First of all, only I would be drunk and jet lagged and forget my phone in the back of a cab at 2:22 in the morning.
Well, not necessarily. I read that something like 47 million phones are lost every year (that figure may not be correct.) I may be one of the lucky ones who actually got it back though, so there’s that.
I flew in London last Saturday at approximately 11am. If you’re from Australia you know the torture we go through with flying: if you want to go anywhere popular and/or overseas (anywhere further than New Zealand or Asia) it’s at least 16 hours. For me this time, it was 24. It was a torturously slow flight, as they always are, and I passed the time by movies and trying to doze in 20 minute increments which only worked when I was 16 hours in and so exhausted I basically fell asleep mid sentence to the couple next to me. It’s probably the sixth time I’ve done this journey and it seems to get harder. Maybe I’m getting older (20 years old compared to 26.)
So yes. I arrive to London exhausted. My bag is last out, which feels like a cruel stroke of fate, and when I finally found it i just felt like all my happiness had arrived.
ANYWAY less than 24 hours after arriving (which I passed by seeing friends and trying to stay awake – and mostly failing) I hop onto a bus for 7 hours to go to the Tyne, or Newcastle.
(Great planning on my part. 24 hours plane with a 10 hour break followed by 7 hours on a bus.)
One of my best friends from Adelaide had moved there (well, to an idyllic seaside town called Whitley Bay) some time before, and had a baby and all that fun stuff so I knew I had to go. And it was great, it really was. We had a ton of fun the two of us then with our new little member, her son. It struck me continuously over the week as she mothered her child of how life changes. At the same time I found out a kid I went to school with died from an illness I had two years ago. Two years ago I couldn’t have predicated I’d be here. Probably neither could she, or him. Bleak, morbid, maybe. But for me, that realisation was a blessing. I live my life trying to “one up” myself, I think. I want to always be better and do better and stop biting my nails and be a super awesome writer and save more money and travel more places. And I have, and I have dreams, and I have fulfilled them. It’s good to have goals, but I wanted to take a moment to be at ease right now. Not happy, but at ease. I’m pretty lucky to have what I have, and even if I don’t become a good writer or write a book or become a journalist I have that.
So maybe you’re reading this (if anyone is reading this little post of mine) and wondering why I started with a sort of negative story to lead me to a realisation that seems unrelated.
Well… I’m not sure why. Maybe I’m trying to live in the moment.
I think the phone thing is damaging. And I was surprised that, when I realised I’d left my phone, just how quickly I was able to let go of it. Within a night, I panicked, then let it go. It’s not going to ruin my trip. It’s just a phone. So what if it was the second day of my holiday. I’m being taught a lesson here. So many times our devices are attached to our every limb and I think it’s because we’re scared. Of the emptiness or the quiet spaces. What happens when the spaces we use our phones to fill remain empty? Maybe that’s why I got it back, as strange as that sounds.
Back to Newcastle, I got my phone back and continued having a great time with a good friend. And now the week is over and I get to go to New York tomorrow.
I am counting my lucky stars.
My challenge to myself this trip; less phone, more camera. More times hanging with my best friend. More throw back your head laughter.
This all probably makes little sense since I’m half asleep. But I am thankful for the lessons I have learnt and how I have changed.