Alas, here I sit, alone and where it all began eight short weeks ago. In my favourite spot on the floor in Manila Airport, Terminal Three round the back of the ‘Mary Grace’, longing for company. It’s a strange experience being the last one standing (definitely standing. Definitely NOT crying in a heap and comforting myself with Harry Potter audio books). Sitting here for hours I have the unique opportunity to reflect on my time in the Philippines. I did not feel particularly nervous when awaiting the start of the placement 8 weeks ago, but I never could have dreamed that I would find myself amidst the greatest bunch of people this side of the milky way and I feel so lucky.
The placement in Panglao has been everything I dreamed it would be. A #lyfe changing experience which has given me the confidence to apply for those jobs I’ve often thought were out of reach. I honestly feel I have a real chance of working in Australia some time soon. This ‘post-professionally developed life’ and newfound confidence in my abilities will take some getting used to.
The last few days in the Philippines with Anne were equally great, if only Áine and Alyssa could have joined us. How I wish I could go back and tell the group “you’re gonna want to book a trip together after the placement” Looking back, the trip to the Twin Lakes and more delicious eggs benedict reminded me how much I prefer travelling when others are there to enjoy the same experiences. For example, I am now an expert on semi-automatic bikes, but what good is that if you cannot show off to friends when darting through the Dumaguete traffic? There seems to be a plethora (crackin’ word) of travel blogs out there talking about how amazing it can be, not not a great deal that talk about how lonely it can be! I think that’s a rather important point not to omit.
So now I sit, waiting for my expensive capsule (a room that I’m sure will be smaller than I am) to be ready for me, with nothing but my thoughts and Stephen Fry’s soothing voice, he is currently singing the Hogwarts theme song, stewing in a post-zoox blues. Thanks to the long bike ride to the lakes I am also a delightful shade of rouge (tomato red) and in desperate need of a cold shower.
This blog has been tough to write, it’s a genuine struggle attempting and failing to hide how emotional I am right now. I fear there will be no structure and long rambling sentences in this, the final? blog, but I shall refrain from editing too much as it feels more real this way. All that remains is; Áine, Alan, Anne, Alyssa and Sam I just want to say that you are all beautiful people and an absolute credit to your race. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for making me and my bog-standard British accent feel so special. I would be honoured to read to any of you again, any time, anywhere, and any book. I’d give anything to do it all again! I hate myself, but I’m off, to download Instagram…..
Love you all. Now let’s get you to Sipadan, Dan.
UPDATE: I’ve already morphed into that weird lone traveller that talks to everyone in hostels. Thanks Zoox. For everything.