I’m leaving on a jet plane

Tomorrow, I will be embarking on what – for some – is the trip of a lifetime. Five weeks in Europe. I’m excited, but I’m nervous. I have never been away from home this long (five weeks) and I’ve never been this far (I’ve been pretty much sticking to Asia).

But being a Nervous Nellie is not a condition I subscribe to for any length of time. So I’ll acknowledge I’m a being a bit of a ‘Fraidy Cat and just get on with the job of getting where I need to be.

A few things are different this time. I’m flying direct to Rome (with a stop in Singapore) from Adelaide via Singapore Airlines. Up until now, I’ve had to hop skip and jump it, mainly because I’ve flown with Qantas, and flying to my destinations in Asia meant that I needed a connecting flight in Melbourne (not too bad) or Sydney (God awful). But after last year’s China trip, I have vowed never to fly Qantas internationally. Ever again. Ever.

I’ll also be leaving later in the afternoon, instead of the red-eye. Those flights are just plain exhausting. You don’t sleep well the night before because you are so worried about missing the alarm to wake you up… then if you miss your connection because of flight delays and you are stranded in Shanghai with neither luggage or support… well, it just about makes a girl want to turn around and fly straight back home. On the bright side, it IS character building!

This year I also used a local travel agent, Phil Hoffman Travel, and they have been wonderful. Yes, I KNOW I can organise my own travel online and I KNOW it will be cheaper, but being a solo traveller, I like having a fall-back (particularly after China trip). I like to know that someone has my back in an emergency (China anyone?) and there is something nice about having a local look after you (or me, in this case). That is not to take anything away from Travel Indochina* (who I used for my previous two trips) and I can highly recommend, but I like looking at someone when I make my travel arrangements, and have them know me.

I’ll be cruising for around three weeks of my five weeks away, and I have not really cruised before. It’ll be a whole new experience, and one that I am looking forward to. I spent three days cruising the Yangtze as part of last year’s China trip, and I loved it. I’d not considered cruising before that. But I have heard excellent things about Holland America from a number of different sources, and recommendations for cruising the Mediterranean, so I thought: why not? And if the Yangtze cruise is anything to go by, it will be amazing.

So. I’m mostly all packed. I’m still contemplating taking things out, and adding things. But, for the most part, I’m ready.

Now, I just need to do something about these nerves…!

* Travel Indochina have organised all my travel in Asia, and while I would have no hesitation in using them again, I would do so via Phil Hoffman.

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