© 2016 by Ashlea Williams.

United Kingdom 

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3. The awful journey to South Africa, Why I wanted to come home, Am I about to be kidnapped? Confusion & Mother nature showing up in more than one way!

November 16, 2017



From mother nature hitting me, before I arrived at the Mother land!




So what happened? 

Well we’re to even start with this! The most important and challenging part of travelling alone is the actually fighting with your mind and telling yourself that you can do it!  


Friday night my coach left Nottingham and arrived in London at 2am. I didn’t know the clocks was to go back which means my over all wait in London Heathrow was for 4 hours.. it started from this point! I remained positive and thought to myself


"Ash grab a coffee and grow up, its only 4 hours"


After grabbing a coffee from cafe Nero in the airport and taking a nap, I woke up to find my check in was still not open... literally thought to myself how weird but just went along with it! There was no staff around at all and on the boards there was no est gate opening times! I don’t usually panicked but the time was 4:30am and my flight was for 6am that’s enough time for me to worry! They came out with no worry a little after 4:45am to the bloody relief of a lot of people! My flight was leaving London to arrive in to Amsterdam, overall a 50 minute flight. Quite surprised actually! I didn't look at the time distance!


After getting off my first flight, Mother Nature decided to give me a little treat!


Only went and fucking started my period didn’t I !! Actual nightmare and here came the cramps! Ahead of me I have a longgggg flight and might I add I’m at the window seat! How annoying am I going to be getting up for the loo all the time! Face timing my other half, standing in Amsterdam airport telling him how much of a nightmare life is already haha..


"I want to come home Rob, Not doing this" Very mardy!


It wasn’t the best flight in all honesty, turbulence, going through the thunder storms

(Of which I was amazed by)


There was two men sat beside me and the one in the middleman started to ask me a few questions.. I’m always a closed book when I go anywhere so my answered was very short and blunt. Over time I could see there help, I would pass my trays over or the man at the end would grab mine to give to the air hostess ect. I had some conversations in the end about why I was coming to South Africa and I asked them why they was. When it came close to landing I was talking to the man st the end about what I am doing ect and he asked what time my flight was out of Cape Town and I told him 6am. I would stay at the airport in a lounge for a few hours or so! 


He then asked me if I have some cash in his time of money and I said I do thank you! And he asked me if I was sure,he was lovely tbh and I knew his intentions was genuine. 




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I landed in Cape Town airport and was a little sick. I think it may have been due to my period or due to the amount of travel and not being completely settled, Who knows I mean maybe it was the red wine ... not really I don't think it was .. I only had the one for calming purposes!  


I needed to collect my bags at this airport and then check back in to Cape Town airport ready for my flight to Port Elizabeth. 


Going through immigration and the “Security guard” told me I couldn’t stay at the airport.

A number of things ran through my mind tbh, keep calm, ask questions, ring who you need to ring and stay safe!


I would be there for maybe four or so hours and he said it wouldn’t be safe because the airport isn’t 24hours, Which personally made no sense to me. Where ever I have flown I have had no problems at all, but I could be wrong!


So I explained to him I’m here for a few hours and I’m at arrivals now but I’m departing to PE?He said it doesn't matter I arrived at 11:30pm and my flight is the following day at 5am, which means I can not stay at the airport and grab a coffee! I knew at this moment in time I needed to be very very careful with my wording and my attitude. I asked about the lounges in the airport and he told me that there wasn't any lounges I could go to. 


He then told me he gets off work in 10minutes and can take me to a hotel.



I said to him no thanks, I’ll stay here and grab a coffee, I’ll be fine, he went on to say well your bags won’t be ok.. Someone might move or mess with them, adding things. He was pushing it! I feel he had already made his mind up .. I wasn't staying there, I could tell by his tone and his body language. There’s only so much attitude you can have with any type of security abroad but when it comes to this country I knew I needed to be extra cautious with my words and attitude. 


I explained I didn't have the spare money for a hotel and he frowned upon me... I instantly thought shit, I should have came in to the country with an amount.. Now he might do his checks or threaten to deport me and then ill have to admit to my money ect. So I then quickly explained that I am on a voluntary programme and they paid for it all including flights, I have 2 days off so I don't need spending money!  


Why didn't I just walk away at this time? Well because I wasn't actually in .. Ineeded to pass the immigration! 


He told me were to go and sit to wait and when I left the immigration area I quickly called my other half and told him what was happening, Of course he was saying "Your not leaving with him" .... I walked away trying to locate the departures and He wasn't working for an extra 10 minutes because he followed me and shouted to me, "I told you to wait". I then was like I check in at 4am its ok i'm fine and then he said to me ....


"Stop listening to who's on the phone, I know my country" He said!


Literally though FFS here we go ... I said its ok i'm staying here thank you and tried to hurry off and then remained on the phone and said I will look after my bags thanks for the help bye. 


In the end I stayed at the airport and went for a nap, I did feel safe enough to, there was so many cameras, There was security on foot patrolling past me every 10 minutes. This was more than safe, more safe than other airports. I linked my bags to me and put my passport and cash bag under my clothing. I waited for a few hours and then my check in gate was open, it’s as simple as that. 





When I explained to my ranger he told me its a good job I was strong minded and didn't listen, shifts don't end at the airport at midnight there through shift and you can wait there as it is open to all 24 hours! 


Scary right? , Don't want to think of the outcome,


NO, I don't believe he was genially trying to help me at all!

Especially when his attitude changed regarding me being on phone!  


(Hey i'm in dodgy cape town airport)

After looking online it seems Cape town is open 24hours, You can sleep on the benches that I did sleep on and there are lounges available.




For any information and advise on sleeping in airports please visit the above website! 



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On to my last flight to my final destination. It’s been a long time travelling, tiring and challenging! I have been faced with so much. I love to visit new places but for me connecting flights and having three flights was a nightmare. My stupid period, the weather was actually scary, turbulence, going through an actual lightning storm, the dodgy security in Cape Town airport ... BUT I have boarded my final plane and landed in Port Elizabeth and I feel amazing! Overwhelmed and proud, more determined than ever!!!!!



I have my bag and now i'm going to meet my driver 

(Who walked directly passed me because he thought he was picking up a boy 😂 ) 




(But first driver can we go to a shop please because they chucked out my sun cream) 



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Thank you for reading 


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