All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go – maybe a little ahead of myself

‘Cause I’m leaving on a Jet Plane!  I love that song, there’s just something about it that gives me goosebumps.  It stirs my passion for travel.   Possibly because the best rendition I have heard was by a band in Fiji, which has to be my favourite country after our gorgeous sunburned land.  Fijian bands are a little different, a little special – music is such a big part of their culture and everything they play they play whole-heartedly, even if they sometimes get the words mixed up.  It may also be partly due to Armageddon – yes I know it wasn’t the best movie ever, but when they break into song as they’re going off to their rocket to be launched into space to break up that asteroid that is threatening Earth with the possibility that they might not return (ok, I already said it wasn’t the best movie ever!), it stirs the emotions.  I’ve always been highly susceptible to the influence of music – as in Armageddon, the right music in the right situation can make a terrible movie passable or a good movie great. Music exists in different forms in all cultures, it is the only universal language.  I believe that is because music has the ability to transcend language and cultural barriers and speak to people’s souls.  I love how certain songs bring back instant and clear recollections of particular people, places and events.  I love how music can stir so much emotion in you it makes you cry unexpectedly, gives you goosebumps that are almost painful, makes you incredibly happy, makes you laugh, inspires you or gives you the irresistible urge to sing along.

Music can even inspire cake design – this is the cake we got for mum for her Birthday last year:

For me, the serial tear inducing culprits are; Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Phantom of the Opera in particular, more specifically the ‘Music of the Night’ and even more so when sung by Anthony Warlow) and Les Miserables.  I am also a huge fan of the guitar – not for tear-inducing reasons but because it is so versatile, portable and widely used.  I would love to learn the guitar but I am a serial non-pracitcer so I wouldn’t get far.  In fact, the only instrument I have ever been passionate about is my voice.  Possibly because I don’t have to pack it up and take it with me and I can use it anywhere – it’s easier (for me) to learn songs and (unlike the violin) I don’t have to concentrate on several things at once like; where my fingers are on the strings, how I hold the bow and which direction it is going in.  The truth is, I’m just too lazy to properly learn another instrument, but I’m sure that if I did I would be a true proficient 😉 (shout out to Jane Austin fans!).  In my opinion (for real this time), if you’re going to learn guitar, particularly acoustic guitar, the four essential songs to learn are; Leaving on a Jet Plane, American pie (the full 8 minute version), Stairway to heaven and Tears in Heaven.  After that; at least one of anything by either Paul Simon or Simon and Garfunkle (particularly The Boxer) and the Beatles (particularly ‘while my guitar gently weeps’) is also mandatory.  If you don’t learn these you might as well not bother with guitar at all.

I think I might have gotten a little sidetracked there – I love music and it makes my imagination run away from me a little!  Where was I? Oh yes, Leaving on a Jet Plane.  Meaning – I have all my tickets booked, woohoo!!  It’s official – not that it wasn’t before but now it is more official as I have a way home!  I have managed to get all my travel fares for the whole trip (including flights, train and buss trips) under $2500AUD.  Yes it’s a lot of money but you can expect to pay anywhere between $1500 – $2500 for return airfares between Australia and Europe alone so I don’t think i’ve done too badly.  The song also means – everything fits in my pack!  Yes, I have everything I need to take (apart from a pack cover which I haven’t got yet) packed in my pack at this very moment to see how/if it all fits and how heavy it is.  I am proud to say my pack weighs 7kg without water.  Bring on May 29th!

We have yet to find the perfect spot for Ding, there are a few places on my pack to hang keyring’s so we’re experimenting.  The most important decision to make is whether he wants to face forwards or backwards – he’s still unsure, which isn’t really helping


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