I have not travelled alone before…
I’m 25 and I’ve never travelled alone, until now.
I arrived in Perth this afternoon, a five-hour flight from Sydney – which is all the way on the other side of Australia. It’s a common joke that no bands like to tour Perth because it is such a long distance away from all the capital cities on the east coast, and it’s funny that people rarely consider travelling to Perth when they can visit other countries much closer.
If I had to think of a flight that has a tolerable, good duration that I like, it would actually probably be this one. I don’t love long-haul flights at all (I don’t think anybody does). The flight I took earlier this year to San Diego sans stopovers was the longest flight I ever took. I spent a lot of time wondering what to do with the time. Should I sleep the entire flight off or just try to stay awake? It was also very uncomfortable and made me decide that if I ever take a long flight, I am definitely going to take premium economy or business class at least part of the way – I believe the comfort for a long flight is worth the money.
On the other hand, I don’t really like short flights either. I’ve been on a few domestic flights that were only an hour or two. They go by so quick and it feels like you’ve spent most of the time taking off and landing. Even seven-hour flights seem too long…
I think my prime reason for not liking long or short flights is that planes really drain me. I don’t know what it is, but no matter how new or comfortable the plane is, I just feel like I’m in some deep dark solitary room and I literally don’t want to do anything but sleep. Sometimes I fall asleep on take-off – which is exactly what I did this time around. It might be the lack of lighting. In my experience, low lighting always feels a little more relaxing to me. It might also explain why I need to wear sunglasses in the late afternoon even when it’s not that bright anymore.
Making my way over (alone)
As I mentioned, this is my first time travelling alone. It’s kind of scary. Just in the way that it’s a new experience and I have never done this before. Many other people travel in their late teens or early twenties, but this is literally the first time for me. I’ve been without my parents several times, but I’ve always been travelling with someone else.
I organised most of this trip myself, and to go it alone is a little bit rewarding. I don’t think I could travel alone a lot though, because I already feel a little lonely. I had a whole row of four seats to myself because the plane was not full. It was comfortable that way, but before taking off, I felt strange and felt like I should have had someone next to me to chat with. Nick and I have travelled together a fair bit, and we don’t talk through the whole flight, but even once I had settled in to the flight, I slightly dreaded having to make my way out of the airport myself. Eek.
The flight was not bad. As I mentioned, I fell asleep on take-off and we departed a little behind schedule. I was wearing a long-sleeve off-shoulder top and felt cold at first, but I really didn’t want to get my jacket out of my suitcase. It got better and actually felt warmer. I could feel the difference when I went to the toilet and came out and it felt really warm in the cabin.
The duration of the flight was comfortable because I got to have a little nap, there was food so I ate a little bit, and I scrolled through the entertainment system but didn’t feel like watching anything. I spent some time writing a blog post (not this one) the old-fashioned way with a pen and notebook, but my pen kept failing on me and the ink stopped flowing. That was amusing, and now there are big scribbles in my notebook where I was trying to bring the pen back to life.
OK, so why am I in Perth anyways (alone)?
I am in Perth for Mixin Conf! It’s its inaugural year and I am really excited about it. The speakers are well-known and people I adore in the web design and development industry, and the conference is focussed on exactly that. There are many conferences that I have been interested in but they were too focussed on design or development. Mixin is a healthy in-between and has a bit of a cool vibe to it – having been initiated when the community in Perth really wanted a conference on their side of Down Under. Their promotional material is so fun and funky, and they make you feel like a part of the action. Some conferences take themselves too seriously. Mixin doesn’t. :)
Although the conference is for only one day, I took the opportunity to stay in Perth over the weekend (my company is only paying for the flights and not for accommodation). I will be meeting up with my friend Kim on Saturday where she has a fun day planned. The forecast says rain, but hopefully it won’t be too bad.
What have you found?!
This afternoon I walked around and grabbed some sushi. It was expensive and the driver of the Uber that I caught from the airport this afternoon said that it’s a lot more expensive than over on the east coast. Shame! But the good thing is, unlike Sydney, Perth has free transport in the city. Melbourne has free trams. Sydney is appalling, really.
I really wanted to bring my camera but I couldn’t fit it in my suitcase and I really couldn’t be bothered. My phone captured a few nice shots though.
Have you ever travelled alone? Do you favour short flights? What do you do on long flights? Share your thoughts!