I am now in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sitting in my friend Becca’s lovely apartment catching up on admin and writing blogs. I can’t believe it has finally happened and I am actually here. My last week in the UK was short and emotional. Here is how it went.
Last Day of Work
On the 31st of May 2019, I left Vooba. A job that I will always be grateful for, particularly for the great friends I have made along the way. I had leaving drinks after work which was lovely. A few of us stayed for food and few old faces joined the gathering. It was really lovely to have a nice send-off. Tony did a nice little speech and gave me some gifts which were lovely. It’s nice to know I will be missed.
Giving Vlogging a Go
Having started practising YouTube videos in Spain and loved it, I knew it would be something I would want to try to continue with on my travels. However, I was feeling a bit out of practice and not sure what to say in front of the camera. So rather than doing some face to camera sit down type videos where I would have to pick a subject, I thought I would document my last week in the UK. Check out my “Day in the Life” Series on my YouTube channel to see how it got on. I know it’s not that interesting but its all practice 🙂
I made sure that I spent time with family in my last week. On the Tuesday after stopping by the office one last time to drop off the keys I went to see my grandparents. My dad’s parents live not too far from work and I made it a habit to visit them every other Friday.
The legendary Tony Welch is 90 years old and Granny is 88 and Tuesday was their 70th Wedding anniversary. They are such an amazing couple and their secret to a long and happy life is having family around. I have loved spending time with them over the last couple of years, hearing all their stories of growing up in what sounds like such a completely different world. I am very lucky to have grandparents so old, and due to the 10-year gap between my dad and his youngest sibling, I don’t think my grandparents ever thought they would get to see my sister and I get to the ages we have. I am very aware that I might not get to see them again so I am so glad I spent the time I have done with them.
On Wednesday I visited my mum’s parents who I saw a lot more of in my school and college days but have seen less of since working in the opposite direction. It was lovely to catch up with them and see them before I go. Grandma gave me a lucky charm, horseshoe, which was on my Great Grandma Helens wedding cake. My grandma used it for luck in her exams and was successful so passed it onto me for luck in my travels which was lovely.
On Saturday some of my dads family had arranged a gathering at my Grandparents house to celebrate together their 70th Wedding Anniversary. My Granny is no longer in the best way so leaving the house for an event is not really an option. Instead, they had set up tea and cake and some bubbles and invited everyone over to their bungalow for a couple of hours. It was really great to see Granny and Grandad again one last time and catch up with and say goodbye to more of the family.
On Sunday, Mum, Jess and I went to Arundel for a walk around the lake and a pub lunch. It was really nice weather and we had a delicious roast at the black rabbit. On our way to Arundel, I had spotted some poppies on the downs so on our way home we stopped off and walked up to find them. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the beautiful full field of poppies I was hoping it would be but the views from the downs were stunning.
Since returning home I have gone back to living with my ex, we parted on good terms and have remained close friends. He continued to stay in our place when I went to Spain and will continue while I’m away now. Our last month together when we were splitting up was not pleasant. We started to bicker which we had never done before. So I thought this was an opportunity for us to enjoy a good last month together. And it has been really lovely. It has been great to have his company and laugh and chat in the evenings. Although it was great, this did make it very hard to say goodbye again. So my last day or so time spent with him was quite emotional.
On Monday, flight day, I packed up the last of my stuff and with my mum dad and sister went to Horsham for the last family meal together. We had a Wagamamas which was lush. We then continued up to Crawley to call in at the shops. I had already received an email to say my flight had been delayed so to delay our arrival at Heathrow we had a wander around town. Although the weather was mad. Absolutely bucketing it down with rain, we got soaked, my lovely lightweight comfy trainers for the flight were squelching with water in them.
Rather damp we got back in the car and headed for Heathrow. Traffic was not too bad, it was slow but constantly moving. We struggled to navigate to Terminal 4 parking but found it in the end. As we were a bit early for bag drop opening, we used the time for toilet breaks and drinks and cakes. I then queued up to hand over my oh so heavy rucksack. Then it was time for goodbye. We took some last family selfies before mum turned round to give me a goodbye hug, tears in her eyes. I had been okish since we had been out of the house but seeing her cry set me off. I hugged them all goodbye and walked through to security bawling my eyes out. The lady directing people the other end asked if I was ok. I wasn’t.
