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.
I’ll also be updating my usual social channels – Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – throughout the journey and will be blogging about my family reunion once I’m back on British territory.
See you soon everybody!
12 thoughts on “Expat Diaries: Thoughts On Flying Home”
Drop me an email if you fancy meeting for coffee! 🙂 would be lovely to catch up! x
I’d love to. I’ll ping you an email once I know what I’m doing. Shall get back to you re Quirky Bride too 🙂 x
Yay, back to sunny England (it’s been chucking it down all day). I’m sad I won’t see you but it sounds like you have a hectic two weeks planned anyway with all your family events. I hope you manage to find the perfect dress!
Can’t believe you’re heading to Russia just as I arrive Vickers!! I’ll track you down next time 🙂
Looking forward to your blog about your Premium Economy experience. I just purchased premium economy seats on an Aeroflot flight for July. I’m really hoping it was worthe the extra money.
I’ll definitely let you know Lori. I’ve flown PE with Cathay before and it was definitely worth it but I can’t say the same about an experience I had with BA so I really think it depends on the aircraft and airline. Fingers crossed for a good flight for us both 🙂
I can certainly agree with the fluid concept of home – and then, ultimately, feeling that it’s where your friends and family are (and, perhaps also, where you no longer need to think about how things are done because you know the system so well. You don’t stand out.)
Safe trip and hope we see each other again soon!
Sorry I missed you this time Abi. Wish I could bring all my friends and family back to Sydney with me! Completely agree re feeling at home because you know the system although it was shocking to see how quickly I forgot how to navigate the London Underground. I still marched around like I knew where I was going though so there is clearly still some Londoner left in me!
I’m getting ready to fly home to the UK for the first time in 3 years! Australia really feels like home to me now and I’m a little worried about getting culture shock. I hope you enjoy Auntie cuddles 🙂 x
Ah how exciting!!! I loved my Aunty cuddles – only wish there were more. It felt odd being back at first but you soon fall back into the swing of watching Eastenders and drinking lots of cups of tea. Now it’s odd to be back in Sydney and be surrounded by Aussie accents! Have a wonderful trip and enjoy every second with the family J x
Have an amazing time! Galaxy chocolate and Primark would be near the top of my list if I could go back!!! xx
They were top of mine too!! xx