I meant to write more yesterday but I had to make about 15 phone calls before I got on the plane. After getting on the wrong connecting Heathrow train at Paddington and being charged £13 to upgrade (in my defence it was pretty confusing and I swear they made it that way on purpose!) I made it to the airport with 4 hours to spare before my flight. After the problems I had last time I was amazed at how easy it all was and I found myself breezing through departures barely batting an eyelid. That’s when I stopped to think – last time I did this I was a wreck. I was absolutely terrified of being alone and as I walked through departures I was shaking with fear. That’s a phobia that I’ve clearly overcome and that was pretty liberating.
Then came the phone calls. Anyone who spoke to me at the airport last year pointed out what a contrast it was and how calm I sounded. I was. I felt pangs of homesickness in my gut and inside I was panicking this was the wrong thing to do. But the difference was that this time I knew it was completely normal and I knew that the feeling will pass eventually, so I was just focusing on that and calming myself down. I know now that it’s all about adapting to a new situation, which will hopefully take less time than I think.
Saying goodbye on the phone I didn’t feel too emotional. Just because I know I will speak to everyone pretty soon via the aid of social media – they don’t feel so far away, and also because I’m not sure I will be away as long as I expected and so the whole process doesn’t seem as daunting. I even have potential new plans to add to the mix which could be quite exciting.
All day I had been in varying stages of panic, wondering what I was doing and scared the homesickness would become overwhelming (I had started to feel that as soon as I left Birmingham), but surprisingly as soon as I got on the plane an air of calm came over me that I didn’t expect. I’m going away but I can come back whenever I want, I have people that care about me and a bit of money behind me. So what if I don’t have a job – It’s not like I’m ever going to be homeless! Things that were meant to work out would work out and things that weren’t wouldn’t. It was all for a reason and at this moment in time I was meant to be on this plane. Life was good.
So right now I’m still feeling relatively calm. It helped that I’ve had a whole 3 seats to myself on the plane. After hours spent on flights feeling cramped against the window and having to wait for people to wake up every time I needed a wee, this was luxury.
As a result of being able to lie down I’ve actually managed the impossible and had a few hours sleep. I can’t say I feel great or particularly awake at the moment but it’s better than I’ve felt before after a long-haul flight. I am feeling a bit sick though which is a mixture of tiredness, the turbulence we just hit and the fact that I accidentally ordered a dish with prawns in it (the staff have strong malaysian accents and so I just nodded my head at the second option and hoped for the best). I have an irrational hatred of prawns and being faced with a massive, slimy one at 7.30am in the morning really didn’t go down very well (who serves prawns for breakfast anyway?!).
I’m really hoping South East Asia doesn’t let me down on the free wifi front and that Kuala Lumpur airport has easy access when I get there for me to post this. Somehow writing everything down makes me feel better and more in touch with everyone. I am missing people a lot already, more than I’d imagined, but the good thing is that I have faith that they’re not going anywhere and will still be there when I get back. I’m actually pretty proud of what a massive contrast this post is to the ones I made at this point last year. It just goes to show how facing your fears effects you in a positive way. Now let’s just hope this time I don’t get lost in Bangkok and I find my way calmly and easily to the hotel. I’m really not looking forward to navigating my way up a pissed up khao san road at 1am with my backpack in tow but hey, I’ve dealt with way worse and now I can sense more than ever, everything will be alright.