1 Sydney – Dubai – London Gatwick
Sydney became a tiny pin dot as the A380 soared towards more adventurous lands. Inside the cabin, I was busy writing a letter to myself, not to be opened for at least 6 months. “Here’s to hoping everything turns out so much better than even your dreams could imagine,” went the tale. Pen to paper, tears to eyes.
2 Manchester – Amsterdam
We should’ve really savoured the sandwiches we were given upon the KLM flight, given we’d only fly EasyJet or Ryan Air from here on out in our escapades across Europe, but instead we went straight for the Stroopwaffles. The all-nighter at the airport was worth it.
3 Amsterdam – Manchester
Travel days seems so inconsequential, don’t they? With a flight smack bam in the middle of the afternoon, we headed to the airport ridiculously early. Good thing we are avid shoppers, and Duty Free was calling.
4 Liverpool – Madrid
We had it all planned out. Two trains and a bus straight to Liverpool John Lennon Airport. And then train delays happened in Lancaster, and our connecting train at Wigan North was irreparably missed…and it was the last train of the night. Panicked and in the middle of what may as well have been nowhere, we ran across the station to try and find a station master. Keep in mind, it was nearing midnight and only us four and a raucous bridal party dressed in tiaras and tutus was with us. Gratefully we accepted the complimentary taxi ride straight to Liverpool Airport, for a long night largely awake in the airport terminal.
5 Madrid – Manchester
So so sick after a bout of the flu or gastro or who knows what, I was not looking forward to spending hours on a plane. A few travel sickness tablets later, and we were soaring into the air, my eyes firmly shut and my mind dreaming of landing safely back in Manchester.
6 Manchester – Dublin
As we popped out into customs in Dublin, we got chatting to the border patrol officer. “We’re so excited to be finally visiting Ireland, it’s the only country in the UK we haven’t been in!” We were chattering way too excitedly before one of us realised that, nope, Dublin is not in the UK. Major faux pas…but the kindly old border patrol officer laughed gently, treating us to a map, and showing rather pointedly that fine barrier between Ireland and Northern Ireland…
7 Dublin – Manchester
The 3am bus from Manchester airport got us into Lancaster bus terminal near 5am. Our beacon of hope, my flatmate Lewis in his car, stationed across the road. Grateful isn’t strong enough a word – we were BLESSED to have him there, so so appreciative. Back to our rooms and collapsing into bed.
8 Liverpool – Nice
The boys were throwing snowballs across the car while we were frantically wiping ice off the windscreen. 3am in March, and for the first time since I’d been in England there was snow! Fuming that of course lovely snowfall had to happen the one night I can’t be here to enjoy it, we set off on course to Liverpool Airport, the sounds of a rather dreary (and accidentally added to the playlist!) rendition of ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ playing throughout the ride.
9 Nice – Liverpool
“And how do you know those girls over there? Are they all British citizens? Do you live with them? Do they work?” the border patrol officer quizzed me, her stern face not a good sign considering I hadn’t thought to bring my Visa papers of my EU passport on this trip. “And how long do you intend to stay in the UK? Where are you living? When was this Visa issued?” The questioning began to feel like interrogation, and out of the corner of my eye I could see my friends starting to get a little concerned that I wouldn’t be allowed through the gate. Hell, I didn’t think I’d be allowed into the UK again. The sight of Liverpool John Lennon Airport has never been sweeter than when my passport was finally stamped and off I went back out into the cold.
10 Manchester – Sydney
“I’ll come with you, help you carry your bags,” he was saying as we neared Manchester Piccadilly station.
“Don’t be stupid, your ticket is to London and you’ll miss you connecting train,” I insisted. A little more to-and-fro and he conceded, alighting at Manchester Piccadilly while I went one further to Manchester Airport. Little did I realise how much of an arm workout lugging my heavy suitcase from the station to the airport would be! Could’ve used that man power…
11 Sydney – London Heathrow
Delay after delay, “electrical issue” after issue, it’s no wonder that by the time I reached wifi in Dubai I had no way of telling my boyfriend what time to meet me at Heathrow. In fact, I hardly even knew what time it was, and barely caught the connecting flight as the delays in Sydney caused the stopover to be cut ridiculously short. None of it mattered, though, when I stepped into the main corridor at LHR and he was standing there ready for a week of adventures in London.
12 Manchester – Paris
The rosy skies of Paris became ever more vibrant as the plane touched down in Charles de Gaulle. Immersed in a wave of heat and the waft of croissants (read: not the beautifully crafted ones of the boulangeries, but more airport service station style). Hopped onto the bus, and our adventures in Paris began…
13 Paris – Manchester
Whether the world knew we were going back to England, I don’t know, but Paris’ wonderful Spring had suddenly turned quite sour. Greying skies brought forth visions of England, and our RyanAir flight stationed in the drizzle even more. Lucky us, picked to have our bags placed in check-in baggage! We boarded the flight without need for that clumsy routine of asking strangers to help us with our bags (or in my case, hitting them on the shoulder as I pulled my carry-on down from the hatch!)
