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

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”

Sunday 6th January 2019

Today we hugged goodbye.  I would like to thank the Coach driver of the 12:15 Bath to Heathrow National Express today.  After loading my daughter’s massive ‘going away for a year or more’ rucsack on board he let me give her an extended hug goodbye on the coach steps.  This cheered me up immensely, I felt like I had been given the chance to give her a proper final hug and leave – happy that this moment hadn’t been complicated by other travellers or a grumpy driver.

I still fled to the outside of the station to fall apart at the seams a little, only to look back and catch my son catching a glimpse of me in this dreadful state.  Turning away from his gaze I forced myself to ‘Straighten up’ and walked along the outside of the station to the coaches exit road.  I wanted to wave goodbye to Jessie on the coach along with my son and better half.  It was hard remaining composed,  I wanted to have an irrational  outburst and wail and cry as if I would never see her again, but instead I prepared to wave Goodbye!

This had to be a happy not sad farewell.  “Be calm and carry on” or in this case “Be strong and smile”  The coach pulled up at the station exit road but it was stopped by the traffic lights on red.  This gave time for a brilliant encounter.  The coach driver smiled at me, at us.  Then a bigger smile appeared on his face.  We had out iphones and camera ready to take a photo of Jessie as she passed by us on the coach.  Then he made me laugh, all of us laugh.  He waved at us, then put his thumb up, then gave the biggest cheesiest grin, waving as he drove by, and four seats behind was Jessie grinning and waving happily at us too!  Within seconds they were gone.  But I felt it was a good start to her adventures!

Photo by Artem Bali on