Posted by: Nick Ward | 30 May, 2012

Nick Abroad

‘Tis the season to be travelling.

Noumea

Fourteen countries over a five month period is what it’s shaping up as.  Pretty damned cool when you love travel, but that’s a lot of travel.  About thirty flights, by my reckoning.  And a lot of travel-size toiletries.

Not without its stresses either.

I headed west today, to Perth, here until Thursday night. Bit of an adventure this morning.

I was chatting to Christian in Germany on Skype in the cab, just pulling in to the airport. Reached into my pocket to grab my wallet… and it wasn’t there.

Gulp.

62 minutes to my flight departure, and counting.

I screamed at the driver to turn around and head back to the Élan, ringing flatmate Kevin on the way to get him to check that the wallet was indeed next to my bed (…it was… idiot! doh!) and asking him to run it down to Concierge.

Three car pileup on the freeway meaning a traffic jam back into town. Shit. Eventually get past the smashed up cars and speeding down the freeway, calmly chatting to Christian the whole way. Calm in the face of a crisis, that’s me.

Leapt in to Concierge, grabbed wallet, heading back out to the airport. Flight time minus 40 minutes.  Aaaarrrggghhhh! Why didn’t I stick with an overnight bag rather than packing everything including the kitchen sink into luggage to be checked in… it was three days for god’s sake!  That may well be my downfall think I.

Rang Virgin to explain what had happened and tell them it’s going to be a close call, but I’m on my way.  Think this was more to reassure me than them.

By this stage the morning traffic is nearing its peak, and to make matters worse, rubber-necking motorists had slowed the airport-bound traffic to a crawl so they could gawk at the pileup on the other side of the barrier. Double-grrrrrr! Finally get moving again, pull into the airport at flight-time minus 17 minutes. While the cabbie is running $110 onto my cab voucher I scream up to the counter, and… they grab my bag to run it down to the plane and hand me my boarding pass.

OMG. Haven’t cut it that fine before.   Nor, I’m sure, have I given Christian such an entertaining Skype conversation.

Nearly shattered my ‘no-flights-missed’ track record.

Qantas

Anyway, stresses aside, I’ve managed to adjust to the regimen of being on the road.

I carry with me running and gym gear, and of course togs and goggles.  Need to keep in shape and avoid the effects of hotel breakfasts.

I have power cords packed for my myriad of gadgets, and a protective sleeve so I can pack one laptop and carry another on the plane.  I am wired and connected.

My toiletry bag has moisturisers and hair product and eau-de-toilette, everything from cuff links to dental floss.

Yes, it could be a lot more out-of-comfort-zone.

Anyway, bring on June, and Samoa, Thailand and Vietnam.

Now, where’s my iPad.

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