Our trip over here to Manila went well. We did have luggage issues which I was concerned about but the stars must have been alignedbecause we had 20kg in excess baggage and we didn’t get charged for it. The flight was not full and we had the loveliest Check-In Assistant (is that what they are called?) We were also allocated extra seats so we had room to spread out. For an Amazonian sized family like us (6’4”, 5’7” and extra tall kids to-boot) that was such a relief. I welled up I was so emotional (and exhausted, anxious and did I mention – exhausted).
The second flight to Manila is short, much more bearable. On arrival we moved through the airport quickly and found ourselves without a transfer to our hotel. Hmmm… We found a security guard who saw the amount of luggage we had and he took us to where we could hire a minivan. Problem solved.
Again, the ride to our hotel was a bright sensory assault.One the children were so excited about this time around. They were energised and so excited as they recognised where we were. They asked ‘are we going back to our special home?’ and we replied ‘yes we are’. If the kids could have done cartwheels in the minivan I am sure they would have tried!
As we pulled into the hotel the children were talking in hurried excited voices. ‘We’re here, we’re here!’ The staff remembered us, and the children walked in like they owned the place.
As we got out of the lift to our suite, the children recognised the layout immediately and ran to the door. Bolting through, they ran from room to room talking in loud excited voices. Exclamations were erupting as they discovered all the things they remembered from before. BB tested every light switch. They opened every drawer, checked out every bed. We finally got them showered and into bed where their exhausted bodies eventually drifted off in slumber.
As SB and I melted into the comfortable, comforting bed we looked at each other. ‘We made it’ we whispered to each other, as we closed our eyes.
How did I feel across this very long day? Our last day in the hotel at home I started to think about everything I needed to do here in Manila. Once again I felt that familiar limbo state appear. I felt like I was floating out somewhere in no-where land, where I had no knowledge, no control. I had moments where I got teary from these feelings. I was on edge. It was too late to turn back, and I didn’t want to anyway. My familiar fight/flight was triggered and I wanted to find an excuse to retreat. I couldn’t. I had to keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep breathing. What was I worried about anyway? It wasn’t rational.
On the flights I was more relaxed and when we got in our minivan and drove through the streets to our hotel, I felt genuine excitement. I turned in my seat to look at SB and I said ‘I was feeling so anxious before but as soon as we got in this van I started to feel excited’. He smiled at me.