The Departure Lounge

Due to shoddy wifi this post has been delayed! It was MEANT to have uploaded from the airport two days ago… rewind and enjoy 🙂 xx

It would appear my next post is not from London, but instead, is from gate 14A at Melbourne International Airport. It’s so strange; saying goodbye to my family at the gate was one of the most overwhelming and heart wrenching things I have ever had to do – especially with the uncertainty of when I would see some of them next… but having said that, as I sit in the departure lounge, my leg through the strap of my bag and clenching it between my calves with a strength that any meathead would envy, I feel a strange sense of calm that has washed over me. Anxiety about how I would get to this point has prevented me from having this calm feeling for a long, long time… I am not bouncing around with excitement, but I am not overly nervous or scared. I am at peace with where I am. Although with every step I took past those gates, I was getting further from the only reality I have ever known, I have left them all at such wonderful places in their lives; and this is the right time for my journey too.

Last night we had a great night of dancing, drinks and celebrations for my farewell party. It was such an erratic night of emotions; one minute I was fist pumping to Madonna, next minute I was blubbering to “We are Family” and the gorgeous words of my family and friend’s speeches. It was so surreal being surrounded by friends and family knowing I was leaving in mere hours.

Today was perfect. I was treated to a Chinese lunch and a lazy afternoon at home. I nearly had a melt down trying to pack the crucial aspects of my whole life into a 30 Litre rucksack but just when the tears started to appear, my sister came in and took charge and somehow crammed everything in… SEE… WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITHOUT HER?! I had a visit from some friends and a final supper with the family before we headed off to the airport. My beautiful adopted family was there to send me off and it was a somewhat emotional goodbye (to say the least). I think my final Facebook post summed up my feelings pretty perfectly…

Everybody tells you to follow your dreams…What they don’t tell you is how scary it feels when you actually take that leap of faith…My hands are shaking… but I am ready to embrace all that this adventure has to throw at me… Thanks to everyone who has got me to where I am tonight and supported and believed in me… No doubt one of the hardest things I’ve had to do is walk through those gates knowing that with every step I am getting further and further from those who I love most… But I made it this far and I know I can do it… Everyone dies but not everybody lives… So I think it’s time to live a little… Kiss me goodbye, I’m defying gravity…

I always thought the lyrics of the song Defying Gravity from the musical Wicked summed up this dream of mine so perfectly… If you have not heard it, I suggest you get round it… If that power ballad doesn’t bring a tear to your eye then you must have a heart of stone.

*Me giving a big up yours to the non believers as I set off on my journey – a typical Stefan salute…

As I sit here tapping away on my computer, there are two Irish travellers to my right. They obviously just met and are talking about all the amazing places they have been to. I want to tap them on the shoulder and be like, ‘Hey! Hey, I’m a traveller now too!’ but one look at their threadbare, eclectic clothing and tattered bags tell me I am not quite yet in their league… my hesitation is confirmed when the girl says she left home when she was 17 and has been travelling for the past 12 years… wow. So for now, I will bite my tongue, and hope that perhaps one day I have amazing stories of incredible places that I can share with like minded free spirits I meet at airports… Let’s hope it doesn’t take me 12 years to get there though.

EEEEEEEEEK! Plane is boarding… How exciting is THIS!!!!!
To my beautiful parents… I love you and thank you so much for your amazing support with this wild idea of mine; for taking me back into your home and giving me the courage to do this journey alone – I am who I am, and am able to do this because of you… I hope you continue on your newfound journey of positivity and embracement. Thank you.

To my brothers… I miss your smart ass commentary on everything already. Thanks for my neck pillow and my headphone – I’m all over them already. I have a different relationship with each of you but you both mean so much to me and would be here on the next flight if I needed you… Keep being the strong, kind, generous and hilarious young men you are – I am so proud of you.

To Em; I consider you part of this family and my sister. You make Stef so happy and I can leave knowing you will take care of him and be there for him in any way he needs. Thank you for also supporting me in everything I do.

And lastly, to my incredible soul mate, best friend and sister. Saying goodbye to you was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I just stopped crying and typing this is making me start crying again. You are the wind beneath my wings. I adore you. I don’t have to say anymore because you know. You know. Take care my darling and I can’t wait to be in your presence again.

To my readers…. BUCKLE IN!!! Shit’s about to get real! Thanks for coming along for the ride!!

Big Love

The Bug

xxx

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