The deep breath before the plunge...
Trip Start Jan 13, 2003
32Trip End Sep 01, 2003
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Ach, well. And now...I fly at 6.30 this evening, which leaves me with nothing to do but to consider packing things I would not otherwise think about, let alone take. It's the traveller's prerogative. It's funny, thinking about leaving everything behind; it's almost liberating. Not that I have any commitments here at home right now. But still, going away like this is different from anything else. It's not like a holiday where I'm just having a break from my life; from whatever I'm doing right at that moment. This placement - whatever it brings - will be my life for 8 months.
Dad waited with me at the airport and, as we leant on the railings and gazed out at the steel-grey sky (so typically British, that), he said quietly, "This is the last time I will see you as the person I know now."
I smiled faintly at him. It was all I could do. I couldn't reassure him that his little girl would return. Not that he was asking me to - he was just stating a fact, a truth that had not been openly admitted before that moment:
For better or worse, the time ahead will change me.