Goodbye Australia [the funny thing about planes]

In saying my goodbyes around Australia, I was actually surprised to find out how many people read (and more surprisingly, enjoy) this blog. Which a good thing, because I really enjoy writing it, and even though a lot of the time I write it for my own pleasure, I do like knowing that people are following what I am doing.

The last time I blogged from a plane I was somewhere between Los Angeles and New York, and watching the states we passed over on the plane TVs.

Well this time, I’m not between Los Angeles, we don’t have individual TVs, and I have no idea exactly where I am other than the fact that it’s somewhere between Australia and America. What l do know is that my watch reads 5:30pm Sydney time, it’s pitch black outside (and has been since the sun started “setting” about 4pm), and the flight attendants have just hit that magical button that cranks the cabin temperature up 10 degrees and turned out all the lights to try and lull everyone to sleep… that or trying to trick our bodies into thinking that it’s nighttime.

Flying is a funny thing. I don’t really like thinking about the fact that this plane is longer than an Olympic sized pool, and probably weighs as much as the concrete it would take to build that pool. And the fact that it’s somehow magically suspended in the air by the power of four (seemingly) small engines, quite frankly, scares me.

I’ve never taken a “daytime” flight before – I’ve always flown out in the late evening and arrived into Los Angeles in the afternoon, but our flight left Sydney this afternoon just before 2pm, and we’re arriving into LA just after 10am local time. The problem with that is that our bodies will think it’s 3am (Sydney time) and so the sensible thing to do right now would be attempt to get 6 or 8 hours sleep before we land, but of course your body clock doesn’t let you fall asleep at 5:30pm unless you’re severely sleep deprived (which mine may currently be classified as, but that’s a whole other story in itself) and so instead I’m listening to the new Colbie Caillat album (for the 40th time this week) and writing this. We’ve just hit a tiny bit of turbulence, and will soon be ready to help trick my body into thinking that it’s 10 o’clock at night by taking a couple of Dramamine and hopefully falling into a long enough sleep to kill a big chunk of the 10 hours of this flight that are left.

My goodbyes were hard. There are one or two very special people I’ve grown close to in the time since I’ve been home from my last trip to America, and saying goodbye to them was painful. Saying goodbye to my family, my best friends and especially my sister who gets married in 9 weeks (without me there) were all hard. Pulling away from that last hug before I walked through into customs at the airport this morning was the hardest thing I think I have ever had to do.

But I’m determined to have fun. I have 5 other girls travelling with me – Jana, Jess and I have already fallen into a quick and fast friendship, and as I sit here on the plane with them next to me, I know that through them, my new host family, all the people at home, and all the new friends I am going to make, I will have the strength to get through this year. I have things to remind me, and everything I own has a connection to home in one way or another.

Once we get to Los Angeles we still have 2 more flights – from Los Angeles to Chicago, and finally from Chicago to New York. And from there we will go to the Cultural Care Training School on Long Island for 5 days.

Today is a good day and a bad day all rolled into one. I said goodbye to the people I love the most in the whole world, but I’m embarking on a huge adventure. Because, after all, life is for making memories.

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