The shortest distance between two points... With my notice handed in, and a lot of planning to do before Nook and I departed for our new life together Down Under, there was one very important thing that needed to be done.
I had to meet Nook's parents.
Those of you who have been reading along since the start may recall that before I proposed to her, I had a series of chats with her parents and I made it clear to her father what my intentions were. In fact, everyone in her family knew that when she visited me in July, I was going to be "popping the question" -- and I took it as a huge sign of trust in her (and to an extent, in me) that they did not spill those particular beans.
Until now, Nook's parents and I have only ever talked on the phone a handful of times.
But that really had to change before we moved to the other side of the planet.
Having handed in my notice at my work, I decided that a long weekend was in order to meet Nook's parents. My employment contract was such that whilst you're supposed to give one full calendar month's notice, knowing how much work needed to be done for handing over my tasks, I gave closer to two months. But the price of that was that I was going to be visiting Nook's parents for a few days.
Unfortunately, catching a flight to where Nook's parents lived wasn't a trivial matter. I had to fly with two hops in the middle; a total of four airports. Plane changes, layovers, timezones (lots of those). To say that I was shattered when I finally made it to the destination city would be a massive understatement.
Of course, the entire way I would do my best to keep in touch with Nook, letting her know of my progress, as well as where I was on the planet.
To those of you who have found that someone special in your life, I am sure you recall that first time you met your future in-laws (or parents of your partner, if you're not married). There's always a feeling of trepidation that goes along with that moment, even if you are supremely confident in who you are and the relationship you have. You know how important their child is to them (well, in theory, at least) and you want to make the right impression.
It wasn't exactly clear to me how I was going to be making the right impression when I was flying from the other side of the planet, and only in town for a couple of days, but, I would like to think the mere fact that I was making the effort was going to mean something.
I will say this: Never, ever fly long-haul flights with checked luggage if you can avoid it. Especially if you're passing through more than one airline or airport. I had everything in carry-on, and am extremely glad about that!