Half my life ago I turned 18. And 18 years ago today I was having the longest birthday ever as I crossed multiple time zones on a flight from Australia to Spain. It was the day of Princess Dianna’s funeral and our stop over in Singapore was dominated with television screens showing this sad event. An event I still don’t connect with because it’s not as though I knew the princess personally. And besides, it was my 18th birthday; a time for celebration.
My dad was traveling with me to the World Duathlon Championships in Gernika. I was representing my country in a dream come true adventure with my dad. On this day 18 years ago it was both my birthday and Fathers’ Day so instead of watching The funeral we found a TV that was playing cartoons, bought lots of lollies and chips (I distinctly remember a packet of Pringles being in the mix) and enjoyed the transit.
We celebrated my birthday at midnight in every time zone we flew through, making it possibly the longest but quietest 18th birthday party ever.
Today I turn 36. And, as I was 18 years ago, I am on a long international transit. I began the day in Yogyakarta, lunched in Kuala Lumpur and will fall asleep somewhere over the ocean between Malaysia and Australia. But the time I land my birthday will have passed and my dad will be waiting at the airport to pick us up. Yesterday was Fathers’ Day and so, again, it is like a double celebration for us.
A lot has changed in the 18 years since I achieved legal age. I don’t feel 36 years old. My mother will say I am heading for 40. But thankfully I won’t see her until my parents and I are together in Turkey next week. So she’ll have to wait with that one 😉
In the past 18 months I’ve seen so much and traveled so far. I’ll only be home for a week before I board another flight out of Australia. This time to a Turkey where I will go sailing, hiking and camping with my parents. And after that another change to my lifestyle that is yet to be fully determined.
But that is tomorrow. Today I turn 36. And I am waiting at Kuala Lumpur for the second leg of our flight home from an amazing trip to Indonesia