Hedland to Perth…..

I feel my journal writing is already slipping and I am therefore letting down my fan base-all 10 of you!

So, in an attempt to get you all up to speed.

Day One

After finishing my work day as usual I headed home to…..yep, you guessed it-pack!!!! In true Debbie style even this momentous trip had me leaving things til the last minute! Packed, showered, rehydrated by a quick glass of bubbles and I was good to go.

My chauffeur had decided to go shooting so a quick change of plans and I was settled into the passenger seat and on my way. The take off seemed surreal.

This had just been a dream for so long and it was hard to fathom that it was now becoming a reality. The Pilbara sunsets are always spectacular and are no less impressive from the sky. The red dirt beneath me stretches for an eternity and,as much as I love it, I’m looking forward to seeing someone else’s backyard.

My first flight, to Perth, is only a two hour flight so a quick snack and another glass of white sees us preparing for landing.

Adrenalin forges me quickly through the crowd to search for my daughter. I feel that warmth inside me that I’m sure only a mother feels, every time they see their child……age no factor. I race toward her, it feels like forever since I saw her last and I quickly brush aside the slight pang born of living so far away.

Aaarrrggghhhh, behind the Velocity Rewards sign hides my other daughter and my youngest grandson, Lachy, waiting to surprise me. He is way too busy collecting his M&M’s that lay scattered across the airport floor and couldn’t care less that my heart is bursting! My kids know me so well! I love surprises!!!

My son in law picks us up, with my youngest granddaughter! Yep, a double whammy. We head over and share some dinner and banter with my nephews before driving to our hotel where we are booked in for the night.

We are staying at the new Aloft hotel in Perth…..highly recommend it. Just because I’m on a high and can’t settle, my daughter Ebony and I venture out around midnight and go and make some late night donations into James Packers pokies. The Casino! Another little weakness of mine. The sound, the lights, the hint of a promise of a jackpot…..sucks me in! Escapism at its finest!

We are there less than a minute and watch some random guy receive his $48,000 winnings from the Casino officials!! Perfect…. fuel to my fire!!

This little venture…..naturally leads me into

Day Two

No chance of a sleep in with these two Rugrats! Drive Kiersten to work, donate a little more to James Packer to help the poor bloke out, little last minute shopping, then finally get the grand tour of Kiersten and Bens new house (and Bens sexy moon boot!) After the girls play and win their netball game its back to the Casino. I’m painfully aware of my looming flight and worried sick I’m going to get carried away reliving adolescent memories with my old school friend Lyndel. We haven’t seen each other since high school and use this opportunity to catch up quickly before I fly out! I love blasts from the past!!!! With a promise of more catchups I finally say goodbye to all and make my way to the airport……for me, this feels like the beginning of the adventure!!!

…………….

Herding cattle……thanks to my daughter, that’s what I’m thinking as I embark on the journey of a lifetime. One by one hundreds of shoes of different shapes, sizes and colours shuffle forward. Above them, a sea of heads. Near the end of the queue I scan the crowd and try to imagine the stories inside this vast collection of minds. People traveling together chatter away while others seem lost in their own thoughts and oblivious to rest of the cattle herd. I am literally bursting at the seams and desperately want to shout out to them all to tell them of my upcoming adventure, to pry into their thoughts and see what’s motivating their shuffle onto this flight. Holidays? Family gatherings? Tragedy? Work?

I continue my silent shuffle and look to the people closest to me. They all have headphones in and seem disengaged from their bodies. I too, remain silent. I guess red eye flights aren’t the best for chin wags. My yarns will have to stay bottled up…… for this flight at least.

I embarked on this journey as somewhat of a virgin traveller (silent giggle while I write this, since I’m sitting on a Virgin flight😁). Virgin traveller, in that, I have never travelled a lot. (In fact, only last year, I experienced a flight with TWO aisles!!!! I immediately messaged my daughters to share my incredulity -I was like a kid in a lolly shop! Quite to the amusement of other passengers!)

It is this renowned lack of experience that prompted advice from family and friends. Amongst those pearls of wisdom: 1. use packing cells, 2. Take Valium for long flights, 3. Use panty liners to extend the wear of your knickers where washing often may not be an option, 4. Take lots of condoms, 5. Travel light-pack it all into a backpack, 6. Carry on enough to see you through in case your checked luggage goes missing, 7. Copy all your documents, 8. Take a little cash in the local currency, but spread the rest of your money between a couple of cards and don’t have them stored together-don’t put all your eggs in one basket! 9. Use ATM’s rather than money exchange points 10. Don’t touch escalators, trolley handles etc to avoid pink eye-I’ll leave it to your imagination who made what suggestions!…….there were, of course, plenty of other useful tips thrown in to the mix, but as I sit on this cattle flight, my mind is drawing blanks and structured thoughts elude me. I cannot sleep so clearly #2 has not worked 😩

Five and a half hours later I disembark, ragged already, in Brisbane and hunt down food!

This is to be the start of day 3 so I’m hoping this ‘Energiser’ juice does the trick!!

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