It has been five weeks now since I landed back in the UK after visiting my good friend Heather in Melbourne, Australia. I have been thinking about the trip and what it has taught me.
The flights in themselves were uneventful. Although each flight was about six hours, and there were three flights to get to Australia, and another three flights to get home, I was entertained with films, tv, music, snacks and meals. On reflection it seemed to take less time to get to Australia than it did to get home. I think it felt that way because of the anticipation and excitement of flying all that way for the first time and meeting Heather in person that made it feel that way.
And it seemed to take longer coming home because I had only landed in Australia six days before and therefore I was travelling thousands of miles in a very short space of time.
I learned that it doesn’t matter what time it is, I can eat noodles in mid air. I learned I can cat nap on a flight, but not sleep properly (although I presume if I had gone business class I would have been able to sleep relatively well).
I learned that travelling all that way to support my friend made her feel better, which in turn made her husband Geoff feel better. I found it very humbling to receive the thanks of Heather and Geoff for visiting. It is something I wanted to do, and if I hadn’t done it I know I would have regretted it.
I learned what true friendship is and how it works both ways. I learned how friendly the Australian people I met are. Every single one of them that I met welcomed me into their lives, into their homes and wouldn’t allow me to contribute any money for anything. That too is humbling. Heather’s friend Susan drove us around to visit a couple of local towns. This was very kind of her and I felt really grateful to her for giving up her time for me.
Heather and I with Alfred the Bear
I learned that I can travel on my own, and that I can find my way around an airport, locate the baggage reclaim and find the exit. I learned that I am capable of travelling literally half way round the world on my own, of organising the trip on my own, sorting out currency to take with me and changing sterling for Brunei dollars at Brunei Airport so I could buy a cup of coffee.
On coming home I learned how much I had been missed by Kelvin, and how much I missed him too. This is the first time we have been apart for longer than a day or two for many years.
I had been invited to a wedding reception in the evening on the Saturday after my return from Australia. I thought to myself, do I really want to go to Rookley on my own (Kelvin was working), a journey of about 15 miles. I said to myself ‘I have been to f***ing Australia on my own, I am sure I can get to Rookley’ and off I went and had a very good time seeing my friend Laura and her new husband Jamie. If I can fly to Australia on my own, I am sure I can do an awful lot more now. My comfort zone has expanded dramatically and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be. In fact, I only wish I had been able to break out of the comfort zone sooner.
Kelvin told me he is very proud of me, not only for doing this, but for arranging it all on my own. That makes me feel really good and it is wasn’t until he said that and explained that it was a really huge thing to do that I realised just what I had achieved. I am feeling very proud of myself as well as privileged to have met so many lovely people in Australia.
I know that I achieved what I set out to achieve and that is supporting my friend Heather. The bonus is that I achieved several firsts for me and now maybe there is no limit to what I can achieve in the future.
If this resonates with you and you would like to step out of your comfort zone but are not sure where to start, contact me and we can have a chat about how I can help you.
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