We’ve landed in Scotland! I’m very proud to say that we survived travelling halfway across the world by ourselves! First of all, we spent ages saying goodbye to our families, which didn’t leave us much time to shop in duty free or stop off at Macca’s for long. But we got to our gate with around 20 minutes to kill. As we boarded the plane it didn’t really feel real, that we were travelling away from our families for so long. It still feels like a very long dream.
The first plane trip was extremely boring. At first, we were so excited to be on there that we used up almost all my GoPro battery to make our ‘video diaries’ in the first half hour. After we’d been in the air for a full 5 minutes the excitement wore off and we settled into plane mode. Lets just say I watched a lot of movies.
Sleeping arrangements were quite uncomfortable. The most comfy position was for me to bend one knee up onto the seat and rest my head against it. Another favourite was just to scrunch up in a little ball and hope that no passing trolleys would hit my head hanging over the edge. These seemed to work because I got around 7-8 hours sleep, which I was pretty proud of. By the end of the flight we were splayed over each other, trying to find comfort.
Dubai was interesting, I thought it would be extremely stressful, but it was pretty good. We did have to change terminals which involved catching a train but it was as long as it is from Pymble to Gordon. Its a pretty big airport, with so many shops which seemed to stretch forever! Once we found out gate we searched for food, feeling half starved. We decided on Burger King. We did shifts of who would look after the bags. So Ducky and Lucy went first while Sophie and I kept watch. After 20 minutes we started to get a little confused, what is taking them so long?! After around 35 minutes an announcement sounded on the loud-speaker saying our gate was closing. This freaked us out, considering it shouldn’t close for another 15 minutes! We gathered the bags and starting searching for Lucy and Ducky. When they weren’t in line I started to get worried. But soon enough we saw the two rushing over to us with bags of food in their arms. Equipped for the plane ride ahead of us.
The plane to Glasgow was practically empty compared to our previous flight. When people with Scottish accents came to talk to us we would beam at each other, soaking it all in. We were so excited to land that about 2 hours before we landed we started getting our shoes on, we got our passports out, filled in our immigration forms… We watched the green hills appear and disappear below us with a camera that connected to our TV’s, in awe of a place with that much colour. When we finally landed and got off the plane the nerves started to set in. They only heightened when Immigration and Boarder Control officers stopped us and had to question us before we continued. That took around 25 minutes and they were pretty intimidating…
After that we rolled our stuffed bags towards the exit to meet our exchange families! It felt strange because I felt like I knew everyone so well already and I hadn’t even met them! But as we drove through Glasgow it was extremely pretty. Old Castles and Palace’s zipped past us, with green pastures left, right and centre.
We soon arrived in a cute little town by the seaside, and walked to the stone boat pier. It felt so much better to breathe in fresh air rather then stale plane air. It was then followed up with some ice-cream. Which was absolute heaven.
We made our way back to Kate’s house with Lucy and Sophie, Olivia’s house (Ducky’s exchange) is on the other side of town so it would have been a trek to come all the way. But we got a tour of Kate’s farm. They have pigs!!! Two massive ones and three smaller ones who are still young, and have a thing for wellies. They love a good nibble on them. We even got to ride on the quad bike, which hopefully I’m going to master in 5 weeks.
So far my exchange to Scotland has been great! I’m so excited for more!!