Sunday, 3 July 2016

Happy...Sunday (#24)

Happy...or absolutely-petrified-don't-make-me-go-to-Heathrow-this-evening-Sunday? Question of the day. This week's show of gratefulness is coming to you a day early since my Monday will be spent on a plane, on another plane, and finally ending up in my new home for the next four weeks meeting all my new pals. So today I should have lots of things to be happy about and excited for. And I do, it's just hidden beneath nerves and nausea. This week has been such a great week, and it feels like it's opened lots of doors and things are so different and so much more structured than they were a week ago. I've had the chance to catch up with lots of friends, and make lots of new ones. I've lived off toast and had a lot less sleep than I'm used to. I'm exhausted, but I'm warm and fuzzy and so, so thankful for this last week. And now I'm going, and suddenly I don't feel ready. I feel like there's so much here that I want to stay for, because it's just getting so exciting, and there's so much to look forward to. I feel like I've not had much time this week to get excited about going away, because I'm so excited about being here. But I'm going, and it's going to be great, and everything that's wonderful at home will still be here when I get back. I've just got to suck up all the worries, or head to Pret and transfer worries for plane snacks, and go. Ready or not. 

The things that have made me happy this week...

1. Geography pals
Spending two long days this week surrounded by lovely, hilarious people - you know the ones that just get you - has been the dream. In my fourth year as a volunteer on this nationwide scheme, I'm so happy to have made so many fabulous friends, even if they are scattered all over the country. Even if our friendship is largely restricted to texts throughout the year, I'm grateful for the opportunities we do have to meet up, catch up and plan our next meeting (with all expenses paid!) This year's meet up was especially killer because of the huge number of new people to meet, and to decide are going to be your new bffs, as well. I spent two days geography-ing so hard, and now have new friends from Lancaster and Surrey and Cambridge and London and Ireland and Exeter as a result. I hope now that we're becoming wise, old graduates we manage to keep in touch, keep making the time to see each other, and keep the old #geographylove alive. 

2. July, August AND September
Everyone talks about the post-travelling lull: the not wanting to come home, the not wanting to leave your new friends, the not wanting to go from this exciting experience back to normal, everyday life. And I reckon it's true. But when you've got an August and September as fun and hectic as mine planned, there's plenty to look forward to on the other side. There's no doubt that July is going to be a pretty awesome month, full of elephants and the outdoors, but so are August and September. I'm not sure there'll be quite so many elephants, but plenty of adventures, birthday trips, future planning, friend hanging...and hopefully sun. If there's one thing better than a whole month living the dream away, it's a whole month away living the dream followed by two months at home (and on holiday) doing the same. 

3. Travelling prep
I enjoy a list...more than the next person. So a week of list-making, for clothes, for a DIY first aid kit, for snacks, for toiletries, for plane reads, for a playlist was something quite special. The result is a case I can barely carry; clothes and shoes for all weathers and occasions; a range of writing and photo taking materials; every single thing I could ever need from a first aid kit for every single minor medical emergency ever; two rucksacks; plenty of snacks; a choice of 17 books for the plane...and Simon's carefully designed playlist. I'm pretty sure that this is everything I could possibly need, and more than I could possibly use/wear/read/listen to for 4 weeks away. Bet I've still forgotten something...but at least I enjoyed making all the lists. 

4. Last supper
My first thought when I woke up yesterday morning was this is my last full day in the UK for a month and that's scary, but I had some toast, watched some Motorway Cops and found some things to add to my IKEA wishlist and all was well again. I feel like I'm massively overreacting about, and overestimating the time I'm spending away and spent a long time thinking about what I wanted my last dinner to be. I chose Greek. I shopped Greek (at Tesco). I ate Greek. And shared it with my best pals. I'm pretty sure at some time over the next month I'm going to eat bread and meat and salad, and that's basically just the same...but there might not be any houmous, and that was the real clincher. Thanks to my pals for keeping me company and distracting me from last night worries (terrors) and for Si for putting up with all my irrational fears and tears. I miss you guys already. 

So here it is. A scared Sunday, but a happy one, with lots to look forward to today and tomorrow and for the next few months. My heart is in my throat, I feel in no way ready to be dropped off at Heathrow this afternoon to say goodbye and navigate the airport and survive the plane by myself, but I don't know if I ever will. I hope to be able to keep this little space updated over the next few weeks, with tales and photos and new experiences, so keep an eye out for elephants. Wish me luck, metaphorically hold my hand, and I'll be back before you know it. X

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