• Emilia Hargreaves

Thailand

Journey & Arrival

Well, I’m here. Surprisingly, I didn't die in a plane crash or catch corona virus on the journey, although, I did manage to pick up a mad cold a thousand feet up which resulted in me having to shove little bits of rolled up tissue into each nostril underneath the stupid little face mask, which really was not as cool to wear as it looked. My upper lip was genuinely more sweaty under that mask than it is here in the thirty-two degree heat.

Now, I wont lie, I really struggled with the journey. The longest flight I’d ever been on previously had been a measly four hour flight to Egypt (yup, another holiday of a life time last year with the boyfriend and his family), so to jump to an eleven hour flight followed by a second two hour flight almost immediately after, was a bit of a shock to say the least, but nevertheless, the reassurance of a tv and free food onboard was enough to spike my excitement levels enough to get me into my seat. Within the first few hours my spasms had been activated by the sheer lack of movement and I became increasingly agitated and fidgety as the flight continued. Surrounded by more itchingly irritating passengers than an endless rush hour London Underground journey home, it was fair to say that I was not happy, at all.

After the shenanigans of the last few weeks, it was unbearably difficult to say goodbye to my mum at the airport. I’m convinced I wouldn't have had much trouble fitting her into my suitcase with me — border control has bigger problems at the moment anyway. The homesickness and tidal waves of remembering the safety of my little room and my cozy bed at home slowly became more and more aggressive, and the withdrawal continues to make me way more emotional than I need to be, but the love and support from everyone back home had made it so much harder to leave. Squashed into the tiny corner by the window, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t breathe, and nor did I want to. I have always been easily irritated and often quick to rise when annoyed, but what the hell, if you have any sort of cough, tickle in your throat or phlegmy residue, just anything that could remotely sound like a corona virus symptom, please, for Christ’s sake, do not get on a plane with over one hundred and fifty passengers. Endless elderly men tactically dotted around me made the most foul noises I have ever heard. I also no longer want to have children. I have too much pride to put a planes worth of peoples ear drums at risk like that. At least put them in a little cage underneath with the animals or something. Slowly, my butt cheeks began to invert themselves but all I could think about was how far I was getting away from home. There is absolutely no kind of safety like the kind I get from my bed. No one can get me there, not even my emotions, and boy, let me tell you they are coming at me left right and centre at the moment. I spend a solid hour or so gazing out the window and crying like a shocking actor in a budget music video. Half way through the flight there was an immense storm and we were asked to strap in for some turbulence, almost pooed myself again as we were definitely hit by a lightning bolt, but again, if the plane had crashed then I wouldn't be homesick anymore so… Silver linings I guess… Literally. My bum aches almost as much as my heart and I’m starting to doubt whether or not I can actually do this. Am I ready for this? I can't tell which emotions are coming from where. Would I still be feeling like this if I had just stayed on all my meds? Am I crying because of the withdrawal, because I’m a blubbering wreck in general, or, new addition, because Mother Nature is now paying me an incredibly well timed visit? Not even pretending to be Dr Meredith Grey and wearing this stupid little doctors mask can protect me from all the gruesome germs floating around this stinking cabin. I can actually feel the bacteria seeping into my skin. UGH.

Eventually, after almost nineteen hours of travelling, with practically no sleep, a plethora inedible airplane food and the harsh harsh realisation that I get dramatically seasick, we FINALLY made it to our apartment. Obviously the first thing I do when we arrive (other than test the bum gun, that has proved to be insanely useful since we have been here) is have a FAT cry. I did it. I didn't die on the way. I made it here. Alive. Ish. I spend the whole of the first day basking in the joy that god forbid anything goes wrong, the insurance will fly back home in a helicopter rather than having to get that ghastly boat again.


We have been here for five days now, and yes, I am still crying. But it is gorgeous. In the mornings I’ve been feeling slightly abnormally groggy but throughout the day, I think I’m doing okay. My asthma has been messing with me like crazy, so thanks to the germs of the little Thai man on the plane here, breathing isn’t going too well at the moment. I’m practically living off my pink inhaler and every time I cough I can almost hear people thinking *shit, she’s got Corona*, but that’s the least of my worries. When it gets dark though, I tend to get these rapid waves of emotion, where part of me misses the stupid family dinners and hearing about my brother and sisters days. I have also come to the realisation that I actually hadn’t been on a night out in over a year and a half, which was another thing that had been making me feel rather anxious. Having had more than a few crazy nights as a sixteen year old, I know exactly what my limits are… At least that’s what I thought, until I had my drink spiked while at drama school, and I guess here we are now. Ever since then I’ve been perfectly sensible and found comfort in the encompassing warmth of my bed instead of at the bottom of three Spoons pitchers. But again, thanks to Chris, I managed to overcome the fear of being out after ten o’clock. Every second with him is another little blessing.

The views here are breathtaking, and I have never been in warmer water, or met nicer people than the local residents. Every child I walk past says hello, probably because I am the whitest person on the island, but it’s still super cute. I am continuously being overly cautious with every little thing that enters my body, but this will probably be the case until I’m back home enjoying one of my dads perfect roasts.

But for now, I am allowing myself to enjoy every experience that comes my way. Positive and negative. I am trying to eliminate the constant mindset, which seems to be my endless response to the question ‘What could go wrong?’

A lot, my friend. A hell of a lot could go wrong… But I’m coming to terms with not being allowed to think ahead. Surrendering to spontaneity. Learning to ‘cross the bridge when I get to it’. I am going out, meeting new people, trying new foods and seeing new things. It is all a terrifyinlearning curve. I have to give myself permission to be happy

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