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Published: October 20th 2010
So… I’m currently camped out at Terminal 5 at Heathrow undergoing a 2.5 hour wait for my connection to Johannesburg. Six weeks ago, one miserable Monday morning I was driving to work wondering why exactly I was still working in the same job after such a life-changing, 13-week, round-the-world trip earlier this year. Just one hour later I was writing to my friend Steph in Australia asking about the job situation out there.
I allowed myself to daydream about a life in the sun, and kidded myself that looking at flight prices wouldn’t really mean I was moving away, but by the end of that week the flights were on hold; I’d confessed to my Mum, friends and family and had arranged to visit Ellie (my travelling partner) in South Africa en route. I sealed the deal on the Friday morning by handing in my notice at AstraZeneca (where I had worked since leaving school 8 years ago), and started to sell all my belongings at car boot sales and on eBay to raise funds.
You’re probably wondering what it was like being back home after my trip. I had returned on the 1st of April and had so much fun catching up with friends and family, many of whom had followed my blog religiously. My friend Lizzie had printed life size photos of my face and made them in to masks for everyone to wear at my welcome home party that Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Ray had arranged for a band at our local pub The Farmers, and over the course of that week I drank numerous litres of Vodka and cured hangovers with hair of the dog.
The month of May arrived and a couple contacted me through an estate agent wanting to buy a flat in my block. I signed the sellers contract with Bridgefords on the Thursday, the couple came round for a viewing 30 minutes later and by 9o’clock the next morning I had an offer on it and we were swapping solicitors details. They wanted to be in the flat just 2 weeks later so it was all systems go looking at houses to buy (this time I wanted a garden) and somewhere to live in the interim. By the end of May I was renting the top floor of Vickys (my best mate) Mum’s house and having a grand old time partying with her little brother Tom and all his mates.
Not being tied down to a house/ mortgage has obviously made it much easier to up sticks. I was so happy living with Sandie and co. that I stopped looking for a house all together, and part of me now thinks it was fate stopping me from buying a new place.
Moving to Oz hasn’t seemed real until yesterday. I was clearing boxes from my room when it seemed to hit me all at once. I think being tired and hungover from parting all weekend probably didn’t help my emotions but it’s certainly a lot harder than I could have ever expected.
I’ve had an excellent few weeks of celebrations and managed to say goodbye to everyone I love. My Mam and I spent a night in the swanky Grand Cedar Hotel in York and flexed the credit cards with a big day out shopping and a night drinking cocktails. We arranged lunch the following day with my grandparents just outside of York then I caught up with my oldest school friend Hackers, who I’ve known since we were about 4.
Thursday I met with my Auntie Debbie, Granpda and Auntie Viv for a wonderful goodbye lunch then had a lovely meal in Gusto’s with my colleagues from work (collectively known as the 11F girls). Friday was my final night upstairs in the Farmers with Tom Mc and all the lads; Saturday day I met Ami (my number one Blog fan and very dear friend) then Saturday night I had a huge send off with all The Cru - the Farmers was so busy you literally couldn’t move. I’d probably say it was one of my best nights out… ever! We took the party back to Sandie’s house and rocked it in the kitchen till 5 in the morning. I had Xmas dinner yesterday (Sunday) at my Auntie San’s as I’ll be missing Christmas dinner with them this year, and I even managed a very last minute goodbye from both Dena and Gemma, both of whom are very close to me.
Saying goodbye to my three Grandparents was the hardest I recon, for reasons I hope I don’t have to spell out. However they’re all in good health and I plan to be back next year (even if it’s just for a few weeks catch up with everyone) so I’m sure all will be ok.
Mam and Liam, Vicky and Sandie came to the airport to see me off and as I walked through security I cried so much I choked and heaved. But the flight from Manchester went well - I busied myself reading a magazine and ate those tasty cracker things they hand out to take my mind off things.
Not long now until I’m reunited with my Zeli Sister (Ellie) who, (if you read my blog last time) I’m sure you know all about. Mams just sent me a text and I’m going to start crying again so I’ll sign off now and dash to the toilets before I start shrieking and making tit of myself.
Speak again when I land… over and out.
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