On my way at last … “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao Tzu
I have way too much baggage, as I have always suspected, but the cold weather in Sydney kind of necessitates it. It was really confusing packing because there are four different stages I need clothes for, Sydney, plane travel, walking and conference attire. I worked it out in the end, but my head was in a jumble. I’ve never left in stages before, it has always been straight out from down under with minimal layovers. I had a whole Italian meal going on in my suitcase and backpack – lasagne layers of clothing, charger cord spaghetti and contrary to Oprah’s advice, filling up on bread with all my notebooks.
The glow of dawn was stretching over the tarmac and parked planes as I completed my morning pages sitting next to Qantas (or now I’m in Syd) Quannas pilots’ favourite watering hole (rest assured caffeine, not alcohol). It is of course a bookshop containing a cafe and my usual hang-out when I’m leaving Melbourne. I get to indulge my love of seeing men in uniform, and wonder whether I would have made a good pilot.
Given my impending travel destination, imagine my delight when I was serendipitously greeted at my Tullamarine gate by a poised, greying woman with a French accent. Of course I had to say “Bonjour, parlez-vous français?” and we had a lovely tête-à-tête because either the plane was really empty, and there weren’t any other passengers boarding, or I was just last to board. It turns out it was a bit of both. After a mid-air breakfast containing 6 teaspoons of sugar (spelt out by Sarah Wilson), the same lovely woman wafted my way, telling her colleague she needed to serve my beverage because I need to ‘practice my French’.
It feels exciting to finally be flying … maybe in these modern times “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single flight” would be more appropriate.