The last week has flown by in a blur of excitement, love and alcohol. I didn’t want to have a big “leaving drinks” because I didn’t want the stress of organising it and then worrying about who would and wouldn’t come. I wanted to have some quality time with my close friends and family before leaving, so instead I organised to meet people in smaller groups. After having spent so much time away, there were a lot of people I hadn’t seen in far too long, and it really has been an amazing week, reminding me that I’m incredibly lucky to have so many amazing people in my life.
By Friday, my fifth consecutive night out in London (and seventh night of socialising), I was almost incapable of having a conversation without yawning by the time I got to the pub! What a wuss – how on earth will I survive an eleven hour time change next week?
This weekend was our family get together, complete with a beautiful cake decorated with a map of Australia (with a small flag for Sydney!) thanks to my Mum. There was even a tiny plane made of icing – with glitter! We divided into teams for Scattegories: The Bogans, The Wrinklies, and Rack Off, and generally got far too competitive. The fun continued on Sunday morning with a late cooked breakfast before the final few left.
Despite all the parties all week, even leaving the office in London for the last time on Friday didn’t feel “real” somehow. As I walked out of the office I was expecting to feel something: a lurch, some butterflies, a sudden welling up … but I felt a bit numb (and exhausted). It wasn’t until I was finishing off my packing this afternoon that I really felt as though it’s sunk in.
I’m still dreading the actual goodbyes at the airport – I’m sure I’m going to end up in tears – yep, I’m just a big girl at times like that!
I’d love to say that this was an impulsive decision – wouldn’t that be cool? – and in some ways it was, since I had been planning to go in January – but actually, this trip has been in the pipeline for well over a year.
It wasn’t until two weeks ago that I actually started to get truly excited about it though, and to feel deep down that it was something I wanted to do. How do you plan to move to the other side of the world without even really wanting to?! That’s crazy, isn’t it? Probably. I reserve the right to do something crazy once in a while.
If I’d waited until I really wanted to go, I’d have procrastinated forever. Instead I decided to set things in motion and have faith that either I’d be ready when the time came, or I would find a way to get out of it that wasn’t too embarrassing. Luckily, as it turns out, I haven’t had to put that one to the test …
So here I am, ready to go, at least I think so. I’ve never lived abroad and the idea still terrifies me slightly. More than slightly, in fact. I’ve often wished I could just settle down around the corner from where I grew up with a nice boy, maybe pop out a few kids, but life hasn’t turned out that way.
I’ve tried hard to find a place that I can call home. I’ve lived in the Midlands, Hertfordshire, Hampshire and central London; and thanks to my work I’ve spent a significant time in Seattle, Manchester, Dublin, Edinburgh and Berlin. Still, nowhere has yet soothed my itchy feet for long and it’s time to start looking further afield, to see if somewhere out there can satisfy this wanderlust. And if Australia doesn’t prove to do that, perhaps it will at least instill me with the confidence to choose a new country to live in for a while without waiting so long. Whatever happens, I intend to enjoy this adventure while it lasts!