Over the years, I’ve often said to Matthew that without him, I’d still be sitting at Sydney airport lost, crying and alone. This comment was usually made whilst traveling, following another spectacular display of my lack of navigational skills and in absolute awe of his ability to follow another of those wiggly drawings titled ‘Map’ to deliver us to our next destination.
Although feeling very lost and very definitely crying, nay, wailing (an outburst rivalled only by the humiliating public display visited on my mum when she took me to buy my first bra), I was definitely not alone. A farewell party of dedicated loved ones gathered to send me on my way and two body guards assigned to literally drag me through the barrier to a brave new world. Those body guards being my super sisters, Rebecca and Rachael. They’ll be my travel companions for the first fortnight. Bless their cotton socks and Beck’s Qantas Club membership.
Once we were through the customs, we ‘taste tested’ a couple of shots of duty free booze en route to the Qantas Club for another quick drink before boarding (I’m sure it was after midday at our destination).
The flight was turbulent but the inflight entertainment, exhaustion and a firm grip on Rach proved to be enough to get me through. Having seen more than my fair of movies in recent months, I opted for repeat viewings of films I’d seen before and enjoyed for various reasons – Love & Other Drugs and 127 Hours. The latter was especially pertinent to this trip. Based on the book Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston, this film is essential viewing for anyone who has felt they’ve had to metaphorically sever their own arm to break free from and survive their circumstances. This was the second time I’ve seen it without looking away during ‘that scene’ – I don’t know what all the fuss is about – if you can’t stomach it, you’re clearly not watching enough Embarrassing Illnesses, that’ll toughen you up!
In what can only be explained as time travel, we landed at the exact same day at the same time as we took off. Although it felt like we’d been travelling for 14 hours, we were all relieved to touch down in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The adventure has begun, stay tuned…