Three months ago I sat on a plane bawling my eyes out, thinking to myself over and over “why the fuck am I doing this.” Right now i’m sitting on a couch in Chelmsford, England with no regrets.

I’d always wanted to go travelling, but never had the guts or money to do it. I’d been in my job for two and a half years, and one day I decided I’d had enough. I quit my job, and booked a one way ticket to the UK. The only way to describe the few days leaving up to my departure was ‘numb.’  Like everything was still happening around me, and I was there, but not really with it. Packing up your entire life is difficult, like “Yes mum, of course I need to take that dress that I haven’t worn in two years” I sold my bed and dressing table, put old clothes in boxes and finally had a suitcase suitable for all four seasons. The day had arrived. I had said goodbye to all the important people and headed for the airport with my family. I really wanted one of those typical travellers pictures in front of the International Departures gate but unfortunately thats when the tears started. And they didn’t stop until I was in the air. Yup, i sat at my gate waiting to board crying my eyes out. I sat in my seat on the plane, still crying enough for the air hostess to ask if I was okay. “Yup no worries I’ve just said goodbye to all the people I love and I have no idea when I’ll see them again” I had been warned that the 17 hour plane ride ahead would be “hell”and seeing as I didn’t even like flying from Auckland to Wellington, i wasn’t looking forward to it. But there was no backing out now. Surprisingly, the first flight went extremely fast. I slept, watched a couple of movies and looked out the window even though it was pitch black the whole time. I did see lightening which was pretty freaky/cool. Landing in Dubai was a relief, I had to catch a train to my gate seeing as the airport is so big and wait 2 hours to board my next 8 hour flight. Its funny, one of the reasons I had chosen to come to the UK is because my Dad lives here. I hadn’t seen him in 17 years, and never met his wife or two kids. Yet I wasn’t nervous about meeting him at all. I just hoped I would recognise him when he was waiting for me at Heathrow. And there he was. 29 hours of travelling, saying goodbye to my old life, and here was my Dad. We hugged, like it had only been a few weeks since I’d seen him, and he commented on my height saying he thought I was going to be taller. As soon as we walked outside the airport, I saw the famous red double decker buses and black taxis. Here we go, the beginning of my new adventure.

Published by Kelsey Harrap