Our fate is sealed, this morning, at 8:45 am, I booked our plane tickets to Jinan China. Now all we have to do is get ourselves and our luggage to the airport on the day of departure. No it still doesn’t feel real, but strangely I feel much more calm then I did a few weeks ago.
The first time we went to apply for our visas we got denied. The guy behind the counter at the visa application centre flat out shoved our papers back in our face after one look at them. No explanation was given, and the little bit of English he did use was barely comprehendible. It was a reality check that brought us crashing back down from cloud nine. We had not anticipated this, and we left the building feeling dejected and droopy. Within an hour of arriving back home I had e-mailed and Skyped everyone on our list of contacts trying to figure out where we had gone wrong. One week later we were back at the application centre, new sets of paper work in hand. We were not as confident and bouncy as the first time round and were terrified of getting the same person again. We watched the windows opening up waiting for the number on our piece of paper to flash above one of the booths. We were next in line. My stomach dropped as a new window opened and I recognized the grumpy faced man standing behind the glass. He was setting up, organizing himself. Three other windows were open, they all were busy, come on, I silently encouraged those before me to hurry up. Ding our number was up. I breathed a sigh of relief as I saw it flashing above a smiling woman. Our visas were processed without issue.
Now paper work in hand, and our long list being crossed off one item at a time I try and contain the thoughts and feelings circling around inside me and force myself to concentrate on the here and now. In all the excitement and preparation I forgot for a moment that I was living in a world of change and challenges, and that life has a way of moulding our plans to meet its own agenda. I am not letting myself get carried away again until I am quite literally carried away by the airplane. But for now a toast to one small step closer to getting there!