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  • Rucksack packed, passport pocketed, currency walleted (is that a real word?), and eTickets ... ... ticketed?

    Despite all the preparation and an early night, I slept fitfully. I was excited and afraid in almost equal measure.

    Awake at 3:30 am, I showered, shaved and dressed, made sure EVERYTHING was packed then headed for the airport.

    I haven't flown since pre 9/11 days, so this would be my first experience of 'safer air travel'. It hasn't changed much except for the severe restrictions on liquids (100ml of shower gel will NOT last a week), and the more 'intrusive' physical searches (No, I packed everything myself, ahem).

    The departure lounge was much more sedate after the 'intensity' of getting through security. I felt safe knowing all my fellow passengers had been scrutinised just as keenly as had I, and that their powders, paints and oils were as safe as my 'Sure for Men' antiperspirant.

    With the prohibitive costs of Global Data Roaming, My electronic links to my day to day world were soon to be untethered, so last minute emails checked, those all important facebook updates completed, it was time to board.

    I found my seat with ease. I stowed my bag overhead, and my un-responsive fellow passenger plonked himself next to me. We were strapped in, briefed on emergency procedures, and seat belts checked.

    Pushed back, engines started, we taxied to the end of the runway.

    A brief moment of stillness, then the engines roared, the brakes released, and we accelerated down the runway.

    It would be the last time I saw home for a week.

    Sunrise and new countries beckoned.
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