It’s 2 am London time and my flight for Nice leaves at 5.55am.I have only one suitcase weighing in at a heavy and awkward 19.4kg. As I quickly push another pair of shoes into my case I am fearful that it might be over the 20kg allowance. When I arrive at the airport, I get into role play; ‘serene-travel Goddess walks onto holiday set’ – camera, lights, action!
I do a quick travel check; Euros, check, passport check, Brazillian hair, check, French manicured nails check, red toe nails, check, Louie Vuitton hand luggage, check, bath and body works bali mango body mist, check, Ipad check, blackberry, check , evian water bottle under my left arm, check, shades, check, Cosmetics flight essentials; 100ml security safe MAC mineral foundation, check, dove hand cream, check, and Vaseline, check, Bible, yes checkkkk!
I never ever travel without my bible in my hand luggage, it is my most essential item of luggage. Now I am mega prepared, I have everything! I am rearing to go! I wonder if there is an award for this kind of organisational precision ‘Conde Nast Serene Traveller Award 2013′, perhaps the red carpet could be this walking escalator that I am on . . . I get into the scene, fix my hair, smile and attempt a wave gesture like the Queen of England.
Two of my friends are getting married in France and I am so excited! So much so that I can’t decide what to wear. Even though its only 3 nights away I have packed four evening outfits, three day outfits and two wedding day outfits plus four pairs of shoes, two straw hands, one with a ribbon and one without, both essential (I will explain later) Plus my blowdryer and my straightener. Light packing? Sorry not this time. I am gong to the South of France!
At the hand luggage check point I empty the entire contains of my cosmetic bag into a plastic sandwich bag, unknown to me my foundation lid is loose and milk chocolate coloured foundation squirts everywhere on the check-in counter! OMG! I sink into travel embarrassment, no longer the cool and collected jet setter – I am almost skidding in MAC foundation! Mercury rising, OMG it gets worse, I spot a TDH guy through my shades standing nearby. My holiday swagger shrinking to minus zero – my stock of Kleenex comes to the rescue! I quickly clear up the mess in no time and proceed to enter the security check in. There is something very cruel about having to empty your makeup bag into a sandwich bag and bare your feet in front of strangers, (yes even pedicured feet!) I realise now that no matter how prepared you are, the airport always seems to get you into a juggling mess! I pray that I get through the pressure by the time I get to my departure gate.
To travel or not to travel is always a question one struggles with, so I decide to stop beating myself up at this point about the cost and remind myself of the triumph of booking my ticket and actually getting to the airport on time. No matter how much you plan to travel, the budget is always tight.
I shake it off, armed with the Word and my clear plastic sandwich bag filled with 100ml security safe contents and Louie tote bag on my right shoulder, I am ready to fly.
Parting is such sweet sorrow
There is something mega exciting about boarding a plane that makes you feel all grown up. I learnt a very empowering truth from my last travel journey that truly you never go it alone when you travel, everywhere you go, God goes with you.
I say a quick prayer and my heart starts reflecting on how grown up I becoming. My aunties have been calling me ‘Madam Traveller’ but I don’t let it go to my head. I never take travelling for granted, its always by His Grace.
Thankfully I whiz through security and head straight for my gate, (like really) more like straight to the World duty free shops! The plane can wait I’ve got two hours! Let’s play who can get to the departure gate without buying anything. Then again lets not. Time for a quick spritz of my favourite Flower bomb by Victor Rolf -a girl’s got to smell good at the airport! I pick myself up a MAC mineral makeup compact since its tax free but still feel the urge to buy something else, not too expensive mind you,I have not even started my holiday. I settle for a Costa coffee for 3 quid, cheap and cheerful and take the moving escalator to my gate. (Please note I am not lazy, I am just tired.) I have been packing all night. Conde Nast Traveller advises that you get a good night’s sleep before you travel but I guess I will just sleep on the plane now. Finally, finally I am getting closer to departing! I proceed to the loo for a last minute check of my outfit, gold sandals, skinny jeans and a stylish Zara basic top. Check-in chic, not bad sis, even if I do say so myself.
Gate 57. That Kenneth Cole watch in the display cabinet is still stalking me … buy me, buy me, no time, I had a sickening nightmare the other night that I missed my cheap flight!Easyjet take no prisoners they would not think twice about leaving me! Boarding time, final checks, did I remove my debit card at the Mac counter? Ok I did, cool. Phew! I have a quick meditation, interrupted by the niggling thought that I may have left the iron on.
I send a quick text on my blackberry to my sister to double check and she texts back “No it’s fine. Journey mercies call me when you get there.” Ok that’s cool then.I turn my blackberry off, no more last minute work or home calls.It’s too late to set my out of office now they will just have to get the hint, when they don’t see me for a few days.
I find a quiet corner away from couples with children and take a seat and breath in deeply. I return to my mediation and think thoughts of good, harmony, peace, stillness. I think about my beautiful shoes and good things in the world like the Father nearby carrying his son , and holding a little girl with the other hand, his wife looking on calmly holding the passports. Bliss. Boarding time . . . it felt like mountains were moving . . . pressure over, let the fun games begin.