AKA – Nerves, people are wonderful & Y’all be ok
I’m writing this blog in retrospect. At the moment I’m actually sitting in a cafe in Edinburgh, using the internet and waiting for Claire to finish work so we can drive home together. I actually left my ‘homecity’ of Perth approximately 7 months ago. The past seven months have been the most intense and experienced filled months of my life, full of crazy highs and lows, experiences and lessons learnt. However the plus side to writing in retrospect is that I know what the good and bad things were, and which experiences have affected me even though I might not have realized at the time.
I often think about my flight over. I hate flying. I get nervous when the plane takes off and compulsively scan the air hostesses’ faces for the slightest signs of distress, or over-friendliness which could actually be a concealment of distress in order to keep the passengers calm as the plane bursts into flames. I try to be asleep during landing so I don’t have to experience it.
However the scariest thing about this flight was that I was leaving my friends and family behind, and I wasn’t sure when I was going to return. The truth is I bought a round the world trip (at super-short notice – 2 weeks- also very cheap – cheers STA), but the dates were flexible and I always intended to change them. All I knew was that I was going to arrive in Madrid, to be picked up by a girl who I had met over the internet on Workaway and I didn’t have much of a plan for the next year.
At 22, I felt like a child pretending to play ‘adult’. “Yeah, I got my shit together”
However on my last leg into Madrid (from Qatar) I met a woman on the plane who was returning from an extended stay in Asia. She was from Madrid and she was able to significantly improve her English during her time away. I told her about my plans for Spain, I was going to help some girls with their English, and try to learn Spanish. She told me Madrid was great for young people and I was going to have fun with the girls. I loved her enthusiasm (and I now love the enthusiasm of Spaniards in general!) and she gave me a real confidence boost.
After arriving in Madrid I spoke to a guy while waiting to pick up my luggage and considering the possibility of what might happen if my lift and accommodation didn’t show up. What would I do? However I was already speaking to another solo traveler, who would have happily spent time with me, yet I’d been in the country all of 5 minutes. I’d be fine.
I then walked through to arrivals to meet Ruth and Alba, and we said our quiet hellos.
How times have changed!
One day I want to be the friendly traveller on a plane who makes the travel newbie feel better, or the airport random who makes the nervous traveller realize they’ll be OK.
And on average, everything was ok!