This is only the third time I have been overseas, and the first time I have travelled alone – if I said I didn’t feel the next couple of weeks would be daunting I would be lying. My plan was to backpack around London and Italy for about 2 weeks before meeting up with some friends in Roma, after which we would travel together and see some of Croatia, Prague, Munich and Amsterdam.
The trip would begin as any other saying your goodbyes to the family dropping you off at the Airport. I would be flying to London out of Sydney with two 5-hour stopovers in Kuala Lumpur and Doha. Although I left at around 9pm I could not sleep at all on the 8 hour flight to KL because of maybe a mix of excitement and anxiety. After a relatively smooth flight I arrive in KLIA at around 4am to wait for a couple of hours watching the planes come and go as nothing in the airport is open.
The next flight to Doha is much better, having the whole row to myself I manage to catch some sleep! Arriving at the terminal I see one of the weirdest statue/monument things…
The airport feels huge on the inside, almost as if it was built for a much larger capacity in the future, ultra-modern with only luxury shops around. The onward flight to London was a nightmare as we sat on the tarmac for a good half hour roasting in 40 degree heat in what was pretty much a tin can, with the crew deciding to turn on the A/C only just before takeoff. But Alas we made it safely, some of the views from the plane seeing the approaching British Isles really puts in perspective how small we are in this huge world.
Its about 10pm when we get to the terminal and yet it is still twilight outside! British Summertime means 5am sunrise and 9pm sunset – there are some long days ahead of me yet. Passing through customs the immigration office wishes me good luck on my journey and I head to the Heathrow Express to Paddington.
By this point I was exhausted and didn’t read the directions properly and so I got on the wrong train and actually shuttled back and forth between the other Heathrow terminals for at least 30 mins before I realised we had not even left the airport…
Eventually got to Paddington station around midnight I still had to figure out how to use the London Underground aka ‘the Tube’ so I picked up an Oyster card to use for my next couple of days in London, first stop, South Kensington where my hostel was. I didn’t have any reception on my phone so no Google maps for me to figure how to get to my hostel from the tube station. Just had a feeling it was in a general direction and kept walking until I was there! Luck or hidden Superpower?