Tuesday, 27 July 2010


Finally. After almost 24 hours in various states of unrest at New York's JFK airport, I boarded my seventeenth flight of the trip.

At the ungodly hour of half past six this morning, Virgin Atlantic flight VS4 broke through the cloud above Heathrow and skittered along the runway. Passport checked, baggage collected, impatiently striding through arrivals to where the mother was waiting to collect me.

Within half an hour we were home and I was barking "woo woo woo! doggles!" through the letter box. Cast of Glee aside (maybe), no one does 'welcome home' like two Labradors. After two sleepless nights; one on the airport floor, one upright in Virgin's compensatory extra legroom seat (just the ticket for a 5 ft 3 girl), by 8am, I was showered and heading for bed. "Going to have a little nap, just an hour or two." I told the mother, before dropping into something resembling a coma until the late afternoon.

It was a little strange going to my room, opening drawers and seeing clothes that hadn't been touched since, well, probably since my sister last rifled through them. But still, when you've been living in the same basic wardrobe for eight months, rotating the same old tops, dresses and shorts, seeing the stuff you left behind feels a bit strange. Like, why did I ever have these clothes in the first place? What purpose did those jeans hold before I upped, left, and got my legs out for three quarters of a year? When did I wear that? After eight months of longing for the contents of my home wardrobe, tonight it was still my backpack supplying the clothes for the welcome home meal. 

And ah, tonight. What else could a girl want, long for, dribble over in her sleep when she's half way around the world? Typically British, every family has their favourite, the one that does it better than the others: the local curry house. Forget coffee and TV - give me poppadoms and champagne in small, perfectly sized doses (the curry, that is).

So, here I am. Back in London. Back in a house, back to my re-decorated room. Back to life with parents and the one-glance-wonder-I-disapprove-look, back to a cooked breakfast every Sunday, back to living a 20 minute drive away from the Boyfriend. Back to wondering what to do with my evening. Back to having friends around the corner. Back to cloud, back to rain (I expect), back to red buses, high heels, the Mini Cooper, Eastenders, and - of course - the familiar streets of what is still my favourite city just one overpriced, packed tube ride away.

Back to life with a small portion of precious alone time each day. Back to time for blogging. Blogging, that is, without Buzz Lightyear flying around my head, announcing his plans to save the galaxy.

Don't ask. Or, actually, just don't take your Boyfriend souvenir shopping in Toys 'R' Us.

The re-integration begins.


Anonymous said...

What an epic journey - why does getting back home from anywhere seem to be such a pain in the arse?

fwengebola said...

You've been away?

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

China - And more to the point, why does it always make such a lot of mess?

Fwenge - Oh, nothing big. More of a long weekend, really.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! Seems like only yesterday you were leaving :)

Anonymous said...

Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

Welcome home :D Been loving all the posts about your trip...it sounds awesome!

Let us know how you get on fighting with STA!

jman said...

It seems a bit of a non sequitur to say welcome back when I live in NYC. If only I'd known I'd have offered you a bit more comfort than the floor or some bench at JFK as the place to spend your last night in NYC and of your trip. (Did your BF have the same problem?) Oh well - next time!

So? When are you getting a job?!! (that bulge in my cheek is from my tongue)

Elaine said...

When I think about all the adventures you've had and the places you've seen, it puts me to shame. In all that time you've been away I've been to work, slept, sat on the sofa and had a few days/nights out.

I think it's time to make some changes round here...

Welcome home!

Fen said...

I always hate the re-integration, the reverse culture shock, the mundanity of real life. But once you get over it it's all good and the memories are to cherish.

London-Lass said...

"We-e-ellcome home, we-e-ellcoome, come ooon in, and clo-o-ose the doo-oor, you've been goo-o-oone, tooo lo-o-ong, we-e-ellcoome, you're home once mo-o-ore!"

Oi! *prod*

Tut! Has she fallen asleep again??

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Perp - Now I'm back, it feels like I haven't been away. Well, aside from my skin being about 2% darker than when I left, anyway.

Cynical - Thank you, now how are your own adventure plans going?!

Chapati - Which reminds me, I have a phonecall and letters to write...sigh..

jman - No, the boyfriend was sensible and booked his travel through a better travel agent. Ignoring the last question!

Elaine - There's nothing to stop you jetting off on a little 'olidayyy, just takes a bit of diary clearing (fine when unemployed) and enough money for a first flight. Go do, go do.

Fen - You're right, the first weeks are the worst as you remember 'this time last week I was...' (in my case, sweating profusely).

London lass - I'm awake, I'll have you know. Not only did I sleep for another 8 hours last night, I also woke up, got up, and had coherant conversations this morning too.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Home again.
I like to be here
when I can.

When I come home
cold and tired.
It's good to warm my bones
beside the fire

The Author Of This said...

I'm gutted it's over. Have really enjoyed reading all about your travels. Are you leaving again anytime soon? :P

Ellie said...

Is it really over so quickly????

Cynical Scribble said...

I meant to ask...would you do it all again, if you could?!

My adventure plans are stuck in aggressive saving mode! Doubt I'll be able to do the travelling all over thing like you did (budget hasn't worked out as I'd hoped ha! so I'll be plonking my bum somewhere and hope to find work), but I'll be heading to Oz in Dec.

Thanks for the heads up about booking accommodation a couple of months ago btw, booked into YHA at the Rocks for xmas and NYE :)

nuttycow said...

Welcome back. We missed you.

AFC 30K said...

Welcome back Jo.

How long until the wanderlust starts giving you itchy feet?

Oh, and by the way, have you thought about what job you are going to do?


Lapa said...

Welcome back, jo.

Lapa said...

or just integration?

not twitter said...

(unts, the lot of them. Looks like a cosy bench.

not twitter said...

Ooops, that was supposed to be on the previous post.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Unbearable - You're a poet and you know it.

The Author - Not unless some rich bugger wants to pay for it all.

Ellie - Tell me about it, could time fly much quicker?

Cynical - No worries. Would I do it again? Certainly. Would I do it the same way? Definitely not. I'll expand on a future blog post, I think.

Nutty - Thank you :)

AFC - Don't even start. Just don't. Zippit. Shush.

Lapa - Thank you.

Not twitter - I wholeheartedly agree.


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