This morning I set off on my voyage to the Chateau de Gudanes. Very little sleep (read 2 hours) following debates and discussions with Deanna and John into the wee hours, couldn’t get to sleep after that on account of my brain being so wired so I read for an hour and a half. I’ll sleep on the plane right? Never have slept well on planes in the past but why shouldn’t this be the start of something different right? Wrong. I digress…
Mad rush at home as everyone was getting ready to go to work, so brief goodbyes, that were more like “see you in a few hours” rather than “a few weeks”, but I think I liked it better that way. There would be much catching up thanks to the wonders of modern technology anyway. Mum and Dad very kindly offered to drop me off for a final farewell and it was lovely to spend time with them (as always) before I flew. My apologies for talking your ears off on the way to the airport. You now have much time to recover.
In a bid to fly on as few points/dollars as possible for no other reason than it seemed like a fun game at the time, I managed to secure the main trip with Singapore and the local Europe trip through BA. Only downside was I would have to go through customs when I landed in Europe. Plenty of time between flights so it shouldn’t be a problem.
Get to the airport and I was able to check in for both Singapore and BA flights luggage going straight through to Toulouse. Excellent service Singapore - as always. Didn’t remember that I’d packed my second change of clothes in the checked luggage as I thought I was going to have to collect it - curse my efficiency. Cleared security and customs in under 10 minutes and that was because of my bag pfaffing, cameras, MacBook, liquids, otherwise it would have been quicker due to Melbourne airports new systems - big tick guys. Only downside is they don't stamp your passport anymore. I have a collection of passport stamps, do you know how difficult it has been to ensure I got them? And now, Australia doesn’t do them anymore. Another tradition gone. Guess the only way we’ll be able to track someones travels is through Facebook check-ins and blog post reading. I think there is something wonderful about a passport with stamps showing your travels, this is a sad loss of tradition and we should take a moment to reflect on its extinction…
[THIS SPACE HAS BEEN LEFT INTENTIONALLY BLANK FOR REFLECTION TIME]
Ok, now that we move on, the flight, although passing through turbulence often was blissfully quiet, despite a 5 month old to my left and a 3 month old in front of me. I braced myself for their wails with a champagne and two Singapore Slings but decided against a third as I was already feeling sleepy. I needed not worry, they did not make a peep for the whole trip, no I mean it - 2 relative new borns and not a sound. Before you say it, yes they were alive. I got to hold the gorgeous little 5 month old as mum was packing up. You know those moments when a baby beams at you. You feel like the sun is shining directly from their face. All sorts of thoughts from putting this child in my hand luggage (it was tiny) to just offering to take it home passed through my mind. Seriously - that cute. Being the honest law abiding citizen I am (jay walking is not a crime guys), I dutifully returned the child to it’s mother.
Lunch, movie, disjointed 2 hours of sleep - due to the loud guy 3 rows back - not the babes oddly enough, movie and landing. Staring out the window when we were landing in Singapore, I couldn't help but think of my family, wishing they were with me, or that the plane was actually landing back in Melbourne. I miss them terribly. It’s a bittersweet moment when you leave your nearest and dearest to travel. You are excited about your journey but you don't want to leave them behind. It is an amazing thing to travel on your own though - unencumbered except for your luggage. A quick shower in the lounge (a must to feel human again) and we start messaging and FaceTiming. That’s all it took, just a whole lot of love the knowledge that home is the same boring, crazy place it was when I left. Makes me smile and I may just have screen shot some of the FaceTime - just incase I start to miss them again on the next leg to Amsterdam.
Yeah that’s right AmsterdamWhy you ask? I am asking myself the same thing. As I mentioned I booked this flight on the minimum points I could whilst still flying business - sorry Jane, despite our conversation on Saturday - I’m a wimp. Booking at the last minute for the lowest rate gets me to Amsterdam. Then BA to Toulouse via Heathrow. Don’t judge me - Singapore girl - you’re a great way to fly. Note to self - next time you want to set a crazy challenge, do it in advance.
So here I sit in the Silver Kris Flyer lounge in Singapore awaiting my 2nd leg and writing. I am sure this is a jumble of nonsensical misaligned thoughts but that pretty much sums up my head right now. The lounge was empty when I got here, it is now filling up and there be some interesting people sitting around me. But who am I to judge? I’m sitting here with my boots off, wearing 2 pairs of socks and my big thick New York coat, no Sally, you can’t have my coat. I have 4 bags at my feet (the joys of being limited to 2 carry on - Singapore is flexible but BA is not) and I am counting down until I board. Just like everyone else, we all look tired, we all look wired for the digital age (even the octogenarian Indian woman in the beautiful magenta sari), and we are all waiting to move on.