Right well, this is rather strange. In just three days I won't be in this country at all. In fact, this time next week I'll be in Namibia, it'll be around 5pm and I will probably be feeding the animals, sitting with people that feel like my best friends but right now are complete strangers and bathing in early evening sun. Having stood for half an hour for a taxi in the pouring rain and cold last night, good weather is what I'm really looking forward to.
Thinking about it, the past few days have been incredibly English and comfortable. Presents and cards from workmates (cheers everyone!), a night out involving the pub, a pint, bowling and a taxi rank in British weather with Maidstone's finest (nothing says home quite like the drunk, kebab-munching crowd at the top of Gabriel's Hill) and a Sunday dinner at my Dad's make the very near future seem worlds apart. Funny, that.
In case you didn't know, which is unlikely seeing as the only topics of conversation I've had recently are travelling and work, I'm about to set off on a three and a half month trip to the following:
South Africa (Johannesburg and Cape Town)
Australia (Sydney to Cairns up the East Coast)
No small feat as I'm forced to admit! Reassuringly, everyone at Source Bar on Tuesday night comforted me by telling me I would be shot or mugged, and that it was ridiculously dangerous. Most people I talk to also say 'oh, well it's not like you're going on your own is it.'
Erm, yes actually. It's been done thousands of times before, and the only stories anyone ever hears are the bad ones. I think that as long as I keep my wits about me and not do anything stupid (haha, from the girl who often forgets to even turn the tap off) I'll be fine. Besides, senses are heightened when in an unfamiliar situation.
Despite my own reassurances to everyone else, I do have a dummy wallet, rape alarm, pacsafe and handgun with me, in case of emergency.
With three days to go I'm absolutely terrified and have a million and one things to do ... start taking medication, photocopy more stuff (tip: photocopy everything, that way you won't miss anything out by mistake), do a trial pack, do an actual pack, book a flight, book a few hostels, write down emergency numbers, try and see some people that I've missed, cry, say goodbye to the cat (not that she'd really notice I'd gone), photocopy things again ...
It's an endless list. And no doubt I'll forget something.
But either way, there's a flight to catch and this time I can't delay for anything. Though it's quite likely the flight will be delayed anyway. Terminal 5 is all I need say.
I'll be updating here as often as possible so to those who are going to check in from time to time, cheers! Anyone who wants to talk to me, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
... and please don't text me - it'll cost you AND me a load of money that probably neither of us have. (Unless it's my Birthday of course :P)
Maybe the next time we speak I'll be halfway 'round the world.
...Signing off ...