While traveling from England to Mexico, I kept a little green notebook with me the entire time. By the end of my travels, it had inadvertently become my lifeline – my safety net – keeping me from losing my shit literally and figuratively in many ways. It ended up being where I stashed my passport and plane tickets between flights and it ended up being where I vented my feelings on the journey. Whether I felt elated, excited, nervous or terrified, it was all logged in the notebook which I came to call My Travel Diary. Although I was pouring my heart out in moments where I was genuinely scared of what was about to happen, or unable to sit still with anxious anticipation of the next leg of the journey, I wrote entry upon entry. And everything I wrote, I did so with the intention of sharing it all with you here. So without any further faffing, here it is… Volume 1.

Sunday, 3:11pm GMT

I’m in my Mums living room, weighing my bags and just ensuring that I’ve got the last of everything I’ll want or need packed up and ready to go. We’re leaving at about 4am in the morning so I’ve gotta be up at about 3… Crazy. I’m shattered already so that will help with the early night, hopefully. I’ve not been sleeping well these past few months and even less in the last few days – sweating, anxious stomach, racing mind. Due to money, we booked the ticket on Thursday night so my preparation, both mental and emotional and in terms of packing and such has been condensed into about 3 days. Needless to say, it’s been a hectic and exhausting few days.

I saw my Dad, Step-Mum and younger sister yesterday to say goodbye for now. And last weekend I saw my grandparents from my Dad’s side for the same reason. I said goodbye to my 3-y/o little brother Alfie on Friday night too. That was sad. It’s funny the direction life takes us in. I always wanted a little brother growing up. Despite having four sisters whom I love intensely, I always wanted a brother. When Alfie was born, I was getting ready to move out of the family home and into a flat with an ex of mine. I wasn’t able to be there for a considerable chunk of his life due to that, so in a way it’s been an unexpected gift to have been able to spent the last ten months or so getting to know him a little better, along with my now older younger sisters who are no longer young girls but becoming young ladies. With Alfie turning 4 next month and me flying off to Mexico tomorrow, it’s likely I’ll be missing another chunk of him as a little kid. Rest assured, once I’m in Mexico and my jet-lag is a thing of the past, I’ll be arranging regular skype sessions with everyone in my family.

At risk of dwelling on the glum, I wanna focus on the amazing new and fresh start that I’m getting here… In going to Mexico, being with Rosa, having an opportunity to build a new family of my own, find new friends, cultivate a new lifestyle entirely… I am going to have to learn how to do life again. I am going to be re-learning even the simplest aspects of life from scratch. And although, yes, I’ll be saying a temporary farewell to many people, places, things (marmite) and traditions I’ve come to love and take an immense amount of comfort in, I am starting a brand new chapter in my story. Saying goodbye to the issues of old and a hearty hello to a whole new set of things to learn about and through… The primary different this time being that whatever we’re up against, I will be Rosa and I facing it together – side-by-side, hand-in-hand.

At this point, I can’t continue to write without saying a massive thank you to my mum and my sister Beth. Without your continued support, this wouldn’t have been possible. And of course, both set of my grandparents too – one of which will likely not read this though I’m grateful all the same. And Dad, Jo and Amber too for your encouragement and advice. And yes, you too Nyah and Lyssy. I must express my gratitude for those of you who donated to the cause – your generous contributions which came in many forms, not just monetary, helped to keep me afloat while the rest of the money was being gathered. For that, I’ll be forever grateful. It goes without saying – but I’m gonna say it anyway – the unwavering love, faith, support, patience, compassion and outright amazing brilliance and genius that Rosa has provided me with for the past nine months has been something I couldn’t have done without. I love you, Rosa.

With all of that on the page, I’m going to check over everything and re-weigh both my bags for tomorrow. It should be fine to be honest, but I’m a meticulous individual.

I am very anxious about tomorrow and the forty-two hour adventure it will bring. The last time I flew was when I was much, much younger and that was with family, so one sixteen hour flight plus two three hour flights alone with crazy long waits in the airports between each is naturally giving me some anxiety. I’ve said it a few times to a few different people now, I’d like as long as possible to say bye to my family then to be with Rosa as soon as possible, and to have the bit in the middle as short as possible. I know it won’t be but I can wish.

To give you some idea of what I’m about to do, here’s a breakdown… And if the maths is a little skewiff, forgive me. I’m terrible at maths.

I’m waking up at 3am, leaving at 4. My first flight is to Cancun and it leaves at around 9:30am GMT from Gatwick. I will then spend 16 hours or so on that plane, arriving at Cancun airport at roughly 3:30pm local time where I will wait for approximately 7 hours for my second flight. The second flight will take me as far as Mexico City where, upon arrival, I’ll be waiting roughly another 7 hours before boarding my third and final plane to Mexicali. Once I get there, I’ll be staying there for as long as is legally possible… And I’ll be sleeping and sleeping and sleeping… and sleeping.

The idea is that I’ll do my best to sleep on the planes and will be surviving by caffeine and writing during my time in the airports. I’m thinking that if I sleep for at least half of the first flight then airport time will be less difficult. Doubtfully easy, I’ve made my peace with that… But hopefully less difficult.

Sunday, 9:31pm GMT

I just said bye to my sisters after spending a few hours with them and my Mum. When I said my goodbyes to my Dads side of the family, it didn’t seem like me leaving was so imminent – which it actually wasn’t by comparison to my goodbyes with my other family members. One thing’s for sure though, it didn’t feel so real then, though I guess it doesn’t feel real now either if I’m honest. But then, on some level, I must be fully aware of the gravity of what I’m about to do. If I’m not then I’ve no fuckin’ idea what all the anxiety has been about… Speaking of anxiety, I don’t feel half as fearful now as I did before. Writing this was a good idea. It definitely helped. I don’t know what I’d do with all these emotions without a blog to write for… I guess they’d just stew and simmer without ever really being processed.

I saw saying to Rosa earlier on during out last ever skype call (which was weird after nine months of consistent skype calls now being turned into a relationship in the physical domain) that if we don’t express our feelings in some way -like this- then we’ll end up confused and overwhelmed. I think that’s always a possibility for HSPs like me but it’s definitely more the case when going through an experience like this. I’m doing well to remember the wise words of a brilliant YouTuber and a favourite of mine: “Peace out, enjoy life and live the adventure.”

With the right mindset for it, what I’m about to do will be an absolute adventure. It’s without a doubt the craziest most elaborate thing I’ve ever done. Alone, no less. But you know what? For me, “Will actually do it?”has never been a question, nor has “Do I was this?” Because both answers have been automatic ‘yes’s. Of course I’m doing it. Of course I was always gonna. And of course I want this. From the moment I found Rosa, some part of me knew that she would be the one I’d cross the world for.

Oh, before I sleep, a note on the times… I’ve been informed that the first flight is actually more like a ten and a half hour flight rather than a sixteen hour one. That’s a relief to know. I wish for the gaps between the flights to be a little shorter too. I’ll trust in the flow on that one.

Anyway, I’ll write more when I get a chance tomorrow. For now, sleep. Goodnight.

That concludes Volume 1 of my Travel Diary. Check back in a few days for Volume 2 in which I make an interesting friend and embark on an 11 hour plane journey which turns out to be the longest day of my life…

Thanks for reading and sharing in this with me.

Keep it real,

Namaste,

Live, love and play.

-A-

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(l-r) Lyssy, Me, Mum, Beth and Nyah

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