I am in London, baby! Three flights and almost 30 hours later I am back in London Town.
Aaahhh, so many beautiful red things: phone boxes, buses, Prince Harry.
I actually can’t believe it. I’m in the northern hemisphere. The Mother Land. Thousands of kilometres away from home. Surrounded by strangers. And I can’t believe it. I don’t feel afraid. I feel exhilarated.
It’s a feeling that I have not personally felt alone, without any cute little nieces to help provoke it, in a while.
Let’s just say Exhilaration has been in my archived emotions box collecting dust. Suppressing with it other emotions: Fulfilment, Purpose & Direction, and the biggest of all, Self-Trust.
And yet here I am, running on little sleep, thousands of miles from home, with absolutely no reason to hide even the darkest of emotions and I am animated.
Possibly giving off a “she’s definitely medicated” vibe to some, and let’s face it, this excitement could be disillusionment from jetlag, but who needs to explain it? I am feeling good.
Don’t let me fool you though. A girl did not feel this way always.
While we were at cruising altitude, floating high above the clouds, I felt ten feet under, anchored with fear. Maybe terror.
From whether I should have had more packing savvy to whether I should have come at all, my thoughts were all remixes of the same tune: Could I really handle solo travel?
Most of the fear I have put under my favourite category “Being a Human”, but I know that part of my fear comes from being part of a close-knit family. A family that wants to make sure all its members are actively wearing positive emotions like laughter and fun.
But as both the emotional one and the funny one (a self-proclaimed title I wear semi-modestly) in the family, it can seem I am adorned in more sad than happy. Which to the outside world may come as a shock.
Let me get metaphorical and assure you, there is no cause for concern, people. I am just what I call an open vent, freely expressing my emotions more often than not.
The opposite of an open vent is, I believe, a Mt Vesuvius-sized volcano and is the result of people letting their emotions build slowly over time until they explode in a brilliant display that can be seen for miles.
But, while open vents may only blow steam and the occasional outburst of lava, the frequency of their explosions can be concerning for those that love that mantle of hot air and molten rock.
In the weeks leading up to leaving, I thought that if my vent bursts open with emotion too many times while I am overseas, that would be an unfair burden on them (worry) and me (fear).
So, I cried with relief when mid-flight I read a hand-written note from my Mum. In between all the I love you, I am so proud of you, You are amazing sentences I absolutely adore, there were two that stuck out for me:
“Of course there will be flat days and home sick days, but that is part of it all. Don’t think, ‘well this has proved them right’ (right being my interpretation: ‘Megan is a blubbering mess that can’t handle it’), and not call if you need us.”
It was just what I needed.
So, here I am. Sore. Tired. Scared. Not quite the opposite, but distantly removed from blubbering mess.
You know what, I think I actually might be able to not only handle travelling solo, but also love it.
My discoveries as a human being continue tomorrow with a mission to fit in as much sightseeing in a work day (8-12 hours, depending on jetlag). Mission Impossible: Day-tripper Diary can be watched on Snapchat @meandarer.