Athens bound!

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We are in Athens!!! I’m writing to all of you after hardly any sleep, so keep that in mind while you’re reading! At 1am my family and I were headed to Gatwick Airport to meet Ali (who’d had to come straight from work bless him). Ever since I was little I’ve loved the trip to the airport, watching the lights on the motorway, the darkness, everything.

I found Ali in the airport with his Mum and her partner Andy, who had dozed off waiting for us. And so I was dropped off in my wheelchair and after goodbyes I just had to sit and wait until bag drop. Excited didn’t even cover it I was going on HOLIDAY! Plus it’s the first time I have been abroad with Ali alone, something I’ve wanted to do for years. London being London meant the special assistance lane at security was closed. So I had to wait while people worked out the best way to check my wheelchair and push me through (they didn’t have enough staff). People were generally nice, although the woman searching my chair was chatting to me a lot, her daughter rides and what had happened to me was ‘one of her worst nightmares’ but as she said it’s just something that can happen to riders. She was surprisingly cheery for 4am, but then again so was I.

Then it was on to the shopping, I already had ideas of what I wanted to buy in Duty free and it was made even more fun by Ali now running with me through the airport. We zoomed around World of Duty Free, Ali teasing by going straight past what I wanted to look at before pulling me back. I must have looked slightly mad laughing so hard. We soon found the MAC counter…I might have treated myself.

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Well, they were discounted…how could I resist my first MAC make up

Everything then went really quickly, then we were on the plane ready to GO! It was only 6am though…so I dozed quite a few times and the flight was ok although Ali and I were both ready for a nap. Athens Airport was completely different to Gatwick.  I was met off of the plane and taken straight through, our bag was the 5th on the belt and we were personally put into a taxi by a lovely man.

The hotel is cute and right on the shopping street (uh oh) and tomorrow we’ll be taking a slow walk around to get used to the place and find the British Council before my first class in the evening…eek! Right now though I need to go and get some food before crashing and finally getting a full nights sleep before class tomorrow!

Why I’m going to Athens

In less than 12 hours I will be on my plane heading to Greece, eek! This week I will be visiting the beautiful city of Athens for the first time and I’m stupidly excited. I wrote a little while ago about being accepted on a course that was thankfully being paid for by the university as a part of my work with the Kingston Writing School. While I wish I was going to simply lay around and enjoy the sights of Athens, instead I will be working on my creative writing skills!

Every evening I have a few hours of class with two other students, working on each others pieces and getting feedback on our own. It’s an international writing school, so it’s a great opportunity to network with people from all over the world as well. I really have to thank David Rodgers for the opportunity!

So tonight my family are driving me to meet Ali at the airport. Initially I was going on my own as this crazy, fun and scary adventure travelling on my own, then of course the accident happened and Ali’s Mum stepped in so that he could afford to come too! Now I’ve just there are about 4 shops open before security at 2am, so there’s going to be a lot of Cafe Nero before we can get our big Spoons breakfast. I’m a little nervous because I will be of course wearing my back brace and in my wheelchair through the airport, something I’ve never done before.

That said, it’s such an incredible thing for me to travel to another country for something academic and be honored with an invite to it. I’m planning to make the most of my writing time, as well as seeing the beauty of Athens and spending some much needed relaxation time with Ali. So off I go and I’ll catch you all in Greece!