errands, and goodbyes which would jerk tears out of a rock, I finally boarded that flying metal box – a deed I still consider utterly insane and exhilarating at the same time – which teleported me to the other side of the world. Well, almost to the other side, I could still go few thousand kilometres further, but these almost nine thousand miles work for me. Sure, I imagined going that far many times before, yet it never really left the realm of dreams. But here I am, in the land of the sun, tropical Townsville, which boasts over 320 sunny days a year.
The journey itself seemed almost like a dream – from a God’s forsaken nowhere – yes, the winter has finally come to Poland and, like always when it does, it felt like living at the end of the world – to a sultry summer. A slight difference in temperatures, some 60 Celsius degrees, a trifle. That’s just what an average Macedonian goes through every year, or so I’ve heard.
I flied only few times before, and maybe that’s why it still leaves quite an impression on me. Watching a sea of clouds, looking at mountain tops from above, observing a setting sun. Then, there is also this liberating feeling of travelling, which makes me forget about all the inconveniences of a long journey. I’m simply glad to be on the road again.
But travelling, as fun as it is, never goes as we would like it. For example, you get stuck at the airport, on the plane to be precise, because, goodness me, it snows a little bit, and London still can’t grasp the idea. Or luggage gets lost. Somewhere. Over one ocean or another. And you’re left with your passport and a toothbrush if you were smart enough to pack the latter in your carry-on bag. I wasn’t. Despite all the stories that I’ve heard, I forgot to take these few necessaries on me.
In this situation you have two choices. You can go through all stages of grieving over your backpack – denial (I’m sure it’s still somewhere there, coming any minute now), anger (why me? they’re all just a bunch of useless idiots that can’t do anything properly), bargaining (if only I had packed it differently, few pounds less?), and depression (great, I can’t do anything now), or you could skip the first four and go straight to acceptance. After all, it’s just a part of that thing people call travelling. You expect things may go wrong sometime, so if it happens you are prepared to enjoy your time anyway. Enjoy the sun which at first is unbearable. The humidity that makes everything sticky and sweaty. The sleepiness that takes over the will to do anything. It is annoying, but you still enjoy the freshness of this experience. And then you adapt.
The first days pass by. I usually spend them with my eyes popping out of my head, gawking at all the unknown. Time stretches to what appears almost impossible. You start meeting new people, go places, move in, start classes. Some time, in the middle of this all, your luggage arrives feeling guilty for wandering off. You settle in.