Because, today I booked a flight to London!!
It's all happened very quickly. Two weeks ago I met with Changing Faces and the Centre for Appearance Research - both great meetings and I left feeling very invigorated. They both wanted me to spend time with them to see what they do. Last week I had a chat to one of my biggest mentors in my day job. She wanted to know about my Aim for the Stars grant and how I will use it and how she can help me. I told her about the meetings I'd had a few days before, and my goal to branch out speaking and possibly starting a Changing Faces in Australia,
She suggested I take the opportunity to use some of my grant money to extend my overseas trip and go to London for a conference and work experience at both companies. My parents were also keen for me to go to the United Kingdom. It's my heritage, and I have a British passport and I will be able to learn and travel.
So I confirmed work experience at Changing Faces and the Centre for Appearance Research, booked extra leave (seven weeks off work!!), checked out my working eligibility with the British consulate, asked permission from the Aim for the Stars Foundation (I needed to confirm whether this was appropriate use of the grant) and banked my grant cheque.
And today I booked my flight! (I had to change my flight from Australia to LA which took some time and planning, but much cheaper than I worried about). I have never been this spontaneous! I leave on 30 June, spend three weeks in London and fly to Los Angeles on 22 July. I spend two days there where I'll meet my Mum, and then fly to New York for 17 days, including going to the BlogHer conference! I cannot wait.
Of course I am freaking out too. Worried about luggage allowances, how much vaseline I will take, whether I'll get too tired or sore, the weather, whether I'll have enough money. But for the most part of it, I am so excited!
When I am in the UK I will be basing myself in London (for some of the time I'll be staying with a friend who I had stay when I first moved to Melbourne) and meeting up with my family and friends including some within the ichthyosis community.
I feel so incredibly lucky for these opportunities. And so very proud of making this happen. I've developed confidence to approach people and built up a number of valuable contacts who have already provided so much guidance and encouragement.
Yay! London's calling :)