Wednesday November 30th, 2016: LAX Airport
Ok, so before I left I made sure to call upon my bestie Karen’s brother Brian for travel advice. He is an expert traveler and was so kind to offer up some wisdom. He told me about the Chase Sapphire Reserve card which has a ridiculous amount of travel benefits ($300 travel credit per year, 3x points on travel and dining, etc). But the one benefit I was looking forward to the most was the Priority Pass which gives you access to like 900 airport lounges in over 400 airports around the world. MIND BLOWN. Now I could relax before a flight with some free food and booze (some even have showers!!). I had downloaded the app before I left so that I knew LAX had 3 lounges for me to choose from. I just happen to start chatting up a girl behind me in the security line and made my first new Aussie friend, Sarah. She is seriously the sweetest (a trait I think most Aussies have) and we instantly hit it off. She’s close to my age and had just finished a 10.5 month long solo journey to Central and South America. She had balls (not literally of course) and I loved her. I mentioned to her that I was heading to an airport lounge and said I could probably get her in (most of them you are allowed a guest). She immediately jumped at the opportunity. We made our way to the KAL Lounge (Korean Airlines) and were immediately excited about all the freebies. Free food, wifi, booze, showers, and an excellent view of the lowly airport people below us (totally kidding). It was AWESOME. The food was awesome but it wasn’t entree type items so we did leave to go get some dinner. It was just nice to have a place to relax considering both of us have about 5 hours to kill before our flights to Australia (she was heading home to Sydney). Before my flight I got to talk to my besties Jill and Rachel for a bit, which was awesome because they are both so near and dear to me. I wish I could have chatted longer but I didn’t want to be rude to my new friend. Sarah and I had an instant connection. I’m so glad I am an extrovert because had I not been our friendship would not have been possible.
I boarded my flight at about 9:30pm and I had to look like a 5 year old in a candy shop all wide eyed and in awe at the ridiculous size of this plane. It was HUGE (my only Trump reference for the entirety of my blog). Every time I fly I try not to think too hard about how ridiculous it is that it is even possible we can do this because it honestly will start to freak me out. But then how amazing is it that we can do that?!? So I ultimately end up praising technology and the geniuses that make superhuman shit like that happen. Did I mention I paid an additional like $185 for an exit row window seat? I bartered in my head about whether this would be a good investment or not and I ultimately decided that since this was my first go to just splurge and “treat myself” as I had never flown like this before. I AM SO GLAD I DID THIS. I don’t know what I expected. It wasn’t as high as my dads expectations which I think were along the “Fly Emirates” commercials featuring Jennifer Aniston, but I didn’t think they would actually expect people to sit at that horrible angle for a whole 16 hours. Long story short, the extra legroom was amazingly worth it. And I’m sure that bastard kid sitting behind me wished he would have forked over the extra dough for that seat, lord knows he was kicking mine the whole flight (note: he was probably in his 20’s and since I’m in my 30s I can say shit like that now).
My seat mates were this adorable Aussie couple traveling back home from the States where they just spent 2 weeks with 2 of their 3 boys driving along some of the California coast. Margitta and Enzo were such a cute couple. Enzo helped me with carry on many times (I want to note that I didn’t need the help but I wasn’t going to not let him do it, ya know?). They were very sweet and helped me learn the lay of the Qantas land. About an hour and a half into the flight, they served dinner (mind you it is like 11:30pm at this point). I was so tired from all the stresses and anxiety I get about traveling but I couldn’t dare deprive myself of a meal considering I didn’t know when I would get one again. The menu was decent and Margitta definitely had her opinions on which dishes were best, so I tended to just eat whatever she ordered. I ended up with Buttered Chicken with Basmati Rice, Peas, and Cauliflower. It was accompanied by some passionfruit jelly/custard thing for dessert. I thought dinner tasted just fine and the dessert was enough to suffice my sweet after salty preference.
I brought plenty of items to entertain myself but they have so many movies to choose from and good ones too. I watched four total (Bad Moms, The Legend of Tarzan, Suicide Squad, and Me Before You). My only complaint is that the headphone jack limited it to only using one ear. I think I fell asleep around 1:30am (according to my fitbit which is still CA time) and I dozed in and out until about 9am (still CA time). By my calculations, I would be arriving in Melbourne at 4pm Chicago time which would have been 2pm California time. Thankfully breakfast was about a half hour after I officially woke up. I opted for the fresh fruit, blueberry yogurt, with banana muffin since Gitta (She mentioned calling her that because it was easier, I beg to differ) said the eggs were wretched. I am hardly ever put off by food so again I devoured this meal (you can never be sure when your last meal is right?). A movie or so later, the flight staff was preparing us for the descent into Melbourne. I think it was at this moment that I realized I was actually doing this…
I am actually moving to Melbourne, Australia. I am for real leaving everything I have known so well behind, to live a life of uncertainty, but certainly one that leads to exploration and adventure. Many people talk a big game but hardly every walk it. I like to think I have done both in my 30 years and if this fucking trip didn’t prove that to those around me, then I give up on them.