Saturday, 19 July 2014


I said at the start of writing this blog that one of the main goals I wanted to achieve was learning to be more flexible and to go with the flow. I am someone who loves plans, and lists, and schedules. So travelling the world has been a great way for me to relax and just think, you know what? It doesn't matter if this doesn't go as planned, because it's just not that important.

And the last couple of weeks have been the biggest test so far. My granddad back in the UK died two weeks ago, sending me into a manic phase of trying to organise a way to fly back and attend the funeral. Absolutely everything was up in the air, and I was so lucky to be staying with family here, because they've given me a safe base where I can try to sort everything out.

The main thing I've been trying to sort was the possibility of my return flights being covered by my travel insurance, which I bought through True Traveller, underwritten by Global Response. And they have been absolute gems. The customer service was fantastic and they're 24 hours, with an office in the UK and in New Zealand.

We were batting back and forth, first they didn't think that I would be able to apply for my flights to be covered before buying them, and they would only be able to reimburse the cost after the fact. A couple of days later I spoke to them again and they said that they would try to push it through beforehand so I'd know if my claim was going to be successful or not. What followed was an insane couple of days, with me getting paperwork from various people together and sending it into them.

I had a phone conversation with the insurance company a couple of days ago, and the woman handling my case said that they hadn't come to an official decision, but it wasn't looking likely my claim would be successful. So I spoke to my family and had quite a blue day, knowing that I was going to miss the funeral, and the idea of seeing my family and friends was going to be snatched away from me.

Yesterday morning I had a phone call while I was still in bed, and the woman on the other end of the line asked which of the two flight itineraries she'd emailed me I wanted to choose.

My claim had been successful. And I am now flying home next weekend, for the maximum two weeks the insurance company allows. I paid the excess of GBP35, and that's covering my return flights Melbourne to my hometown. I could not be happier.

Australia is so similar to the UK, and the winter weather here in Melbourne is definitely familiar, plus I'm staying with family, so I haven't been feeling homesick. I did in South America, but from New Zealand onwards I've been in familiar territory. But I do miss my friends and family, and it's important for me to be at the funeral next week.

Luckily for me, both my jobs here have been incredibly cool about the situation. The French cafe and the fancy restaurant both told me not to worry and that my jobs would still exist when I get back. And considering I've worked at each of them for two weeks, I count myself very lucky that they're not just dismissing me straight away.

So the true cost of going home is 35 pounds plus two weeks' wages. But I think it's worth it.

So there's a lesson in being flexible. And with me being a couple of weeks off the halfway mark of my trip, I can't argue with the timeliness.

Britain - I'm coming for you!

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