In a week I’ll be pacing the Melbourne International Airport Terminal waiting to be allowed board my flight. It shouldn’t feel any different to all the other times, but it will.
This is the first time that I don’t know when I’ll be back. It could be in a few short months, should something happen back home. It could be a year – it’s my aim to at least see all the seasons that Canada has to offer. Or it could be two years or more. There’s a tingle in my feet whenever I think about the enormity of it. It makes me feel woozy and like I need to run and hide.
But don’t get me wrong, it’s not the travel and the new places that scare me, it’s what happens when I’m away. Anyone who has travelled – or anyone really – knows that things don’t stay just how you left them, just because you’re not there. But, it will be ok.
With one foot in front of the other, I will get on that plane and that smile will come across my face, like it always does. That grin that I’m actually doing this, I made this happen. I will settle into my seat and watch out the window as we taxi on the runway and take off from beautiful, kind Melbourne. I’ll say my goodbyes under my breath and try to find something to watch or do on my 14 hour (wifi-less) flight. I will eat my sandwiches and try not to think about what’s ahead, or what’s behind and hope like hell that it’s not like my flight to Scotland where the only thing that the entertainment system would play was the same episode of Top Gear on repeat (the one where they go to the Arctic).
I’ll get to Los Angeles, and try not to smile too much. Immigration think you’re up to something if you’re smiling after a 14 hour flight (or maybe that’s only Australian Customs Officers?) I’ll hope the queue isn’t too long and that I don’t miss my connecting flight. (Did I ever tell you about the time I ran though LAX with my shoes in my hands to catch a close connection only to find the flight had been delayed by an hour?)
Then the adventure will really begin. It will be cold and I’ll pretend that I’ll miss the Australian heat, but I really won’t. And I’ll make some memories and see things and meet people and laugh and cry and remember that I’m alive. – Because after all, that’s what I wanted from this, to feel alive again and not like I’m sleepwalking through life.
Until then, I’ll finish packing and I’ll say my ‘see you later’s and I’ll remember that people do this all the time. The world is mine to see, and I’m so glad I’m lucky enough to get to see it.