Travelling, 18 years ago.
I remember so clearly, so pumped to hear that boarding call in Sydney airport, July 4th, 1999.
The weight of my backpack was supressing any nerves and the jitters from the coffee i'd just drunk, dulling any emotion. I hugged my parents, at the same time, which was totally bizarre as my Dad lived 1000kms away from me and hugging them together was something I hadn't done since I was in nappies. It distracted me frommy 12 year old sister's sobbing tears and it wasn't long before my insensitive 18 year old brain marched me towards the boarding gate and towards a life of freedom and adventure (or so I dreampt).
Travelling around the U.K at 18, 19 and 20 was an experience that I wouldn't trade for the world. The people I met, the friendships I made and the places I ventured were foreign and exciting. I was forced to think quickly (so i wouldn't die) and fend for myself (so i wouldn't die). Being organised was one gift I acquired from this experience. And if anyone has a friend, cousin, or daughter heading of soon I'd recommend something like a travel pack would be a great gift or travel credit for side trips for their big adventure.
On that trip I sent my first ever email, held down three jobs at one time, caught the oh so modern Eurail, partied at Glastonbury Festival, broke up with a boyfriend, lived on my own, and found I had a family of friends willing to hug me, lead me and wipe away my tears.
I returned home to Australia with a new found confidence, a bit more attitude and a mental list of the places I was going to visit next..... 17months later I was partnered, pregnant and travelling was on pause. Oh how life was about to change!