It’s almost one o’clock in the morning and I should be in bed. I have a flight to catch at about eight o’clock in the morning and common sense says I should be at the airport by about six o’clock. My bags are packed, and I’m currently charging every battery I could possibly need. I’ve set the alarm and I’ve organised TWO wake up and reminder calls. But I can’t sleep. I’m far too excited.
I’ve spent the last few days making sure everything was okay. I have Swedish Kroner, I have Euros, and I have Singapore Dollars. I have my passport ready and I have my itinerary and all the necessary paperwork in a folder all ready to go. I’m pretty organised I think.
I rang Damo today to go through my checklist. “Is there anything I’ve forgotten”, I asked him. Minutes later he called me back to remind me about something I’ve since forgotten. It was probably important, though I was a bit distracted when he called. I think it’s because I became a bit overwhelmed by it all mid-afternoon and retired briefly for a sleep.
This was after I’d popped in to St Mary’s this afternoon for a bit of a “pre-holiday chat” as you sometimes do. I noticed they’d erected a very large marquee for “World Youth Day” in Hyde Park. “Something for the pilgrims”, I thought to myself when I saw it. At tonight’s farewell party, my friend Michaela observed that I, too, was on a pilgrimmage. A pilgrimmage to “ABBA Land”.
It’s a trip I’ve dreamed about doing for some time. Ever since I was a kid, and through ABBA discovered Sweden, I’ve wanted to go there. Over the years, my interest in Scandinavia has broadened. I love the movies, I love the landscape, I find the culture quite fascinating. And now, of course, I speak a little of the language as well.
As I thanked my friends for coming to my farewell tonight I became a little emotional. “This is the trip of a lifetime”, I told them honestly. Life is gonna be different after this, I’m sure. And so I guess that’s why I can’t sleep right now.
Still, I’m one of those people who sleeps easily on planes. Honestly, most times I’m asleep before the plane takes off and only wake up when the food arrives. Famously, while travelling in a car with family, I once slept all the way from Mildura to Lismore, broken up only by the overnight stay in Dubbo. And I slept then too. Sleep comes easily to me.
I reckon I’ll sleep most of the way to Singapore.
Still, I hope there’s someone interesting sitting next to me on the plane.