Onto my next stop, where may that be, you’ll have to read and find out (or skip the story and scroll to the bottom). It’s a tad more mysterious than Ottawa and London, I promise.
Up high in the sky once again, some 38,000 feet over Klosterneuberg(?), I’m sprawled out in my own row, living the lap of luxury, flying Qatar from Heathrow to Doha. Sipping on a smooth red (dry January is officially off), being serenaded by Miles Davis and waving cheerio to jolly ol' England. Hugging Jess goodbye earlier today, I felt my first pang of serious nervousness, leaving all familiarity as I know it behind. I am now officially taking off on my year of adventure.
I am certainly no stranger to living out of my backpack/suitcase being a flight attendant for the past 10 years. When the opportunity presents itself, I take advantage of all the perks that coincide with my glamorous flying gig-the travel privileges, the heaps of time off, the ability to easily drop shifts to extend my many holidays, the forced savings/stock options(!), getting paid to go to exotic locales such as Waikiki and Regina, wearing red lipstick, and tossing cookies. Life on the road has become my home away from home. So why am I nervous?! Oh man. I’m not that nervous, or am I?. This red wine may be messing with my emotions...
Many many hours later, I’m writing under the flashing lights and glitzy facade of the decadent Doha airport in the wee hours of the morn. This airport does not rest, there must not be any curfews on landing and arrival times in this faraway land where the Arabian dessert meets the Persian Gulf. I have spent the past 16 hours attempting to get some rest amid other less fortunate travellers stuck in transit. Perhaps my nerves leaving London were intuitive knowing my flight would be running behind, forcing me to miss my connecting flight, and then the next flight (because it was full) and hopefully not the next...Flying standby is not all it's cracked out to be.
I finally just gave into the draw of the lounge, for one reason-shower. The priciest shower of my life, $80, felt like a million! It came along with a comfy seat where I am now reclined back in the lap of luxury, sipping some more, this time a smooth Karak tea (an arabic take on a chai, with loads of cardamom), seranaded with silence, devouring as many baklava's as my tummy can handle before attempting this flight thing once again.
I said at the beginning of this post that I was leaving all familiarity behind, that's not entirely true. I’m leaving one sister to meet another, my soul sistah Sarah! And where’s our rendezvous?
In Sri Lanka! We’ll be travelling together on trains and tuk tuks through the mountains and jungle, where we plan to hike, see elephants, seek some Ayurvedic treatments, explore temples, eat spicy curry and fresh fruit, visit tea plantations, and then find our way following the coastline in search of waves, then ending up in a retreat to practice loads of yoga and of course more surf. Yippee skippee, I cannot wait!