Fly to your dream ….

Well, the day is here!  Setting off on that dream trip around the world (at least part of it!) which I’ve been dreaming of for years.   I have to leave my girls at the airport as they insist on coming along to see me off, which restricts my excitement a little until I am on the escalator up to departures – then I smile, pose for a photo (that I never saw) I asked Amy to take when I should have perhaps been more sad to leave them …

I was sad but also excited to see the countries I planned, the people I’d meet and the wonders of the world to witness!  Who would be excited?

I sat in departures after the passport and luggage control.  All alone.  Waiting for my plane.  In a cold airport in the UK …

Then I felt the reality of leaving, of missing my children and adventures awaiting!   I did it! I was off!   Phew, it felt weird, but wonderful too!

img_0048The Bangkok Skytrain from my hotel window the first night …

On the plane, I sat next to Lester, an IT programmer who made funfair rides happen – from ideas to designing and moving his business was to create the systems behind the big, wild rides!   Interesting guy, friendly and we talked for hours during the 11 hour flight UK=-Bangkok.   His message to me – along with the book I was reading and the film I watched “Nothing is impossible.  Everything is possible”.   Wow!   It was amazing as I finished the book with those words, ended the film almost with those words and then talking to Lester in between he used those exact same words and phrases!

We ate, chatted, chilled, thought.  He was off to a meeting – what an exciting life he has, I thought, and wondered if to ask to meet for dinner as he had no plans it seemed and I was to be alone in a new city, a new country …

But then he was late, as our flight left half an hour late, flight took longer and we had to dash across Doha airport to our connecting flight!   I wasn’t fit to run, especially with bags and he hesitated to wait with me but I sent him off to hold the plane for those like me who were struggling!

We made it but his meeting was almost as soon as he arrived so it was going to be delayed, and he wouldn’t have been happy to make plans after the fraught flight delays and meeting his clients so I left it.  I wasn’t sure how I’d feel either, what time I’d get to my hotel and if I’d even find it.

I had planned it’s location, near the Skytrain but then my niece had said to get a taxi for ease and wouldn’t cost much… £12 and the Skytrain was so easy once I’d started to use it and took it back for my flights out and in all the time, as well as getting around.

As the traffic in Bangkok (BKK) is so heavy the train travels on rails overhead, like flyovers so you get some great views of the city, slums and high rise modern buildings on the trip!  As well as the traffic jams below…

img_2497

I enjoyed the flight, with a choice of films and food, chance to read and chat to interesting people – what a great start to my trip it was, and will remember it always!  Flying with the Oneworld Alliance – Qatar Airways this time, and hence they were my ticket-holding airline (unhelpful throughout – wouldn’t change flights, staff didn’t even try, abrupt emails that didn’t respond or elaborate!) …not quite the five star they claim to be, at least for me as an economy passenger, it cost enough I guess on the ticket.

It was a round the world ticket – four continents and three flights within each, so UK out and back was two flights for Europe, and Madrid;  BKK was one and then out to Vietnam later was two and from BKK to Australia three.

The other flights were Australia to Sydney, then to Cairns and Adelaide and out to New Zealand;  NZ to Santiago, Chile on to Peru Lima & then Cusco.  Out from Lima to Madrid and then home to London but I didn’t actually take that one either (the other was Cairns to Adelaide – see Australian section) as I side-tracked to Ibiza to meet the girls on the way back, as it coincided with their holiday week at half term too!

The ticket was £3300 including taxes and the agent (also not helpful or even knowledgeable at times, and not efficient either at times… certainly not tailor made travel for my needs as I wanted to travel mainly overland but then got this ticket with the flights included!   The whole buying process just added more and more restriction to my plans, day after day,  and as it was rushed (three weeks from house sale to leaving date) it took a long time, almost a week and three different people!  In hindsight I wished I had booked my own flights as I went, as a friend had, and travel overland as intended by bus or trains, or even car in places, as it cost the £5000 he suggested without the ticket, anyway!  In future I will, using Skyscanner which I learned from a fellow traveller, and it was a great facility to use and plan with!

 

 

 

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