Saturday, April 6, 2013

Australian Adventure (Day 0 of 21) - Solo Travel

Travelling to another country all by myself was a definite first for me.  Normally, whenever I would go out of the country, I would usually be with my family or my friends.  But this time, I was on my own.

                Looking back, I believe it was a good experience for me and I think everyone should try it at least once in their lives.  It was actually more of a trial for me, since when I got to Sydney, my aunt was there to welcome me. Maybe next time, I’ll be able to try visiting another country by myself, with no relatives or friends that I know of.

View from my seat in the waiting area
                So anyway, since my flight was on a Friday night, I was actually coming from the office.  Luckily, my client meeting ended up just on time so I didn't have to worry about the traffic and being late.  My cousin was the one who drove me to NAIA Terminal 2 and we arrived there at around 5:30 PM.  We actually took a bit of a detour first because I had to pick up my newest "toy" so I could take it with me in my vacation.  Given that I had enough time,  I was able to remove some of my clothes from my luggage as I might have over packed a bit.  I had a free baggage allowance of 23 kg, and since I would definitely be bringing more when I return, I though it would be better to be on the safe side.

                The airport wasn't very crowded when I arrived, so I didn't encounter any problems checking in.  I also got a cart for my luggage since I also had my work laptop with me. There were no queues yet so I was able to check in easily.  However, one problem I encountered was that when I had to go to the restroom, I had to bring all my stuff with me since I couldn't leave it with some stranger.  Fortunately, the cubicles were big enough to bring in the trolley while I do my business.  

                The next difficulty I faced was filling up the immigration form.  Not that I didn't know what to put, but it’s just that I couldn't seem to find my pen.  I've tried taking out all my stuff from my bag, but I still couldn't find it.  There were no pens available in the counters so I had to borrow from one of the attendants.  Since I was able to finish early the pre-boarding procedures, I had some time to relax and even charge my gadgets at the airport.  There was also free wifi so I managed to facetime with my aunt in Sydney.  The next thing I know, we were already being called for boarding. 

               The ticket I paid for allowed me to choose the seat beforehand.  Since I was travelling alone, I chose to sit on an aisle seat instead of the window seat so I can have easier access to the restroom whenever I need to. However, before getting to my seat, I had a hard time getting through, since my luggage was a bit wider than the width of the aisle.  After a bit of pulling and some maneuvering on my part, I was able to finally reach my seat.  The people around were kind enough to help me with my hand-carry luggage.  Lucky for me, I was seated next to an elderly woman with her grandson. So I was at least assured that I wouldn't be bothered during the flight.  Anyway, after ensuring that my luggage were properly stored, I began to mentally prepare myself for our take-off.  Because, yes, I do admit that though I love to travel, I particularly don't like take-offs and encountering heavy turbulence during any flight.  I actually envy those people who instantly fall asleep and would just awaken when the plane has already landed.  

Managed to finish three movies
               Well, maybe it just comes with age.  Because I remember that when I was travelling as a child with my parents, I was worry-free and actually excited to ride on a plane. Now that I'm older, I guess I'm more aware of my mortality and of the things that can go wrong. To help lessen my anxiety during take-offs, I just normally pray the rosary.  Only when the seat belt sign has been removed, am I able to truly relax.  I guess it also helped when I performed a basic research beforehand on turbulence.  This gave me some comfort and a sense of safety after knowing more about it.  To take my mind off any remaining worry, I decided to just watch some movies.  I think I was able to finish around three movies and I even managed to catch some much needed shut-eye in between.  It was also a blessing that the flight was smooth overall.  Though we still experienced some turbulence, it was minimal and didn't last very long.  

                Nevertheless, I couldn't contain my excitement when our pilot announced that we have safely landed in Sydney Airport.  With my bags in tow, I was eager to finally start my three-week Australian adventure.

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