Just short of a year after making a 3 way pinky promise (this is the new way to go, I’m telling you!), to make the longest trip of my life, to see my good friend Sam in Australia, I was up at 4 am packing the final few electrical chargers and my toothbrush, before heading to Heathrow Airport with Mum and Dad.
It still didn’t seem real, but with a very good deal on my flight ticket (big thank you to a family friend!), it was all booked, my visa was granted, and Sam and his family had agreed to let me stay with them in South Australia for the next 3 months! I’m not quite sure they knew what they were letting themselves in for…
I couldn’t make the early morning flight with my stand-by ticket, so after a fairwell McDonald’s breakfast with my parents, I had an unexpected day with my cousin! The evening flight was full too, so I knew my chances were slim, but when we returned to T4 that evening, I was suddenly and surprisingly given my ticket to Abu Dhabi and was heading through security! Before I knew it I was boarding an Etihad A380-800. It was HUGE, (I later found out that it’s the biggest size in the world!) and very luxurious (especially as I’m used to flying short hall with Ryanair), but most of all, it was unnerving! There was no way something this big and heavy with so many passengers and suitcases was going to be able to fly, just NO WAY!
I was obviously proved wrong, and after 7 hours of flying in complete comfort, with a lovely inflight meal and watching an array of the entertainment on board (they even had the Roast of Justin Bieber, YES ETIHAD!!), I arrived at my stop over, Abu Dhabi. The first thing I noticed as I came into land, was an IKEA. Not what I expected…
I had a 15 hour stop over in Abu Dhabi and was planning to spend it walking around the Yas Marina Formula 1 Circuit, and visiting Ferrari World, but thanks to a migraine, I checked into a Premier Inn and slept most of the day and had a shower and something to eat. At the time, I was really annoyed about paying 100 pounds for a sleep, but it actually paid off when I finally arrived in Australia. I had more or less gotten my body clock onto their Time Zone, so I didn’t really suffer with any jet lag. Plus, it was unbelievably nice to have a shower before my next stint of the journey.
I got the next flight from Abu Dhabi to Sydney without a hitch, and set off on my second leg. This flight was harder as it was almost double the amount of time (13 hours), I’d slept all day, and after about 4 hours, I’d watched everything I’d wanted to on the inflight entertainment system. A good few, slightly boring hours later, I made it and touched down in Sydney, in the rain!! Unbelievable! I’d travelled to the opposite side of the world, to a hot country, just starting their summer season, and it was raining! How very British!
I was excited to arrive in Australia, but more excited to get the stamp in my passport! It was now official! I jumped in a taxi and went to Sam’s sisters place, where she very kindly said I could stay until my morning flight to Adelaide. We woke early and Sophie dropped me at the airport, where I took my third and final flight.
Finally seeing Sam was so lovely but so weird because this time, I was in Australia. We headed off to his house – which reminds me of the Home Alone house, where I will be living for the next 3 months! Let me tell you, it’s like a hotel. What a lucky girl I am!