So here I am sitting in the First Class Lounge in the Abu Dhabi Airport, (my friend’s uncle is wonderfully generous and organised this whole luxury treatment for us – it was absolutely amazing to get someone to help me carry my two suitcases totaling 65 kgs for me, not to mention my three hand luggage’s 😐 one year in Europe will do that to you). Maybe the airplane gods are being good to me. In India I somehow managed to get out of paying $350 for being a whole 30kgs overweight!! The trick was a lot of crying and LOT of arguing.
Now I am sitting in the fancy people lounge being fancy fancy. It’s certainly not a fitting way to end my year abroad, seeing as though this year has been dominated by shitty European budget flights and trains, back aches from carrying way too much hand luggage, missed flights, delayed flights… you name it. So as I’m relaxing in this lovely lounge and waiting for my flight, I’m sippin’ my glass of red and contemplating how bloooody good I have had it this year.
But to use a cliché, all good things must come to an end. The most incredible year of my life is coming to a close today. Today, Monday the 19th of January marks the day that I step on a plane to Sydney. It’s been one whole year. And what an amazing year at that.
I’ve laid under the stars in the middle of the desert in Abu Dhabi, I’ve gone boating in the Caribbean, I’ve visited my grandparents village in the mountains in the north of Lebanon, I’ve learnt French and a bit of Italian, I’ve eaten dinner on top of the Eiffel Tower, I’ve danced on tables at Oktoberfest, I’ve sung in front of a whole restaurant of strangers in Guadeloupe, I’ve had dinner in a winery in Saint Emilion – the best wine region of France, I’ve uncoordinatedly belly danced on stage in the desert of Abu Dhabi, I’ve gone to an amazing party in the outdoor spas of Budapest, I’ve taken an Italian cooking course, I’ve partied all night long in Ibiza, I’ve been to an Indian wedding in Mumbai, I’ve visited the ancient ruins in Athens, I’ve ridden a camel in the desert, I’ve been to a Jewish wedding in Cannes, I’ve road tripped with three of my best friends in summer along the south coast of Spain, I’ve been in both Europe and Asia at the same time from a boat in Istanbul, I’ve jumped off cliffs in Lebanon, I’ve bike ridden the whole of Paris, I’ve been to clubs that stay open from Thursday through to Monday in Berlin, I’ve seen the tallest building in the world in Dubai, I’ve hiked through the rainforest and swum under a waterfall in Guadeloupe, I chose black which lost a guy 5000€ in the casino in Monaco, I’ve lived in Paris and Milan, I’ve become a passionate chef, I’ve been to a castle in Dubrovnik and countless castles around France, I’ve had my phone stolen twice in Spain, I’ve gone vegetarian, I’ve met so many amazing people from all around the world, some of which I’m proud to call my closest friends, I have learnt so much about myself and learned to understand more about people from all different cultures and I’ve completely changed my mind on things I used to care about.
I have undoubtedly had the most amazing year of my life thus far. My life has changed in ways I would never have envisioned a year ago. Now I’m about to jump on a plane back to Sydney after one bloody amazing year.
I thought that I would be crying at the airport, sad to leave behind the year that has been more wonderful than I could have ever hoped. But instead I feel completely and utterly content. I have absolutely no regrets and I know that I have lived this year to its full potential.
What’s in store for me in the following years? I have no idea. But now that I’ve got a taste of life abroad, of endless travel and experiencing other cultures, I know for sure that the spark of adventure inside me is not dead, it’s merely beginning.
Now that I’m back in Sydney, blog posts detailing all my amazing travel experiences of 2014 will be posted weekly. Stay tuned people.