1:03am, 17th of June.
In 14 hours and 27 minutes I will be packing my suitcase into the family car, squish in-between my ever-growing siblings, and take the long drive to Tullamarine airport. The day is finally here. The day where I, and my best friend, venture halfway across the world, with limited travel knowledge and with very little inhibitions.
I’ve never been further away from home than the Gold Coast. And even that was with family.
The furthest i’ve been from family is Phillip Island on year 12 schoolies. An hour-and-a-half drive away. For a grand total of 7 days. Shit.
I guess that’s why whenever someone gushes about how exciting and daunting and life-changing a trip overseas to Europe is, I don’t quite grasp the gravity of the situation. I mean, my idea of culture shock is going to a Gold Coast night-club and me and my sister being hit on by a sleazy 40 year-old Bartender. Or discovering a club called ‘SinCity’ where the staff wear their underwear… literally.
To imagine a city with thousands of years of history is incomprehensible to me… I was impressed when I found out our house was built in the 1980s. My idea of a historic landmark is the MCG.
People keep asking how I’m feeling, if I am excited or nervous and how I cope with flying. But to be completely honest, I find myself lying here in the darkness, squinting at a super bright laptop, and struggling to feel anything. I just don’t know how to feel, or what to think. There has been such a huge build up to these next two months – and what has felt like never-ending budgeting and booking and filling out forms and visits to the travel agent has left me feeling slightly exhausted.
I know one thing – I am a little anxious. Weird fact: whenever I am nervous about something, I silently panic until the frantic frenzy that is my mind manifests as excessive yawning and watering eyes. Last two days I have been a yawning/eye-watering MACHINE.
I remember the first talk with Em – a text conversation that started out with planning for a weekend trip to Sydney (never happened, bought concert tickets for City and Colour and never bothered to book plane tickets or accomodation, so spent the weekend at home eating cheese and bacon shapes instead) suddenly morphed into a conversation wistfully dreaming about a trip to Europe.
I don’t think either of us, at the time, ever thought it would actually happen. That we would actually postpone Uni, postpone our jobs, and just leave.
It still hasn’t sunk in. I don’t think it will. Not until I am up in the sky, in that seat, next to Em, with only each other.
Until then I’ll yawn my way through, and take it one day at a time.