I left England with Mum, Dad and my sisters when I was six or seven, I’ve not been back since. It’s a strange feeling, not knowing the place you come from… I mean, I know the names of places, I can point them out on a map but apart from snippets and snapshots of daily life, I remember nothing of my home. Since my Grandma passed away, I’ve not really even had any contact with my family there which pains me greatly.
I’m currently 38,000ft above and a few hundred miles north from that little isle that is my family home… And to be completely honest, I feel pretty emotional. It seems a bit ridiculous to have this incomplete, unacknowledged part of my being which rather than addressing, I’m flying right past to see the sights of New York and USA’s north east. Must return as soon as possible, I need to see my home, visit where I spent those early years… Must not thrash the credit card too hard on this trip or I’ll be paying it off for an eternity!
I really look forward to one day, walking down streets I walked as a little kid, walking along the canals I vaguely remember walking our dog Skippy along (yeah I know, you can see the Aussie aspirations in our dog’s name well before we moved) going back to the seaside towns we holidayed at, go and sit outside those country pubs where Hayley and Mark used to feed me glass after glass of Coke to keep me quiet while they tried to spend time together… With this annoying little brother in tow.
Anyways, must stop rambling… That’s a trip for another day.

We’ve taken a strange route out of Abu Dhabi, it’s had me shitting myself a bit, flying over Iraq, Syria, Ukraine.. All these places where the world has seemingly just stopped working. Oh well, I guess I’m on an Arabian airline, we’re bound to be pretty safe… Right? I guess you’d think that with Malaysian Airlines too and we all know how that story ended!
So out of the Middle East, we went north across Russia, passing a few hundred miles south of Moscow, over Eastern Europe, Finland, Norway (and a bunch of places I didn’t notice pass by) and out across the North Sea, heading for Iceland (high five to my mates there on the way past)

I didn’t do much in Abu Dhabi, as they now have US customs and border protection there, I made a bee line for that to get it out of the way but as it turns out, once you’re through, you’re pretty much done and dusted, you sit in a large hall overlooking the planes and wait for boarding. Thankfully the kids were up and kept me busy on FaceTime for a good chunk of the wait. Miss them so much already! Don’t have kids if you want to travel alone will you! It hurts like hell to leave them behind and see tears run down their little faces as you drive away or walk through the departure gates.

What I did see of Abu Dhabi airport though struck me as a massive mall of perfume, obnoxious luxury goods and wanky fashion stores… Not my scene at all… Last thing I need is an Armani coat made from the hides of extinct unicorns of the high Sierra with buttons made from the eyes of loggerhead turtles or whatever it is those places sell..

More about the flight, the A380 is spacious as you’d expect, seats are wider than those on the 777 and 787. Leg room is a touch less but again, I have a row to myself and have been stretched out the entire trip, propped up on a small mound of cushions and blankets. The plane has been dark the entire journey thus far even though we are chasing a perpetual sunrise. The entertainment system in the seat is the same one found on the last flight except for the addition of cameras over the tail and underneath the aircraft… Pretty cool view from the tail right now.

They’re still feeding me, just finished a ‘chicken’ sandwich.. It was tasty but looked and tasted suspiciously like red salmon… Meh, still good. Earlier in the flight we were served a moderately tasty vegetarian kofta with rice and a delicious red sauce I’ve tasted before but can’t identify. The hosties are a bit thin on the ground, it seems they’re either spread out across this massive plane or off sleeping somewhere. That said, I’ve pushed the button a few times and they seem to magically appear like the dude with the manky foot in that Adam Sandler film… ‘Sneaky sneaky sir’

Anyways, I’m going to go shut my eyes for a bit, got the noise reduction on, there’s a newborn a few seats away I’ve just noticed! Good thing I brought a spare battery for the headphones 🙂

Over and out for now, will check in on the ground from New York later.

Oh and Paul’s questionable travel fact for the day… You know those silly looking travel pillows people wear around their necks on planes… Yeah those, they are made to use as a normal pillow with headphones on… The hole fits a Bose QC25 perfectly 😉

Woke up just as we crossed the New Foundland coast, wow, what a stunning looking coastline it is too, what looks like huge plateaus plunging into the sea, the dawn light catching their faces and illuminating the snow on top. So pretty.
Heading towards New York across Canada, about to pass over Montreal. Kinda wishing I could hop out here! The fall foliage is evident even at 40,000ft! The hill sides and valleys are lit up in rusty shades, reds and yellows. The early morning sunshine is reflecting off the foliage like the valleys are sprinkled with gold. I seriously cannot wait to get in the car and explore Vermont.

Ok, now I’ll put away the iPad… Check in soon 🙂