So today’s the day! I don’t know if my mind will ever be able to comprehend that this is real. The 23rd of June Lashan, The day you get paid to travel through Europe and live your dream. Less than a year ago this was laughably impossible, and now, today it’s your reality. You’re only 21 too. Well done.
I was up until 6am last night packing and doing other things like applying for scholarships and the like. That stuff was not completed. The packing was but after I woke up from my 90 minute sleep-deprived nap there was little time for rest. That’s how you get the unshowered, kinda delirious version of Lashan whose words you are reading right now. These are my raw thoughts splattered out across the page.
So after I finished packing my mum (amma in Sinhalese) and I hopped into the Mazda 3 and dad (thathi) drove us to the airport, a welcome change from the original plan to have my mum and I catch public transport all the way from Newcastle to the airport. Amid my intermittent passings out in my car seat I managed to very quickly edit the rest of my Australia pics and catch up while the sun drowned my screen in harsh light.
I honestly felt physically ill the entire way to the airport. This is such a huge risk. My mind was spinning with thoughts like “What on Earth are you doing Lashan?” “This is crazy,” “Turn back now,” unable to comprehend the scope of what I was about to accomplish. But after a quick goodbye I made my way through those departure terminal doors, and I had never felt more at home.
4 months in Europe, let’s do this.
When I was checking in I had a quick chat to the guy at the desk, who gave me a bulkhead seat (score!) and told me that there might be a bit of a hold up at immigration because of strikes due to fears of redundancy. The robot revolution is coming it seems. After checking in I decided to get one last Australian coffee, which in true airport fare was awful, and then made my way through immigration. Thankfully there wasn’t the hour long hold up the guy prophesised. I was astoundingly clumsy going through there – forgetting to take out my laptop, fumbling with everything and continually realising I had another item in my pocket at the last second. If this was the TSA they would have given me a full body search. I was an absolute mess.
With a while to go until I had to board I took my time around the duty free area and even bought a cheap point-and-shoot camera for video, only to return it immediately after seeing how bad the white balance was. Everything was automatic and a bad automatic at that. After returning that awful camera I sat by the giant glass windows opening out to the runways and the Sydney skyline on the horizon. Am I going to miss this place? I dunno. I’ll miss the people, and it certainly made me fall in love with it once more over the past week, but that’s a little different from developing a longing for it. Whenever anyone mentions Montréal my heart skips a beat. I don’t think that will ever happen with Sydney, but it’s a great place nonetheless.
The time had come to finally board the plane and make my way to Europe.