Airports have a particular smell about them, a comforting melange of plastic, re-circulated air, air fresheners and disinfectant. Someone mentioned that it doesn’t hit you exactly how long you’ll be away from home until you’re heading on the plane. And that’s completely true. I’ve been approaching this day with a disconnected, mechanical approach, mentally ticking off the boxes of what I need to get packed, what documents I need to get ready, and what I need to get organised. I’ve been ignoring that voice in my head casually mentioning whenever it was probably the last chance to see a friend for half a year, counting down the days until I’m off on one hell of a ride. And that day has come.
It’s a cliche, but you often don’t realise what you’ve got until it’s gone. A few days ago, on one of my last trips to uni before exchange, I passed the Opera House. For the first time in years I truly looked at the shining white peaks, standing alone amongst a sea of multicoloured houses, the sparkling deep-blue water, and the cloudless sky. In the background a single plane drifted by. I wondered if anyone in there has the same thoughts I do. I wondered if anyone’s seeing these sights for the first time and just marvelling in awe at its beauty.
And here I am, saying goodbye a few days later to these sights as I’m waiting for that feeling of “oh shit there’s no going back” to kick in. I have a feeling that I have no idea when it’s gonna hit me, so for now I’m gonna keep saying my temporary goodbyes to Sydney, and Australia in general.
On the way to the airport, the sunset was beautiful, as if Sydney itself was saying goodbye, and letting me know exactly what I was gonna miss out on. But for now, I’ll just sit in the airport, breathe in the memories of trips from days gone by, and prepare myself for the adventure ahead.