Day one : Getting Prepared before the off
This entire trip was centred around me resigning from Omega, working a three month notice period and saving to fund this trip.
My last working day was Thurs 22nd Sept and as of Fri 23rd September I am officially a lady of leisure! Ha! Or as some people care to call it, a bum! LOL
Omega has been my life for the past 9 years. I'd grown up there. Leaving was a massive decicion, but albeit the right one. Time for a new challenge. Naturally, i didn't just have the one leaving do, I had two. The first being just colleagues (and of course my 3 bessies, who all know my work colleagues) to spend a night enjoying ourselves at Proud Cabaret. What I remember from that night, I had a good time. And from the after effects of throwing up every half an hour the following day - it must have been a good'n. Quite how I managed to make it to the nurse at the doc's the following day for my jabs i'll never know. The photos the following day didn't leave much to the imagination either. Golden masks, pink nipple tassles, black garters oh and er feather bower's to go with those too (all thanks to Emma :-) )
The second leaving do was my last day, or should I say, half a day :-)
A build up of working three months notice, clearing my desk, finishing everything and not least training my replacement - i don't think i've ever worked so hard! In between all of that I was being wined and dined left right and centre, lunchtimes and dinner times by colleagues, brokers, underwriters and friends a like. i think i've actually put on a stone or two in those three months, eek! So that comes to mention how tired I was when I finally reached Thursday 22nd September. What a day though - I had a great time. C&B under the Willis building from 12.45pm until around 10.30pm. I was on this occasion a good girl and didnt get stupidly drunk, nor embarress myself (oh yeah did I mention I was refused entry into Agenda on the Proud Cabaret night for being too drunk). I paced myself and if i dont say so myself i think I did just fine. The tears came when my boss Simon left. Working with him directly for 2 years but alongside him in our team for 8 of my 9 year history at Omega - him saying goodbye was the catalyst of many more tears to come. Emma bless her!! Tears galore. What a friendship we've created and what a true friend. No more Omega together, but always a friendship! Brokers, Colleagues and family members all made the effort to attend on the 22nd and what a truely special day it was. Photos to follow of both nights.
So there I was, laying there at Scotts on the morning of Friday 23rd September with the realisation that I am offcially unemployed! Oops, was that such a good idea Raz?
I figured allowing 5 days to prepare for the trip, making all the phone calls I needed to and not least of course to mentally prepare and pack, would be sufficient. Ha - me thinks I was optimistic there! Maybe one more day and the whole process would have been stress free. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, eh?! (ha, haven't I heard that before!)
Anyway, so those five days passed. My god they went quick. Doing jobs, making calls, sorting this out, sorting that out and not least spending time with my wonderful boyfriend, my loving family, and my best friends making the most of the time we had together before leaving.
Today - my departure day ran pretty smoothly until i looked at my watch and realised that at 4.30pm I still wasn't packed, nor showered and I had to leave the house at 5.45! Oh dear. So one very emotional Raz, one stressing Raz was running around Dad's house like a raving loon trying to get everything done. Thanks again for your help Dad and Sally!!!! We got there in the end! :-)
A very tearful farewell to Dad and Sally and there i was sat in Scott's car collecting Leah and mum, then of coure Scott from the train station who were all seeing me off at Heathrow Airport Terminal 3. By this point I didn't really know how I felt. Excited. Scared. Sweaty to say the least, lol!!! (sorry for my constant sweaty palms guys!)
A little Pret sarnie for me tea, a yummy skinny latte to wash it down with and before I knew it were were standing at the security gate where I had to say my final farewell for the next 3 months. Mum was first. Well actually she started crying while we were all still talking normally so it made sense to grab her and give her a hug first. My friend, my saviour, my rock! The best mother anyone could ask for really and i'm lucky to have her in my life. Someone who is so scared and doesn't understand this decision i've made, standing there giving her support and waving me off. I know how hard it was for you mummy and i thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming along tonight to say goodbye.
Next was my sister, Leah. Not only my sister but my best friend. Someone whose ALWAYS looked after me since I was a child. Someone whom I've always looked up to. She has cared for and looked out for me, always. Supported me, bent over backwards - everything! Someone who does understand this decision but just because she understands, doesn't mean she won't worry. My long holiday we call it (planted in our heads by Melarnie) and a phrase that helped me deal with the length of time i'll be away alone, having this experience. Sounds so much better than 'travelling'.
Then last but not least my darling boyfriend Scott. Understanding, supportive and quite honestly the best thing to have ever happened to me. The past 10 months being a whole worldwind which has literatelly swept me off of my feet. our first 'date' or lunch as i like to call it eh baby?! We spoke about travelling. Scotts done his and I was telling him that i'll do it at the beginning of 2012. Take three months out and see the places in the world i haven't had the opportunity to see yet. Then following that lunch, 'us' happened. Something we both love and want to continue. I brought these plans forwards 6 months as i realised it would have been harder to go in 6 months time, if at all. This opportunity was thrown at me as a result of something else. I have to grab it with both hands and live the dream i've thought about since I was a young girl. See the world. See all these wonderful things in it. i want memories for myself. Selfish I know but i want to have the time of my life and I want to know that i. Me. i made it happen.
Saying goodbye to Scott was really hard. we're going to miss each other like crazy and so I think saying goodbye without a doubt was the hardest. When I walked away to go through to security i really didn't want to turn back around but i couldn't help it. Tears were flowing and off i went - let the journey begin.
THE FLIGHT - i had a window seat, yippee!!
Sat next to me was a young graduate who was on her way to Sydney to work for 6 months followed by 6 months of travelling. Beside her on the isle seat was an older middle aged lady who was travelling to Oz to visit her daughter who lives there. they were both lovely and as soon as i sat down i was comfortable and ready to relax for the 11 hour flight ahead.
Before i said my final goodbyes to mum and Scott, they each handed me an envelope and asked me to open them when I got settled on the plane. So there i was with massive anticipation of what might be hidden behind these two envelopes.
without divulging too much - mums note was exactly what i needed to hear. Mum was so scared of me travelling alone that she never once discussed my travels with me, which quite honestly upset me (sorry mum). but her words in her note were everything she wanted to say to me, but just couldn't. Needless to say the sense of relief i felt was immense and i shed more tears. (ha, the poor women next to me)
Scotts card took my breath away at first view. it was stunning - ha, that's because it was filled with miniture photographs of the two of us together, lol! Well done baby!! ;-)
Inside as you can imagine were many heartfelt words but this time i smiled lots and took a lot of comfort from those words. I was left smiling and thinking how lucky i am to have found someone like him.
After putting my cards away, i got settled, waited for the drinks and dinner to come around and before i knew it i was fast asleep x