You prepare for the 30 hour flight ahead. Your bags are packed, you’ve ticked everything off your ‘must take’ list physically and mentally 17 times and your ticking them off – as you sit on the plane – one last time.
You have your passport, your wallet and your phone – anything else you can replace when you get there. Let’s just hope that the program people will be at the airport to meet you like they promised – because you’re arriving in Colombia at 10:30pm. Alone. A young white, blonde female. *Gulp*
The engine whirs, the plane shifts to accelerate, you’re pushed back into your seat. As the wheels leave the safety of the tarmac your heart jumps – what the heck are you doing…
This was me, a few weeks ago just before I headed off to Cartagena in Colombia. Alone. But I'm sure it's a scene that many people have experienced.
I'd never wanted to travel alone. But personal experiences that had shaken me earlier in the year saw me hazily diving in to a lone adventure, to volunteer in a country that was a 30 hour flight away.
I felt calm, excited, nervous, scared, sad and every other emotion you can use an emoji for.
Three plane changes and 30 hours later, I arrived. I touched down in the blistering heat - you know the heat where you step outside and instantly drip sweat. Where your lungs feel slightly blocked from the heat, the heat with sticky humidity that forces all of your anxious worries to dissipate because you don't have extra energy to worry - you must use it all to keep yourself cool enough to function. It's the kind of heat I love.