After months of planning, weeks of packing and moving, and a few days of goodbyes, we’re sat in the airport hotel at Gatwick with only the bags on our backs to last us the next year.
Now it finally feels real!
Tomorrow morning, we leave the UK and won’t be back for 12 months!
In fact, ‘The Day We Caught The Train’ was actually Saturday morning, and we’re already 8 trains in. But we’ll spare you the details of our adventures through Cambridge-Leicester-Derby-Crewe-Tamworth-Bristol-Reading-Redhill-Gatwick, battling festival goers, strikes, and drunk football fans. Clearly Mumbai’s ‘Super Dense Crush Load’ and an 8 day journey across Siberia will be a walk in the park now… right?
Ok, so maybe we’re still learning a lesson in patience…
The other thing we’re already realising, is how much we’re going to have to change our mindsets and habits. The quarter-hourly scrolls through Facebook, Instagram, and the Liverpool Echo, Timian’s knee-jerk reaction to buy a latte when boarding any public transport, and Rebecca’s constant Whatsapp notifications will all have to go. The good news is, our journey got off to a strong start in the scrum for the trains, as we easily overtook bank-holiday travellers weighed down by at least twice the amount of luggage as we have for a whole year. Smugface.
For Rebecca, the road to the 40l bag dream was not an easy one. It first involved an emergency bag swap with Timian just steps from the front door, when she couldn’t actually lift hers, and then some traumatic separations from various ‘essentials’ (side-split maxi, pink shorts and hairdryer, I miss you already). Speaking of changing mindsets, following the loss of the hairdryer, Rebecca spent most of the train to the airport Googling legitimate hairstyles achieved with no tools/talent. Watch this space….
There will be plenty of other things we’ll miss (aside from the obvious – friends, family, and our own bed):
- Cocktails on Mill Road (Though we’ll take a Singapore Sling in Raffles)
- Sunday roasts (Exchanged for Sunday Brunching in Bangalore)
- Going to the match (Swapping Anfield for a Tokyo Sumo arena)
- Great British Bake Off (Taking on our own Technical Challenges in Thai cookery classes)
- Extra Mature Cheddar Cheese (Mongolian horse-milk curd NOT an acceptable substitute)
…and some we won’t:
- British “Summertime”
- Traffic jams (they don’t have those in Delhi, right?)
- The 07.15 to King’s Cross (Dear First Capital Connect. It’s over, I’m leaving you for the Trans-Siberian Railway’s Spalny Vagon. It’s not me, it’s you. Definitely you.)
All in all we can’t wait for our 4am start tomorrow, and definitely can’t wait to arrive in Moscow where our real train journey begins…