I woke up early and rushed around Cape Town, picking up my bike, collecting brooches and business cards from the MAD charity offices, and doing some last minute shopping -- all the while constantly chatting on the phone to friends and family, wishing me luck and sending heaps of love. Then the next emotion kicked in... Anxiety. I became physically sick to my stomach. At our family friend's house, after finalizing my packing, my parents arrived and we cracked open champagne to "cheers" my epic journey. I looked around, holding my glass of champagne, surrounded by my loved ones, and instantly I felt a nauseating sensation overtake my body. I have never experienced this feeling of being completely overwhelmed. I was as white as a sheet. I felt like I was going to be sick and the shakes had started... I could honestly say that I was having a mini panic attack. Hahaha. Only then I realized that it was afternoon already, and I hadn't eaten anything all day. I had plainly forgotten. I was a total shatter-brain -- I would grab a glass of apple juice, walk two steps and complete forget about it. Those around me would have to remind me: "Tessa, you're busy eating a banana", and make sure I finished it. I'd hold it in my hand and not even take note of the fruit! However, finally with food and fluid in my system, I started to calm down and all was okay.
On arrival in Doha, I shopped around the airport for my very last important item, a good CASIO watch. I found the one I wanted and ticked the last item off my list. Now I was finally feeling fully prepared. On the flight to Cairo I was wide awake and super excited.
We landed and at the baggage collection the nerves kicked in again: What if my luggage got lost??? What would I do??? Questions were running through my mind, but as my bike box came out on the belt, I squeaked with excitement and ran to hug it. All was well. As if I don't stand out enough in a foreign country like Egypt, I have to go and perform in a way that draws even more attention to myself.
With everyone staring, I made my exit and held thumbs customs didn't stop me. Every person in front of me got pulled over, and when the officer got to me, he says: "STOP!!! What is box?" I reply with the sweetest smile I possess: "It's my bicycle. I'll be cycling home to South Africa." He looked at me with worried eyes, probably thinking this girl has lost her marbles. He shook his head and let me through. The airport transfer shuttle was perfectly on time, and I was at the hotel, checked-in, and sitting in on the TdA meeting within an hour of my arrival.