14 Manchester – Athens
Freezing in my leather jacket on a metal chair in Manchester Airport at 1am, I desperately wished that I had taken up his offer of his jacket. Only an hour or two beforehand we had left the gig in Manchester and headed to an ASDA where I stacked up on flight snacks, and finally I was here, alone, in the airport waiting for 4am when security would open. Sometime before 2am I sat up from my ‘bed’ of two chairs to put socks on my hands I was so cold, and lo and behold in those 2 minutes someone sat where my head had been resting just minutes before. The long wait for security was only seeming longer and longer…
15 Athens – Madrid
Sneaking out of the bed I was sharing with my god sister, I collected my bags and rushed out with my Uncle to the airport. Later, on the flight, I happened to be seated next to a German man who spoke a little bit of Greek. He couldn’t get his words out to the flight attendant, though, and so in an attempt to help I scrambled out his request to her in Spanish (hoping that, given we were flying to Spain, she may know a little Spanish). The man smiled gratefully, and later I found that he too could speak a little Spanish – so much for my help haha!
16 Madrid – Manchester
I locked my cousin’s apartment door, having left a thank you note on her dining table (and a couple of sneaky chocolates for her for later!), and popped the key in the letter box before heading next door with my suitcase to get some Churros for breakfast in the local food hub, bursting with businessmen and locals alike. Okay, the first bus to my right, change at the bus terminal, then straight to the airport. Easy, right? England, I’m coming home!
17 London Heathrow – Rome
“We’ve gone round this roundabout 3 times already!” I was tense as the clock ticked closer to 6am. I couldn’t miss my flight – poor P was already in Rome after a long flight from Sydney and I knew she’d had an awful flight. But even though I was in a rush, once I was checked in and ready for security, something was pulling me back. I didn’t want to leave London, or him, because I knew the next time I would be in London would be for only 3 days and then that was that. Little did I know, as I sobbed my way through airport security, that Italy was set to be one of my favourite European destinations.
18 Florence – Mykonos
“We’re coming back in a week, do you really need to lug all those Baccio chocolates around from now haha?!” I laughed as P stuffed her handbag with even more Italian chocolates. Can’t say I was complaining when the flight was delayed and, somehow, by accident, totally-not-on-purpose, the Baccio box fell open…it’s only right to scoff down a couple, right?
19 Santorini – Rome
After 3 hours waiting in the blaring sun with hoarded of increasingly angry tourists, the lines finally heaved towards the gate. “Our plane is going to leave without us!” shouted some Brits from behind, shoving their elbows in everyone’s way to get into the crowded terminal. Funnily enough, as we taxied towards the runway on our little jet, that same BA flight was still well and truly stationed at the gate…
20 Rome – London Heathrow
Rushing P in the morning after such a late night is almost impossible. I know, because I’ve tried it. Even though my flight was only an hour prior to P’s (she was heading back to Sydney while I was staying on for a few more days in London), I am so desperate to get to the airport the morning of a flight. Running for the train, we plopped down and watched Rome disappear in a haze of smog. I can’t even talk about the delays we found once we reached the airport. For that, reach here haha.
21 London Heathrow – Sydney
You know you’re crying a ridiculous amount when the gorgeous elderly couple next to you asks if anyone is going to meet you at the other side of the flight, because they’re worried. Little did they know that on the next leg of my flight, from Dubai to Sydney, my aunty would be flying as a flight attendant in Business Class, and I would be spending my entire flight up by the galley, chatting with the flight crew, helping one stewardess who knocked her knee, and eating all the goodies that Business Class didn’t finish.
22 Sydney – Brisbane
I never imagined I’d be packing a suitcase (again) for a flight/trip only 3 days after having landed home from London. But here we were, ready for an entire week on the Gold Coast – sun, books, water parks and beach were waiting for us. What I didn’t expect was the welcome home party my aunties threw me for when I walked in the door!
23 Brisbane – Sydney
Not gonna lie, I can’t remember this flight at all haha! All I remember is that the airport lounge had a toast machine, and my love of jalapeño and cheese toasties was born.
24 Sydney – Melbourne
A trip to Melbourne with one of my closest friends was always on the bucket list. Attending a festival in the middle of Nowhere, Victoria, on NYE didn’t quite make the list, but nevertheless I was pumped. Funny to think that four days later, we’d be on the short flight again home, draped in glitter, with bed socks and mismatched outfits after most of our clothes were either drenched in rain or covered in mud!
2016, you were awesome. Somehow my flights for 2017 aren’t looking quite as impressive xx