Well my trip has started now. All of the planning and preparation for this time has come to fruition and I am on my way. What will follow in each email are events, thoughts, and experiences of my trip as I travel around the world.
When I woke on the day I was leaving Australia there were many expectations for how I would feel. Most of them were never reached. For one, I thought I would be teary and sad to leave my best friends, my family, and my country behind. Amazingly I wasn’t. I say amazingly because this is not what I expected to happen.
The feelings I had were more of anticipation, destiny, and peace. Very unusual considering I was up until 4am packing the previous night. My last email, written in the last minutes before leaving home, says about the same thing.
At the Airport
On arriving at the airport, the queues were huge. Checking in baggage, passing through customs, being scanned by security, and having boarding passes checked against passports all took a long time. Fortunately I had time to spend.
My folks and John and Moira came out to say goodbye. This was a great thing and I really appreciated them being there. We had our last lunch together probably for a very long time.
Saying goodbye seemed to be easy. I do not know why this was, because I was sad to be leaving them, but it was more like I was leaving just for a few weeks rather than for years. God does amazing things like that when you follow Him. I know when I left Australia for New Zealand five years ago He did the same sort of thing. Amazing stuff.
On the way
Once on the plane, I was ready to go. Plane travel is something that I have always loved. One time as I saw my best mate off to Europe I ached for a chance to fly. God told me that I would fly so much I would get sick of it.
Now some of you are thinking that perhaps with 20 flights travelling around the world I will get sick of flying. Nope. It will take a lot more than that! I cannot even conceive of being sick of flying.
Sit Down, Get Up
Once in the plane and seated, I started chatting with my neighbours. They were two young girls, 11 and 14 years heading to England to see their Uncle, unaccompanied.
Unbeknowns to me, airline policy states that a male passenger cannot be seated next to unaccompanied females. This raised an embarassing problem for the airline staff as they struggled to relocate me in a very full aircraft.
Eventually a seat was found near the front. Ordinarily I would have been upgraded, but the full aircraft prevented that. Instead, the aircrew gave to me a lovely bottle of expensive champagne and an inflight toiletry kit. Nice. With talkative neighbours, the flight turned out to be a lot of fun. All that was left was to arrive.