Heading Home

The whole notion of ‘home’ has never felt quite so foreign to me as it does right now. I’ve never not had a physical address which I call home despite flit floating across the globe for the last 8 years. But for the first time flying back to Australia is giving me such mixed emotions it’s really hard to gauge exactly how I’m feeling. Out of touch is probably the best way to describe my position in the world right now. I’ve lived in two very separate bubbles this year. The trail being the most significant and then Abu Dhabi which was like a whirlwind of hard work, amazing people, stress, anxiety and fun all blended into 5 weeks.

I have absolutely no idea how my friends are, my new niece is already 4 months old, my sister and her husband have moved to the country, and as a result the only address on my drivers licence and every other registered identity now belongs to a complete stranger. On the top of my list of things to do when I return to Australia is to change my address. The question is, what do I change it to?

I’m not often phased by long flights, but I made the huge mistake of not selecting my seat when I checked in this morning and now I’m sandwiched in the middle of middle seats between a rather large hyperactive gentleman and a more subdued guy on my right. I can’t even use the arm rests and I’m scared if I fall asleep I’ll wake up drooling on one of their shoulders. There’s also an un identified person passing gas close by who should be put into isolation.

My biggest fear heading back to Oz is the sudden loss of independence and relying on others for a place to stay. Loss of purpose is another one, and shifting down a few gears to a possible state of laziness. Having averaged 4 hours sleep for the last week I think some decent rest is on the cards, but I’m also adamant to maintain some form of momentum.

I met some of the most incredible people during this project. It’s not unusual for the team to feel like family because you spend every waking hour together, but in such a short space of time it was amazing how well we all gelled. I think this project was a god send to me. Nothing can or will ever top the life I experienced this year between April and September. There’s still much to process, but I was blessed with this timely distraction which showed me once again that there is so much to discover across this crazy planet, and so many incredible characters to be found. I’ve realised my true fascination in life are people, and it amazes me that no matter what our background, race, religion or sex, how similar our minds really do work.

I feel a bit like a caged animal on this plane waiting for the hostesses to come around and feed me. For some reason I’m absolutely starving, and I just received a bag of sliced apple which I wish I could trade for cookies or chocolate. The lights have been off forever, and my body just isn’t cooperating with this forced night time during the afternoon. The little plane on the person’s screen in front of me has been crawling ever so slowly over the Indian Ocean and has just touched the edge of Western Australia. Why does this country have to be so wide? We spent two hours sitting on the tarmac this morning after missing our take off slot. It was so misty this morning in Abu Dhabi that a lot of flights were delayed, which meant people that landed in Abu Dhabi late were still able to board our plane more than an hour after it should have left. Great for them, not so good for poor middle seat me. Those two hours were actually the only part of the flight where I actually slept, so I guess it could have been a lot worse.

I’ve watched The Great Gatsby, The Internship and Lost in translation. My eyes are stinging from the screen and my ears hurt from the headphones. For not watching TV most of the year this is an absolute overload, but I have to watch another one, otherwise I may literally lose my mind. I’m going to watch Monsters University and hope that the food trolley comes back around soon!!

Flying is such an unusual activity. Firstly the act of sitting, sleeping, eating and watching movies next to a complete stranger for 13 hours is odd, especially when you don’t say more than two words to the person. I often find on flights that most words are exchanged at the end after landing. Once you open the door of conversation it’s impossible to close, so I think a lot of people hold out until the plane’s landed and they know there’s a quick escape. The busybody on my left is looking for any excuse to talk. Every time I move he looks over as if it’s an invitation to talk. I’ve avoided all unnecessary movements because of this. I think he’s staring me down as I’m typing this. Is it possible he can read what I’m typing? Let me do a test! If you can read this man on my left raise your hand and cough twice… No reaction… I guess not. Well only a few more hours to go and at least one movie and hopefully a little snooze! See you in Oz!

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