I don’t really like flying that much. It’s not so much the flying part, that’s ok. It the run up to it. The packing, worrying that you’ve forgotten something, stressing about getting there on time.

I hadn’t slept well at all in the lead up to leaving, I had been having really vivid, almost lucid dreams that I’ve had to force myself to wake up from. One night I spent a long time singlehandedly fighting a hippo and a crocodile. I woke myself up just as things were getting particularly bad with the hippo, and I was about to be crushed in its jaws. I was absolutely exhausted.

Of course I made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare, my dad dropped me off and got all emotional when he had to leave – don’t worry dad, I’ll be back annoying you – not doing my washing up and leaving my shampoo in the shower – before you know it! 🙂

Norwegian air is definitely a budget airline, it wasn’t particularly comfortable! It was like flying on Ryanair, but you also get a tv screen. There was no more leg room and you have to pay for everything as extras. If you want a snack you order and pay through your little entertainment screen, and the hostess – with the worlds most overpowering perfume – appears magically with your Twix on a tray. The Twix wasn’t for me, it was for my neighbour. I haven’t had a Twix since the row.

I didn’t buy anything. I’m not paying £3 for 500ml of water! I brought my own snacks with me. The movie selection was ok. I watched Geostorm which was absolute crap, and then I fell asleep through Murder on the Orient Express. The best film I watched was Wonder, about a boy with a facial disfigurement. Having got a bit emotional saying goodbye to dad earlier, I blubbed at regular intervals throughout the movie, mostly at the happy parts! I recommend watching it.

After spending an hour getting through border control, and convincing the border man that yes I will be able to hike the whole trail, I finally made it to Boston.

I was picked up by my mums friend from her school days – so they have been friends for a very long time! – and we went to her house in northern Massachusetts.

Debbie and Jim live in a beautiful house by the river, and although it was a bit rainy and miserable while I was there I thought well I could just stay here. Do I really need to do more hiking?! I’m pretty sure I think that everywhere I stay!

I had a load of packages delivered to them and they set up a little Christmas for me which was really cool. By the time I arrived I had been awake for nearly 24 hours, minus the crappy nap through Murder on the Orient Express, so I pretty much went straight to bed.

Then next day it was Christmas morning and I opened all the presents that I had paid for. It was a success, and almost everything was right. Just the exception of the tripod I ordered which was about twice the size it looked in the picture, so I’ve sent that back and ordered a different one.

We went to the apple store and I bought my new phone. I went with an iPhone 8 Plus in the end, it’s massive but the speed of it compared to my old phone is blisteringly fast and the image quality is amazing.

I organised all my stuff and relaxed for the afternoon, and Deb and Jim made a delicious roast chicken dinner. The last one of those I’ll have for a while.

They packed me off with an amazing gift and I got on the bus to Boston airport to get my cheap Spirit airlines flight to Atlanta. I only just fit in the seat so goodness knows how other people do it.

Aileen picked me up from the airport and it all went smoothly. I was only intending to stay for one night and head to the trail tomorrow. But I have learnt from past mistakes to not turn down people’s generosity for the sake of 24 hours. As we turned into the sweeping driveway I got an inkling that it was going to be a massive American house. Nothing unusual there. All American houses are massive. This one was on another scale! This is no exaggeration, but my whole house would fit into my bedroom and en-suite they put me in.

Aileen left Grandma Gatewoods book on the table and she bought me an avocado patch. Now that is what you call a dedicated follower.

It was perfect. Also perfect was the pool. So I decided to stay for the day and we did the REI run and went for a lovely Mexican lunch. We chatted effortlessly and between Deb and Jim and Aileen and Gary I have never talked about my adventures so much! I have spent the last three days being spoilt and eating delicious food and being given amazing gifts. I feel like I have know them all years. I also feel very very lucky.

I feel like I’ve had a week long holiday and I’ve only been in the states for 3 days!

Have you seen our cellar, Gary said to me. Uh-oh. My parents told me to not stay anywhere with a cellar.

I didn’t have to worry. Even if I did get locked down there I would have had a steam bath, a home gym and a wine room to keep me happy.

And another thing

A massive thank you to Sara, Katee and Ronni for becoming Patreons. It is really nice to see long term blog followers pledging their support.

And thank you to Sharon and Leslie – mother and daughter blog super fans! – for kicking of this seasons fundraising for Just a Drop.

If you liked that, then you might like this...

Adventure with purpose.

785 million people globally don't have access to clean water. That's 1 in 10 people. In 2020 this is not ok.

I fundraise for Just a Drop in the hope that if I walk thousands of miles for clean water then the people who need to won’t have to. Find out more


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