A Very Long Fight
Once I was out the other side of security my tears had dried and I was focused on finding some food for tea and getting to the gate. Although I had ages I just wanted to sit and chill and eat. I got a sandwich from boots and made the 15-minute journey to the gate. There was barely anyone there so I set up camp on a reasonably comfortable chair and so began the wait.
I thought I would really struggle with staying up and would be really bored. To start with I was eating and messaging a few people, catching up on the socials and reading. Then an English couple sat behind me and I started to chat with them. The delay had affected them badly. They were heading for Perth as they lived there having emigrated 27 years ago. But due to the delay, they were having to fly to Melbourne first then back to Perth adding another 10 hours or so onto their journey. They gave me some tips about travelling in Australia and before we knew it we were called to board the plane.
The flight was soo long. I was sat amidst a lovely family who was so friendly and polite, they asked about my travels. They were all from Malaysia returning home from a holiday around the UK. I couldn’t sleep straight away which was annoying as I thought I would be straight off. So I watched Captin Marvel the film, which was really good. I am now all set to watch End Game I hope I manage to see it this year! I then did manage to fall asleep, but it was a very broken sleep waking up every few hours. There were a few patches of turbulence along the way but nothing too scary but other than that the journey and landing were very smooth.
Arriving in Kuala Lumpur
Coming into KL it looked very clear, drizzly and greener than expected. I hadn’t really thought about what it would be like in KL but the view from the plane was a bit of a surprise. It was just evening as we arrived so street lights were coming on. A lot of the land was covered in trees and green, around swamps and small bodies of water. Scattered in between are small neat villages of houses, a lot of which were arranged in circles or semi-circles and some in straight neat rows.
I managed to hook onto the airport wifi as soon as I had landed to let family friends and Becca know I had landed safely. Then started the long journey through the airport. KL Airport is odd, nothing is clearly marked. As you get off the plane you walk through other gates for departing planes, not sure if you are heading in the right direction. You then have to get on a train to take you to baggage reclaim, it’s not until you get to the other end of the train line and walked through all the duty-free shops etc that you get to immigration.
As per usual immigration queues are long. I was getting nervous as I didn’t want to delay Becca and I had a sudden thought that I might need a visa and I didn’t have one. I had no wifi at this point, for some reason it kept cutting off. So I couldn’t let Becca know I was in a long queue and I couldn’t google visas to put my mind at ease. After saying a few prayers in the queue I got through immigration fine and arrived at the conveyor for baggage reclaim the other side. The belt was quite empty and as I approached, my bag was coming round so I could grab is straight away. Without a bed to sit on it was quite hard putting it on my back on my own, but I got there. I then left through the gate a could see Becca waiting on the other side.
It was great to see Becca, she was looking fab and very welcoming in such a strange place. She took me outside where her fiance Ron had the car waiting and they whisked me off to another, better, airport nearby for some food. Becca and I shared a Tandoori chicken and some naan, the flavour of the sauce that came with it was lush I could have drunk it all!!!
After a quick bite to eat we grabbed some food from a supermarket in the airport before Ron dropped us at Becca’s Apartment. She gave me a quick tour as we got ready for bed. I was desperate to clean my teeth and feel fresh so did that and had a quick shower and straight into bed. Unfortunately, I was not that tired having done a lot of sleeping on the plane, so I stayed up catching up with a few people and my socials.
So that’s it, I am here. I had a good last week in the UK and emotional goodbyes. Today I am taking it slow, writing blogs and hardly moving. The heat and tiredness mean I am feeling quite light headed and tired so I don’t plan on doing a lot. Finding the motivation to even find food right now is hard. But I am glad I am here and the journey went well. I look forward to exploring over the next few days before I head to Sydney.