“Easy to dream a dream, though it’s harder to live it” – Wale
I’ve been waiting for someone to pinch me. Maybe then I’d wake up from this dream. Did I really just move out of my apartment in Philadelphia, knowing that I’d probably never return to that home I loved on Preston Street? Did I actually purchase my own storage unit and Tetris the remnants of my home into a 5×10 box? I couldn’t have really requested a leave of absence from my nursing supervisor, knowing that the hospital was my steady source of income these past two years? If those actions only bordered the line of impossibility, this next action crossed the line completely. I most certainly could not have packed my life into two checked-bags and one carry-on, traveled 22 hours overseas, and was now standing in Kingsford Smith Airport alone. But I did. I did all of that and more, proving to myself that living a dream isn’t impossible. It takes planning, effort, and sacrifice—which is not always easy.
After being sent-off by close family and friends, with a Thanksgiving-themed going-away-party, I was ready to board my flight toward Sydney. The flight was scheduled to leave at 6:45 pm with an hour layover in Houston, TX.
Lesson Learned #1—Flying Overseas: Late night departures are the best for overseas travel, especially flights with an early layover. I arrived in Houston only 3 hours after leaving home. During the layover, I called my family to say goodnight, changed into more comfortable clothes, and tried my best to mentally prepare for the 16-hour flight that was ahead.
A late night departure helps facilitate as-close-to-normal sleep as you can get while being in the air for an extended period of time.
Drink plenty of water because it’s very easy to get dehydrated. The flight attendants walked the plane frequently passing out water, so I made sure to grab a bottle and stock up each time they came around.
The nursing student in me feared getting a blood clot or charley horse, so I brought along a pair of compression socks. They worked wonders. The last lesson I learned was courtesy of my Airbnb host, Tim—originally from Colorado/California—who informed me that I should walk the plane often and stretch. I slept a total of eight hours straight, but when I did wake up, I took a trip to the bathroom, and a lap around the aircraft.
There is no denying that the flight is long. However, in doing what I’ve mentioned above, it made my flight peaceful and enjoyable. Breakfast, dinner, and a snack were served. There were a great selection of movies and shows to be watched. I even lucked up with having a pretty cool neighbor to chat with when we weren’t asleep. Flying overseas can be daunting, especially if you’re flying solo, but with proper preparation, it can be fun and exciting too.
Though I am here in Sydney, I have not yet “arrived”. To arrive means to reach a place at the end of a journey [definition courtesy of google.com]. My journey has only just begun. Join me over these next ten weeks as I venture down under, achieving not just the dream of a lifetime, but one that dates back to the 6th grade. Together, we’ll explore Australia, its beauty, and the life that fills both land and sea.