Our big adventure began on a Sunday morning, when the combination lock on the big backpack displayed a purposely chosen random number…meaning it was locked. “Ready to go Bub”, I said to Wonderful Husband.
In the days leading up to this poor Princess Bling (5) was both excited about seeing her paternal grandparents, but sad that her sister and I would not be around for almost THREE WEEKS.
The five of us got to the airport and had some lunch together, then Miss Chatty (3) and I said our goodbyes. My last hug with Wonderful Husband for three weeks seemed to last a lifetime, Princess Bling was teary, and Lego Boy (8) said “I’m not very satisfied that you’re leaving Mama.” The thought of leaving most of my family behind was daunting, not to mention 24 hours flying, and being in transit twice with a pre-schooler who took no notice of time differences!
As we were nearing immigration I was able to put my Dutch (that I had learnt while living in The Netherlands) to good use, and helped a lady fill out her departure card.
At our departure gate we were able to wave goodbye to the rest of the family. I can’t thank Royal Brunei Airlines enough for taking such good care of us.
When we got to transit time in Brunei Miss Chatty managed to make some friends with some other transit passengers, and entertain some others. For a whole three hours she sang, danced and ran herself ragged. So what did that mean for the next 8 hour flight? Before we had even left the runway she had fallen asleep, and had to be woken up at our next transit stop, Dubai. While sitting at the departure gate the anticipation of seeing my sister and parents together for the first time in a couple of years was EXCITING!
As the third leg of our journey to London drew to a close, the captain announced that it was a crisp one degree celsius in London. “Great!” I thought to myself, I wished that I hadn’t packed THAT lightly. I had been so proud of myself for packing so minimally for the two of us!
After unsuccessfully wrangling Miss Chatty at Border Control, I was thankful for one of their crowd control officers taking pity on me, while passengers from about five different flights turned their heads. He allowed me to jump to the front of the ever-increasing non-EU queue.
How glad do you think I was to see my parents at the baggage reclaim hall? They had arrived an hour before we had, and waited for us. It really hadn’t felt like it had been six months since I had last seen them. They both looked well. Memories of regular weekend trips as a child came flooding back. They had passed their
itchy feet syndrome sense of adventure on to my sister and I. All this rigmarole for a wedding…PFFT was the response I had gotten from a few people when describing the scenario for the holiday. Reasons for travelling to where we did would become apparent as our travels unfolded.