Tuesday 5th April

3:15am the alarm went off. After going to bed 11:30pm the previous night, I must have only had 2 hours sleep. However, I shot up straight out of bed. My first thought was “today’s the day”.

Showered, bed made and last-minute items packed. Then I just sat there staring into space in the lounge holding my cup of tea. Final goodbyes were said to my Mum and I stepped outside my home for what will be my last time in a long time. Luckily, I had my brother to accompany me on my journey to Manchester Airport. Not going to lie – I was bricking it.

5:30am I arrived at Manchester Airport, cried into my brother’s arms. Then off I went with my bags to the check-in desk. As I approached my check-in desk, trying to hold back my emotions and tears, a lady asked me to place my hand luggage in the measurement basket. My heart started racing as I knew the dimensions of my bag were slightly over the company’s standards. So I tried to cram it in. It went in… diagonal. I was beginning to panic until the lady said “oh that’s fine, that will fit in the cabin fine”. Phew. First panic over with.

Got myself checked in and survived through security – which trust me, after being Cabin Crew – going through passenger security checks is a pain. People are just clueless. They wait until they get to the conveyor belt to take all their liquids and electrical items out from the bottom of their bags (pack them at the top for God’s sake), whilst huge queues are building up behind them. Anyway rant over – I survived it!

Let loose into Duty Free, I bought myself sweets, crisps and a meal deal and crammed everything into my hand luggage to prepare myself for 22 hours of flying.

8:30am boarding began. I was one of the last few to board the plane, I found my seat and made myself comfortable by the window. A guy in his 40’s was set next to me, I decided to make conversation with him (well, it was more rambling to be honest, as I was that nervous and emotional).

3:00pm (6:00pm in Abu Dhabi). I arrived in Abu Dhabi. I went to find my gate, gate 60. Probably the furthest away gate in the airport. Put it this way once I’d finally arrived at the gate I decided it wasn’t worth the trek back to browse the shops. So I didn’t really explore the airport, I just bought myself a litre bottle of water (which cost me an extortionate £5.00) but hey-ho I was thirsty and thought it would be good idea to take it on the plane with me. So I sat myself down. Then about 30 minutes later everyone in the gate were asked to queue outside the gate and I noticed they were setting up security checks.I had to have my passport and hand luggage checked before sitting back down at the gate and… I had my water confiscated from me. To say the least, I was rather annoyed. But ah well.

9:30pm (Abu Dhabi time) Boarding had begun. I was very fortunate that it wasn’t a full flight, so I was able to sit in the empty seat in front of me which was by the emergency exit with extra leg room. Bonus! The water situation wasn’t so bad after all either, as I was able to fill up my empty bottle on the aircraft. I made myself comfy, and I had 12.5 hours to go.

Wow. That flight was long. Even when I reached the half way point, it was still another 6 hours to go. I was tired and very confused, because honestly I didn’t have a clue what time of day it was after seeing two sunrises and sunsets in the space of 24 hours, my body didn’t know whether it was time to sleep or be awake. I mean, I absolutely adore flying – I really do, but I was just so tired and emotional. Which is to be expected, I think.

Wednesday 6th April

5:30pm (Melbourne time) I didn’t think I would make it! The sound of the landing gears were like music to my ears. A beautiful smooth landing into Melbourne and I was very excited and overwhelmed that I had actually reached Australia. I got through immigration and collected my bag and I was on my way out of arrivals! (For those that have never travelled to Australia, you need your passenger card ready for inspection just before you leave arrivals). After inspection, I was told to follow the “green arrows” on the floor. So I did. As I turned the corner it just looked like a dead-end corridor – just to add to my confusion even more. Then, all the sudden what appeared to be a wall was actually a sliding door in which I saw a crowd of people standing  behind the railings holding up signs.

I saw  my Dad and Pam almost immediately, all of us grinning like mad; we gave each other a big hug. Then uh-oh, yeah I just burst into tears. This is what happens when you’ve been travelling for way too long as well as making a huge move in your life.

 ~ End ~

I know this has been a massive blog entry. I can ramble on a lot. I have a lot to learn with this whole blogging thing, but I hope you enjoyed reading my first part of the adventure and possibly learnt a few things from it! 🙂