How Time Flies!

Jessie loves flying which is a great attribute, as I on the other hand have to micro manage every part of boarding a plane, the take off ritual of putting my Kate Bush CD on loud enough so I can’t hear the planes engines, frying my eardrums. Then again during landing, playing the same song over and over again to keep calm, panicking if I haven’t got the right track on. Having sweets ready at hand to suck on and water to sip – it’s ridiculous but it works for me. I knew Jessie would be looking forward to the in-flight food and films and was lucky enough not to have any weird behaviours like mine. This was a relief in itself, and after our last goodbye and final text that she was boarding it was still a massive jolt that she was off.

Thai Airways Airbus

The Thai Airways flight to Bangkok took off just after midday and I started work at 1:30pm which was a good thing as for the next 7 hours I would be pre-occupied with work and the time would fly by. At midnight I received my first text from her.

“Hi, I’m in Bali – no wait I mean Bangkok”

It made me laugh, classic Jess – half way round the world and kind of knows where she is. She described the flight as being in darkness the whole time and now the sun was rising in Bangkok! In a few more hours the next leg of the journey to Bali would be complete and she would meet up with her ‘childhood sweetheart’ who she hadn’t seen for 3 months for a 3 week holiday before venturing off to Australia on her own.

Photo by Oliver Sju00f6stru00f6m on Pexels.com

Pat met her at the airport with a taxi and off they went to the hostel I booked near Echo Beach for 4 days and then they were on their own. I met a woman in a nice bookstore in Bath who worked in the travel section, and she said to me her mum always use to book the first hostel in a country she went to just to give them both some piece of mind and get sorted out. I thought this good advice and even though I booked it I didn’t pay for it. Cash on the day!

Another piece of good advice I was given was from a friend who lives in South East Asia is that you need plenty of cash in Bali – all kinds, US dollars, AUS dollars, Indonesian Rupiah, UK Pound coins.

Two weeks before Jess left the UK we had been made aware of Travel Cash Cards including Monzo and Starling Bank – this has to be one of the best financial accessories to have if travelling. She now can transfer money from her bank account into Starling and use it without incurring hefty exchange fees. She was lucky it got set up and arrived so quickly.

After Jessie’s first full day in Bali I received this encouraging Gen Z’ message…..

Wasson” “Been to the beach today – Pat’s got a scooter so we’re both carting around on that”, ” We got some food at this Peng restuarant…”, “£1.60 for all dis”
 
Lunch!
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New Years Day 2019 – 6 Days before the Journey Begins

This is my first Blog and first post. I live in the quiet City of Bath, UK.  I woke up at 4am this morning  strangley happy.  For the past few weeks I have been waking up at this time with fear and worry. In my sleep I must have come to the conclusion that to be happy at this time in the morning was a better feeling.  Today is Tuesday 1st January 2019, in 6 days time my 19 year old second born child will be travelling to Bali, Indonesia, via Bangkok, Thailand and then on to Sydney, Australia.  The only way I think I will cope with this seperation happening is to write about it.  It maybe an outpouring of saddness, but  hopefully along the way there will be many happy and funny stories to share.  I hope maybe other people in my position will connect with this feeling.

The past few weeks have been rather worrying for me.  Did I think my daughter would manage this epic Journey alone?  Would she have enough money?  Has she had all her vaccinations? Where will she live?  Were the Planes safe? etc.. I then started to become a little neurotic Which Airline was she flying with?  Which country was she connecting flights in? We changed the original flight route but then the poor Travel agent did have to be a little firm with me and keep everything on track, “There really is no point flying all the way to Hong Kong and then back to Bali”  So Thai Airways and Virgin Australia are booked. My daughter’s Visas, and Banks are sorted and Hostels in both Countries are expecting to Welcome her.

Then terrible stories in the news put the fear in me.  A brave intellegent, independent young woman in the prime of her life was pointlessly murdered in New Zealand.  My daughter was upset by the reaction of the media and Facebooked all the positive stories about this young Woman’s right to travel alone.  My daughter is a happy, brave, free spirited, adventurous, kind young woman in her prime, embarking on a similar trip. I felt so deeply sorry for Grace’s family, I couldn’t watch the news coverage.

Then a Tsunami hit the coasts of Sumatra and Java in Indonesia and swept away all those young people watching a local Pop band Seventeen, the horror of it still rips through me. My daughter is an avid music fan and would have been at that concert if she lived there. Hundreds and hundreds of people in one night…how can this happen?

My daughter still determined to go to Bali made me worry less as she was sure it was what she wanted.  The only worry shown was when the Child of Krakatoa started spewing out ash.  We are hoping it stays quiet.  Her positive nature about everything has kept me rooted and let me let go of her to do this trip.  In 6 days time I will give her a final hug goodbye for a Year and I shall miss her immensely.  This is a Diary or Travel Blog by someone left behind.  I turn 50 this year and have always wanted to write a blog. Now I have a Year to get on with it.

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Welcome to a Fantastic New Year 2019

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