Leaving home is never easy, the packing alone is enough to make one shudder in horror, but to fly halfway around the world with only a vague idea of when one will return is even harder. At some point between the 132 miles to Bath and the 6885 miles to Singapore there is a line where the prospect of going away becomes exponentially more terrifying. This fear does not diminish the excitement buzzing through my veins. However, it does produce a few tears as I say goodbye to my parents at the airport.
Boarding the plane in the fog I consider how there was a time when this would have delayed my plane, but now it seems not an issue. Perhaps there is a part of me that wishes the flight would be delayed, if only to halt the approaching unknown for a little longer. The plane charges down the runway and begins to climb steeply through brightening white. I stare out the window for the moment when we will erupt into the ever changing but increasingly familiar cloudscape that accompanies so many flights. As always, my anxiety melts away with the start of my journey. Undoubtedly it will return on occasion but for now I am content to stare out the window and read my book as the plane to Gatwick soars on.
I spend the night in Heathrow’s Yotel, a small hotel chain that draws their inspiration from Japanese pod hotels. Each cabin is complete with a bed, bathroom area and a small pull out table. Singapore noodles seem the most fitting food on offer from reception so I tuck into the warm meal in my small but comfortable cabin. An early night sees me prepared for an early start and I drag my suitcases to Terminal 3 in time to catch my flight.
There is little to be said for most flights; they are crowded, loud and difficult to sleep on. Furthermore, when one finally does asleep, they are abruptly awoken by turbulence, someone needing the toilet or for food. The one enjoyment of my flights to Singapore was the opportunity to fly on an Airbus A380, seemingly a trivial matter but still something to cross off the bucket list.
As we finally touch down in Singapore, I am filled with nerves and I can’t help but think to myself “what have you done now? Flying all the way to Singapore to study physics! Bath was perfectly acceptable” but life is about pushing oneself above and beyond normal comfort levels in order to improve and grow. So I may be tired and missing home but instead I chose to think of the adventures to come and the stories to discover.