There's No Place Like Home

Trip Start Oct 12, 2010
1
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Trip End Mar 24, 2011


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Flag of Canada  , Nova Scotia,
Saturday, March 26, 2011

What an adventure I've had over the past 5 1/2 months!  As each day passed with amazing new sights and sounds and smells and food and people, I appreciated all that the world had to offer, but then, stepping off the plane in Halifax, I appreciated home even more.

I have to say that the amount of flying I've done over the past several days has managed to give me a case of jetlag like I've never experienced before!  I left Sydney, Australia on the evening of the 22nd and flew for 14 1/2 hours overnight to Dubai.  Morpheus did not favor me with sleep on this overnight flight; however, and despite trying really hard to count sheep and whatever other animals I could conjure up, I could not fall asleep on this long flight. 

Arriving in Dubai at 5 AM local time, I managed to stumble around the airport shops a bit - hard to believe they were open at that hour, but they were.  (I think I bought an Arab sheik bobble head pen in my stupor - what's with that?)  It was one of the busiest airports I've been to in quite some time - it is quite a travel hub apparently.  I was hoping to catch sight of the city skyline with its huge towers and man-made islands on the arrival and departure from the city, but it was not to be as I think I am always seated on "the other side" of the plane!

After 4 hours in the airport in Dubai, I was off again on an 8 hour flight to London.  Thankfully I was again flying Emirates, my favourite airline with its fab food, lots of legroom and great movies!  I flew over Baghdad, Basra, Prague and Amsterdam and was able to see some of the landscape when the weather was clear which was really cool!

I landed at Heathrow mid-afternoon on the 23rd and as you can imagine, was fairly delirious and sleep deprived!  I grabbed my luggage, whizzed through my old favorite, Marks and Spencer, for some munchies and headed off to a nearby airport hotel for some much needed R&R before the next leg of my journey.  I had a great room at the Heathrow Holiday Inn - very close to the airport (I could watch planes taxiing but because of triple-glazed windows, couldn't hear a thing)!  It sure felt good to put up my feet, enjoy some delicious M&S strawberry scones and watch some mindless TV.  Unfortunately, I was only conscious for about 3 hours before I passed out and didn't wake until the next morning :)

On the 24th, I was off again - over to Heathrow and checked in for my late morning flight to Halifax.  Heathrow is a great little spot for browsing and shopping - I stopped by the Harrods shop and picked up a few very British goodies before preparing to board.  Sigh.... no more Emirates luxury this time - it was back to dull, basic and generally poor customer service-oriented Air Canada.  Less seat room, teeny tiny TV's and of course, mix-ups in my meals that come with an argumentative flight attendant for no extra charge :)  The highlight of this 7 hour flight though was a great chat with an interesting seat-mate.  The conversation started with our mutual disdain for Air Canada's appalling service but morphed into a great chat in which we pretty much identified and sorted out the world's problems and solutions.  My seatmate on my homeward flight is a published author from Oxford who spends quite a bit of time in Nova Scotia and wrote much of his recent book here.  I am looking forward to getting my hands on a copy and reading it as it is influenced by his love of genealogy, which is also a hobby (a.k.a. 'obsession') of mine.  His website is:

http://www.ahabitofdying.co.uk/

It was exciting to near our destination but I have to admit, I groaned inwardly a bit when I saw the snowy landscape as we flew over Newfoundland.  I was really hoping to manage to avoid seeing the white stuff for a whole year!  Ah well, it's a small price to pay for being home.  I breezed through the Halifax airport and had such a nice welcoming party in my friend Sal and her two lovely children who quizzed me all the way home about specific details of my travels.  I'm sure I was blethering and rambling in my responses as my jetlagged brain could barely process my own name!

And so this journey ends for now.  Each day was a gift and I feel very lucky to have seen and done so many things in so many places.  I met people that I hope I will always keep in touch with as their kindness and generosity have touched me deeply.  These past several months have given me a better appreciation for some of this vast world and a stronger attachment to home.  That being said, I am so looking forward to going back to some of my destinations someday and to sourcing out new adventures in the future.  For now, though, I can't wait to sleep through my jetlag and then get back to those routines and activities I have been missing right here at home.

Thanks for coming along on my adventure with me - I never felt lonely despite travelling alone as I knew that so many friends and family members were sharing the experiences with me :)
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Comments

Sue on

We are all glad our worldly wise traveller is home safe and sound.
Loved taking the journey with you. An absolutely fabulous blog!
Welcome back - No. Welcome home!

DJ Wiseman on

Yes, the shortest ever flight London/Halifax thanks to great company and despite usual smile-free zone that is AC, certainly the most enjoyable.

Julie Ottewell on

There and back again! Glad you are home.

Shelly Chappell on

Albertine,
I just finished up reading your blog and want to thank you for the great trip. It sure felt like I was there as I read your wonderful commentaries and perused through your pics. Welcome back to the real world.
Shelly

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