During the final few days of the trip, when I was in my last destination, Abu Dhabi, I eagerly anticipated returning home. By then, after 3 straights months on the road, I was getting sick of travel and longing for the comfort of home.
The last day in Abu Dhabi, I was supposed to wake up early to go to the sixth largest mosque in the world, the Sheik Zayed Mosque, but when my mobile phone alarm sounded early in the morning, I felt so drained and just content to keep sleeping that I just pressed the button and continued sleeping.
I still love travelling, but going home’s great. I couldn’t wait to return home, to see familiar faces, hear familiar lingo and eat familiar food once again.
My heart raced when it approached the time to board the plane. Taking Singapore Airlines direct back from Abu Dhabi to Singapore was the right choice, even though it cost me $550 for the single trip. I kept thinking about wonderful images of home, of seeing my family and friends again. I couldn’t wait.
And it was great flying on Singapore Airlines. Though I was originally supposed to fly on AirAsia, I changed my ticket to SIA in the end because the latter cancelled their flights to Abu Dhabi “to stave off bankruptcy” as their customer service representative stated in the email. I don’t really believe it has anything to do with bankruptcy, but whatever. It was nice to fly back with Singapore Airlines. Hearing the air stewards and stewardesses speak in that distinctive Singaporean-accented English was like music in my ears. I liked the flight not because it was comfortable, but mostly because it reminded me that I was going home.
“And to all Singaporeans, welcome home”
That statement sounded in the cabin broadcast as we touched down at Changi. It resonated strongly with me. After 3 months in a foreign land, I was returning home at last.
What did I learn from this trip?
Of course, I’m now much more international in my outlook and receptive to new encounters and experiences. But in a world where far too many experiences get labelled as “awesome”, “great” and “fantastic” and looked back on in rose-tinted glasses, I’ll be honest - its hard to pinpoint exactly how this trip has changed me. Maybe it has, in many little ways and in many different aspects, but it certainly wasn’t life-changing. But I’m glad I went ahead with it, and I wouldn’t have done it any other way.
P.S. I am still updating this blog with travel stories from the trip. Watch my posts below.