Picture courtesy of http://www.facebook.com/archerandarcher
When we decided that after ten years of faffing around, (will we, won’t we, should we, shouldn’t we etc) we were finally going to make the move to Oz I put my “lets get cracking then” hat on and got straight to work booking flights.
It was decided that it would be a great idea if my lovely hubby (he’s Aussie and effectively just going home) left ahead of me to get things organised. You know to do important things like find a job, get a car and a place to live etc. Probably in hindsight it would have been a good idea to have those things sorted prior to moving but that’s just not me (or him)!
So everything was packed, the leaving party just a distant memory and all our things were en route in a big metal box . Hubby was in Brisbane, I’d cried buckets of tears and said my farewells to family and friends and all that’s left to do is get on that plane.
My very best friend dropped us off at the airport, suitcases and backpacks galore and WOW I was actually doing this. So on the plane we get, my eldest was 9 at the time and very fussy about food. Not a problem, we’ll fill him up on bread rolls and fruit. My middle one, 7 at the time, has a thing about leaving the door open when she goes to the loo, how’s this going to work out at 36000 ft I wonder? My youngest is 21 months old and well like any other child of that age in to everything, independent yet wanting to be carried all the time.
The plane was rammed on the way to Dubai, the spare seat I had been banking on to put my little one in didn’t materialise so he was on my knee the whole way! The kids were great though, making the most of all the freebies they were being given (including three more backpacks – brilliant, just what I need! More stuff to carry!)
A couple of hours in Dubai (“why are the toilets just holes in the ground mummy?” “why is everyone wearing funny clothes?” (in a whisper loud enough for everyone to hear) and “why is there a shower thingy next to the ladies toilet –what’s that for?” – my eldest sniggering a bit cos he’s worked it out!) just some of the questions that helped pass the time.
Back on the plane for the next 14 hours, the bit I was really dreading, but hey it all works out ok. We have an entire row of seats to ourselves (right in front of the toilets – if I squeeze in there with her and the little one she’s quite happy to have the door closed – my fellow passengers probably appreciated that fact!)
The staff were great and somehow I managed to keep all three kids entertained, fed and watered. I don’t think one cross word was said by any of us. I even managed to have a couple of (or three or maybe four?) drinks myself (come on it would be rude not to!).
When we landed I thought the best plan was to hang back and let everyone else get off the plane first. Whilst waiting I got chatting to an older australia couple who had been sitting a few seats in front of me, they wanted to let me know what a great job I had done with the kids and that they were really well behaved and I should be proud of them. Wow what a thing to say and what a boost after a long, tiring and emotional flight!
Not only did they pay me such a lovely compliment they also proceeded to help with the bags as we made our way off the plane. At baggage collection they got me a trolley, took the suitcases off the belt (my 9 year old pointing them out) and loaded it up for me. They then helped me get through customs and practically delivered me, the children and all our luggage (suitcases and backpacks galore) to my anxious and excited waiting hubby!
What a lovely welcome to Australia! Sometimes when someone comes into your life, no matter how fleeting, they have a massive impact on you and your thinking and I don’t think I’ll ever forget them.
In terms of flying on my own with three children again, I don’t think so.
I love travelling, I love flying, I love the anticipation, the excitement, the noise but I also love being able to go for a wee on my own! Next time we go on a plane hubbys coming too!!