Monday, June 6, 2011

Post Secret Two: Things I have been thinking, experiencing, and doing but was not able to write in order to keep my early return to the United States a surprise

The Feelings:

It has been different now that I know I am going home, the Vivid show in Sydney was the last time that I will ever be there, and it was quite a bittersweet experience. I am so happy and ready to be going home, REALLY happy to be leaving DLC and Macquarie, but I am so sad to be leaving Sydney, Australia, and my friends here. It dawned on me a couple weeks ago exactly what leaving Australia really meant. I am leaving a whole continent! A whole hemisphere! Without any idea when—if ever—I will be able to return. Granted I have had some amazing experiences, I think I made the most of my visit, and, though I did not get to do EVERYTHING I wanted to, I was able to fit most of it in. All the most important bits like the outback, and the reef anyway, I feel like my experience is a good one and as complete as I could have made it. But still, leaving Australia…its just…an odd thought, and yet, totally normal, and yet…its hard to explain.
I will not copy Angie, but she says some stuff about how she feels about coming home (she goes on the 12th) that I think is fairly relevant to me as well. I know I have changed some, become more independent, more capable, more, ‘of the world’, but ALSO I know that home has changed while I have been away, even though in my mind it is in sort of a static state, I know it has changed, and so, going back to all that different-ness will be really weird. My friends have had shared things without me, family too, etc. I am a little scared. Also, I am not exactly sure how I have changed…I just listed some of the obvious, but I guess I don’t know how this will effect me in my life once I return to the States.

The Departure:
Early in the morning.....


So, I woke early the morning of June 2. I had packed everything the night before of course; all that was left was the clothes on my back and my shower stuff. I said my last goodbyes to the early risers, before being accompanied by Angie and Anthony to the Airport. It was really nice of them to come along, Angie supplied Breadtop for us for breakfast and both helped lug my considerable baggage. The train ride was no different from most others I have had. It felt similar to the trainride when I was flying out to Alice Springs. I was aware that yes I was headed to an airport, but not really getting the whole magnitude of the situation. After checking in at the airport, getting a whole extra kilo in my check bag thanks to a friendly agent, it was time to say goodbye. We hugged and got a picture taken, still surreal, still not sinking in that I will not see these people or this country again for a long time if ever. I spent the last few moments waiting in a quiet corner of the departures lounge gazing out at my last time seeing Australia…When the flight began to leave the ground is when it finally hit me a bit harder I think, I felt some sort of wave of emotion so that has to mean something, but again I am still in denial I think.

The flight was really long. It was only one hour more than my trip to Japan, but it felt like a lot longer. I tried to keep myself on Chicago time as much as possible, so for the first few hours I watched a movie that I had really wanted to see (the Mechanic), another that I figured ‘oh why not’ (Never Say Never, actually an interesting movie, though I didn’t really learn anything except Justin Beiber is spoiled and doesn’t listen to direction or rules very well, I must say that he is talented especially for his age when he was younger). Then I attempted to sleep from midnight CH time to around 5am. I think I got a few hours, but certainly not much nor was it very restful. Finally I gave up and pulled out my Jack Reacher book. I was then entertained sufficiently for the rest of the voyage and by the time we landed in Vancouver I was already halfway through. It was so odd to land, there was fog! And, green stuff like pine trees! I had not realized how different the trees look in AU compared to here. It was almost like stepping into a ‘north woods’ postcard or painting or something. My feelings? The weather was so weird and different, and yet not different at all, I was also tired and being on a plane for so long does things to ones head so I was a bit out of it. Ready to be back in the States!!! But sadly I had a loooooooong layover to look forward to before I could get to Chi-town (from 7:30am to 1:30pm). Walking through the Vancouver airport though, there were things like REESES chocolate, and Cinnabun, and whisky, and books about grizzly bears, yep, stereotypical Canada alright! I was excited to see what Chicago was like, this whole in-between stuff where I was not even back in the states yet was weird. Kinda like limbo, it is also how my head felt…floaty and not attached to anything…yep…so began the jetlag!!

1 comment:

  1. It hasn't even been a week since you left and I miss you so much! I'm glad you got home safely though. Reading this post makes me wonder how I'll feel as the plane lifts off from the ground when I leave in 12 days. I will definitely miss the people and the city and the great adventures!