The deep breath before the plunge...

Trip Start Jan 13, 2003
Trip End Sep 01, 2003

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Monday, January 13, 2003

I've made all my preparations. Actually, no. But it sounds more organised, right? Still, most things are fine. There's bound to be something that you know you've got somewhere, so you don't worry yourself about it. In this case, it's my money belt. I do have one. But where it is, I don't know.

Ach, well. And now...I fly at 6.30 this evening, which leaves me with nothing to do but to consider packing things I would not otherwise think about, let alone take. It's the traveller's prerogative. It's funny, thinking about leaving everything behind; it's almost liberating. Not that I have any commitments here at home right now. But still, going away like this is different from anything else. It's not like a holiday where I'm just having a break from my life; from whatever I'm doing right at that moment. This placement - whatever it brings - will be my life for 8 months.

Dad waited with me at the airport and, as we leant on the railings and gazed out at the steel-grey sky (so typically British, that), he said quietly, "This is the last time I will see you as the person I know now."
I smiled faintly at him. It was all I could do. I couldn't reassure him that his little girl would return. Not that he was asking me to - he was just stating a fact, a truth that had not been openly admitted before that moment:
For better or worse, the time ahead will change me.
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