Sunday, 8 February 2015

Goodbye Europe, Hello Australia



Leaving my two friends in Paris at the Charles De Gaulle train station was a really sad moment. After travelling together for the past month we had experienced some truly amazing experiences together that I will never forget. Parting with them felt like I was parting with my right hand. But time was running short (I was late) and I had to board the train to get back to London to catch my flights back to Aussie Land. I was catching the Eurostar which only takes a couple of hours and is pretty inexpensive if booked months in advance.

The train ride didn't seem long at all, I slept most of the way and then I was just sad for the rest. After spending nearly a month with so many friends I felt completely alone now. I was thrown out of my comfort zone and left to find my way with my own two feet. Being alone has never really been something that would make me sad. I actually quiet enjoy being alone. I can have some pretty intelligent conversations with myself, or with others if I spike up the confidence to talk to a stranger. But boarding that train alone was somewhat nerve-wrecking. 

Once getting off the train I had gotten myself together and knew what I had to do. Get home safely. As we had spent a week in London before Contiki I already knew the train lines pretty well so that brought me some comfort. I arrived at the hotel feeling restless and rather alone again. So I got myself ready to go check out Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Square to purchase some final gifts. 

Even though there were so many people around me, I still managed to feel lonely and a bit unsettled. This travelling alone thing was a bit hard at first. It was like I had to re-learn being alone. After a couple of hours, my heart had finally slowed down, I was feeling cheery again and I realised I had finally calmed down about being alone. I wandered around till dusk, made it back to the hotel, ordered the taxi for 4am, packed up my bags and had a good nights rest.

Waking at 3am the nerves had kicked in again. This time around I was going to be on the flights alone. A 21 hour or so journey on a plane alone just did not tickle me fancy this early in the morning. But I had to tell myself to stay strong, confident and happy otherwise I was only making it worse for myself. I jumped into the cab and attempted to tell the taxi driver 'Heathrow Airport Terminal 4' with what little voice I had left (no voice really, lets be honest). He thought it was hilarious that I sounded like a dying cat so we had a giggle at my expense lightening my uneasy mood. 

Finally landing in Jakarta I started to feel confident and pretty stoked to be so close to home. Little did I know I was about to walk into a pretty scary situation. Walking to the 'transfer' desk, there was no one there. We were all told to go the 'immigration' desk. So we all lined up and everyone goes through, except for me. I wasn't allowed. I was getting told to get a visa or to go away. Great. Stuck in Indonesia with people waving their hands at me to go away. I found a man in what seemed to be a security suit to see if he could help, but no, I got the same 'shoo shoo' hand wave. I am about to go to a corner and cry. But I obviously had to get transferred. So I lined up again, and asked those around me if anyone else was a transfer to Perth (there were some) so I insisted on asking a different Immigration Officer. This time the man walks away with my passport and ticket. Are you kidding me? Thoughts of worry and panic were going through my head so I jump on the wifi and express my fear to a close friend via Facebook. Thank god for Facebook. I would have ended up in that corner crying without Facebook. After 20 minutes the man returns and points me back to the transfer desk. I finally walk back and there were people there. After all that worry I should have just gone back. I have no idea where those other Perth transfers went, but hey at least I finally got home safe!