It’s funny how fluid the concept of home can be. When I was travelling throughout my twenties I was always surprised at my ability to feel at home in a place in a matter of days. Some familiar items around me, a sense of routine, a local café – small things can create that homely feeling.
I’ve been living in Sydney for 11 months now (can you believe it?) and we’ve certainly done well at setting up a home here. Aside from the apartment we had to furnish from scratch, we’ve built a sense of home through friendships, work and regular routine. There’s still much that confuses me (buses – I’m talking about you here) but so much is already familiar, from my favourite barista to the aisles of the local supermarket.
But I think any expat would agree we all have one true home. For some it’s the place you were born, or the house you lived most of your life in. For me it is not bricks or postcodes I associate with home but the places where I’ll find my dearest friends and closest family.
So I’m incredibly excited to be flying back to my ‘home home’ this Thursday. You may recall I’ve been back to the UK once already since moving to Australia. I flew back last November as it tied in with some work opportunities, but there was one thing that didn’t quite fit into the schedule last time. Meeting my sister’s baby.
Before we even moved to Australia I was planning a trip home for last Autumn to coincide with the arrival of my sister’s first child. Although I ideally wanted to space out the long flight home a little further than 5 months after we moved here, I didn’t want to miss out on the pretty momentous occasion of meeting my first nephew and the first grandchild in my immediate family. I was lucky enough to line up some work around the World Travel Market in London and organised a press trip to Singapore to break up the trip home. Everything feel perfectly into place. Apart from Mother Nature.
Because as first babies tend to do, this one didn’t arrive exactly on his due date. In fact, my gorgeous nephew Henry was born 24 hours after I left the country.
From underneath a duvet in a hotel room in Singapore, I opened the pictures my brother-in-law sent me. Of course I cried. And it wasn’t the last time I did so that week.
So my journey back home this week is particularly special. I get to squeeze my nephew’s cheeks and meet him in person; so far we’ve only had a Skype conversation (which was a little one-sided to be honest!)
It will also be the first time I see my friends and family since my 30th birthday and getting engaged in Thailand. I’m also going be celebrating my brother’s 18th birthday, celebrating the engagement of one of my bridesmaids and having my very first experience of trying on wedding dresses!
It’s going to be quite an incredible 2 weeks.
Taking me on this special journey home are the wonderful people at Cathay Pacific. I’ve been following all the personal journeys they’ve been featuring in their Life Well Travelled campaign (the nosy side of me particularly loves the stories at the gate) and now I’ll be sharing my personal story.
I’ve flown with Cathay Pacific a number of times before and their staff always make sure you have a pleasant journey. I’m looking forward to having a number of hours where I can switch off and enjoy the in-flight entertainment instead of constantly checking my messages. I’ll be flying Sydney to London in Premium Economy so will share my insights into flying long-haul in this cabin.
I’m also pretty excited to be passing through Hong Kong airport. It’s one of my favourite airports in the world for transiting – it always looks so slick and clean and the food and shopping are amazing. If you’d like to find out more about flying through HKIA, join me for a live broadcast on Periscope as I pass through this Friday. My username is @jayneytravels.
See you soon everybody!