Jessie loves flying which is a great attribute, as I on the other hand have to micro manage every part of boarding a plane, the take off ritual – mine being listening to a Kate Bush CD loud enough to block out the planes engines. Having sweets ready at hand to suck on and water to sip – it’s ridiculous but it works for me. I knew Jessie would be looking forward to the in-flight food and films and was lucky enough not to have any weird behaviours like mine. This was a relief in itself, and after our last goodbye and final text that she was boarding it was still a massive jolt that she was off.
The Thai Airways flight to Bangkok took off just after midday and I started work at 1:30pm which was a good thing, as for the next 7 hours I would be pre-occupied with work, and the time would fly by. At midnight I received my first text from her.
“Hi, I’m in Bali – no wait I mean Bangkok”
It made me laugh, classic Jess – half way round the world and kind of knows where she is. She described the flight as being in darkness the whole time and now the sun was rising in Bangkok! In a few more hours the next leg of the journey to Bali would be complete and she would meet up with her best mate who she hadn’t seen for 3 months for a 3 week holiday before venturing off to Australia on her own.
Pat met her at the airport with a taxi and off they went to the hostel I booked near Echo Beach for 4 days, and then they were on their own. I had previously met a woman in a nice bookstore in Bath who worked in the travel section, and she said to me her mum always used to book the first hostel in a country she went to, just to give them both peace of mind. I thought this was good advice.
Another piece of good advice I was given was from a friend who lives in South East Asia. She said that you need plenty of cash in Bali – all kinds, US dollars, AUS dollars, Indonesian Rupiah, UK Pound coins.
Two weeks before Jessie left the UK, she had been wondering about which Travel Cash Cards including Monzo and Starling Bank to take with her. – She decided on Starling, and can now transfer money from her bank account into Starling and use it without incurring hefty exchange fees. She was lucky it got set up and arrived so quickly.
After Jessie’s first full day in Bali I received this encouraging Gen Z’ message…..
Wasson” “Been to the beach today – Pat’s got a scooter so we’re both carting around on that”, ” We got some food at this Peng restuarant…”, “£1.60 for all dis”