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Published 10 July 2023 4 min read
England Women's Senior Team

Lauren Hemp kicks off our World Cup diary

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Lauren Hemp

Winger discusses England's journey to Australia, operation 'beat the jetlag', the incredible welcome from the Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi people and much more

It’s fair to say it has been an eventful week or so! 

Prior to travelling over to Australia, I had gone home to Norfolk, where I’m from, for a bit and then I went back to Manchester, where home is now, for a couple of weekends, and just chilled.  

I knew it was the last chance I would have to see family and friends so I just laid on the sofa most of the time, chilled out and relaxed. We had to be in bed pretty early as part of our ‘beat the jetlag’ strategy so it didn’t allow us to do too much with our evenings leading up to the trip. 

We had met up at a hotel in Windsor on Wednesday and then flew from Heathrow that evening to Singapore.  
There was a lot of excitement in the days leading up to Wednesday, but I was dreading the flight to Australia to be honest as I am a pretty nervous flyer. But once we got on the plane, it was pretty steady and I tried to sleep most of the way.  

It was daytime English time for much of when we were flying so it was pretty tough to sleep, so I also did a bit of colouring, and we have this murder mystery thing I have been working on – I’m trying to find out who the killer is at the moment – but it was pretty hard to do that on my phone in the dark! 
We arrived at Singapore Airport and had a couple of hours there before then flying to Sydney Airport, where spent a bit of time at the hotel there, grabbing some breakfast, getting refreshed and some people had a power nap.  

From there, we then had an internal flight to Sunshine Coast Airport, where we had some lunch before heading to the Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort. 

We received a really nice reception at the hotel. We were all shattered by the time we got to the hotel but there were lots of people there waving their flags and it was really nice to see all the support. 
To help with jetlag, we wear these orange lens in a pair of glasses about an hour before we go to sleep because it is meant to give you darkness.  

Then in the morning, you are meant to switch to blue lens with a blue light which wakes you up and is meant to help with the jetlag. 

On Saturday, we also had a nice lay-in because we needed a lot of sleep due to the travelling and then we had a light session at our training base, the Sunshine Coast Stadium. 
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It is a lovely area where we are staying, so some of the girls went for a walk on the beach, some explored the hotel a bit more and of course, with this team, some of the players enjoyed the renowned Australian coffee!  

It goes dark quite quickly here but we had a live singer on the hotel terrace after dinner on Saturday, which was really nice. 

Sunday saw us have a higher intensity session, with more touches on the ball and it will be the same again tomorrow. 

After the session, there was also a lovely welcome ceremony from members of the Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi people, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land.  
It included a traditional smoking ceremony and it was really nice to experience the culture, it was an amazing welcome. We then had the chance to meet some of the fans too, which was great too! 

One of the other things I have loved about Australia so far is the wildlife. It is just so different over here. 

We saw some kangaroos at the hotel, which was really nice because I hadn’t seen one before. I also tried to find a koala as well, but I couldn’t see one. So I’m hoping we see one when we go to the zoo next week! 

England's special welcome to Australia