Home for the Holidays

The holiday season is always one of my favourite times of the year and I was looking forward to heading back home this year for Christmas as I was unable to make the journey last year. That was my first year not being at home for the holidays and it just wasn’t the same. This year we also had a double celebration as my Nanny was turning 90. We were having a party for her with family flying home from all over the world.

I left my house at 7:30am to start my mammoth journey home which would involve 4 airports, 3 flights and over 20 hours of travelling. I flew from Edmonton to Calgary where I had a 6 hour layover which wasn’t too bad as the terminal was quite with plenty of room to sit. I watched some Youtube videos, listened to my podcast and racked up over 10,000 steps walking around the terminal during my 6 hours. Our flight was delayed by an hour which was not the best. Then it was a 9 hour flight to London Heathrow, we didn’t make up any time in the air and arrived over an hour late. This didn’t bode well as I had only a 2 hour gap between my flights to get back to Dublin. I had a mad rush through the airport, through immigration and security and ended up in a line for my boarding card at the time when my plane was taking off, safe to say that I didn’t get on that flight. I was placed on stand by for the next flight in 2 hours and I had everything crossed that I was going to get home for Christmas that day. Back to the same queue I went at the allotted time just waiting and then my name got called, a Christmas miracle and I was on the next flight out which just so happened to be delayed by 30 minutes but I didn’t care. I was on a flight home, yes 2 hours later but I was going home. There was still a worry in the back of my head that my bag wouldn’t arrive but off we went.  Waiting at the luggage carousel, watching all the bags going around waiting to see mine was nerve wracking but she made it.  I was greeted with typical Irish weather of lashing rain and rush hour traffic which made my journey door to door around 30 hours in total. I walked in, dropped my bags and fell into bed to sleep for a much need 14 hours.

I got up the next morning refreshed and ready to start the festive period. It began with collecting my brother from the airport which was great seeing as I hadn’t seen him in 2 years.  Then it was all busy, busy. We got the Christmas tree decorated, I made mam wait for me to come home. We had a 90th party for my nanny. Christmas Day saw 16 people in our house for dinner. St. Stephens Day (or Boxing Day) saw 29 all in my Nanny and Granddad’s conservatory for dinner and the annual shenanigans that come with it. Then we had a Christmas night in my parent’s friends. I think it was nearly the 28th of December before I had a day to just lie on the couch in my onesie, eating all the chocolate I got for Christmas and watching TV. It was great to see everyone who I hadn’t seen in so long but it doesn’t half wear you out.  Then it was time to have family dinners to say goodbye to my brother as he headed back to America and I headed to Birmingham to visit friends for New Years. I had a great New Years spending my night dancing away to pop hits with great people and then playing card until 4 in the morning. I started the New Year being completely me and surrounded by people who I care about. I was in Birmingham for 3 days so I walked (a lot) , visited Stratford-upon-Avon , the birthplace of Shakespeare, got to visit Birmingham city and most of all got to spend time with one of my closest friends who I don’t get to see enough.

A cold that had been threatening to arrive since the beginning of December , after many airports and lots of partying, finally won causing me to feel like crap, there is no other way to describe it. This was also my last few days at home before I flew back to Canada and back to reality. The cold let up a little and wasn’t too bad after taking medication and spending the day in bed. Then it was time to stuff everything back into my suitcase and head back to the airport to head to my 3rd country of 2020, only 7 days in and already 3 countries that is a good omen.  As I sit here waiting for my next flight home back to camp, I am excited for the year to come. I am excited to get back to work and to welcome the new people who are joining our team. I am excited to work on new ideas I have that will hopefully improve camp in different. I am excited to continue the process of getting Permanent Residence in Canada and fingers crossed I get it.  Mostly I am excited to be back doing the job I love and seeing where the year takes me.

Emma

xx

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