‘Miss World’ – it was a daily topic that seemed months away. After being crowned in April it came by with in a blink of an eye.
Miss World 2016 was held in Washington DC for the month of December.
On arrival at Heathrow airport I met the beautiful Miss England, Elizabeth. As we said farewell to my parents we checked in and began our eight hour flight.
The flight was a great way of Elizabeth and I finding common ground. Given that we didn’t stop talking the whole eight hours we drew some attention to ourselves. The air hostess took an interest in our travels and gave us champagne to celebrate along with a chocolate bar & two fab lollies. As you can imagine this only enhanced our excitement.
As we landed we were greeted by two members of staff from the airport who escorted us to the passport/security control. We passed a long queue only to be escorted to our very own queue. Within minutes we had been cleared and we’re escorted to our luggage. Once we found our luggage it was then up to the police officers to escort us to a room. Within minutes we were bombarded with flashing lights and a camera crew.
After a short wait we had a room full of contestants. I remember meeting Miss Malta for the first time. We clicked instantly and we ended up sitting beside each other on the bus. Miss Malta and I were best friends from that day on.
The hotel was fabulous. Greeted by a huge Christmas tree I instantly felt warm inside and excited to meet more of the contestants. We gathered on level 11 at a conference room where we were split into three groups. Once registered we headed to our rooms. One of my fears coming to Miss World was to not get on with my room mate or to have a room mate that couldn’t speak English. I was lucky to have Miss Gibraltar! In the first 10 minutes of talking we were in our pj’s mirroring each other. Laughing, sharing stories and funny facts about ourselves. I can honestly say that my room mate Kayley Mifsud is one of the nicest girls I have met. I truly love her like a sister and without Kayley Mifsud I’m not sure Miss World would have been the same.
Not long after our first day at Washington DC I met Lucy, Miss Scotland, and Monqiue,
Miss Cayman Islands. We all instantly clicked & become the best of friends. I am so fortunate that all the girls I’d met from day 1 who I’d instantly clicked with were on the same team as me – ‘Team Red’.
The first week was quiet. When I say quiet I mean early starts, full hair and makeup but we’re able to wear comfortable clothing for rehearsals but smart for filming or interview with the judges. During a dance rehearsal Julia Morley joined us to give us the news of a trip to New York planned for us. I was so overwhelmed with emotions I began to cry. A early morning start, brunch on a boat to visit the statue of liberty, to then see the school of rock musical, before heading to time square before home time!
It’s been a dream of mine to visit New York. To have experienced that one dream with my Miss World sisters truly touched me and it will forever be a memory I save close to my heart.
After the trip to New York which I believe commenced on the second week of our stay each day went back as quickly as the next. We filmed 30 second intros outside on a beautiful winters day, we had our second round of judges interviews, filming short clips about ourselves, we celebrated many birthdays, attended a cooking show, competed in sports and fitness, Talent, top model where we modelled three different cultured designs, we took a tour around Washington DC, an evening watching 2016 BWP videos but before we knew it we were rehearsing at the MGM Grand national.
When the day arrived it didn’t feel real until the moment Steph was crowned Miss World 2016.
I had such mixed emotions. I really didn’t want the experience to end. Knowing that after the show I would no longer spend my days beside my best friends, laughing at one of us falling asleep waiting around, the small little jokes shared between us, the uncontrollable fits of laughter & our rare moments where we didn’t talk about junk food & who’s buying what from the gift shop! I also wanted to see my family, catch up with friends and party my way through to the new year.
It was bitter sweet to say the least and when the day finally came I cried uncontrollably. We all promised we’d stay in touch and planned a meeting in April. Every day since that day we have spoken on our what’s app group.
The Miss World experience is one I am very lucky to say I competed in. I not only represented my country but I hope I made everyone proud. I’ve walked away with the best of friends, the best of memories and most definitely one of the best experiences. I’ve grown tremendously in a month. I’ve learnt things about myself I wasn’t aware of previously. I’ve looked at my life from another perspective and questioned what I truly want from my life and what truly makes me happy. The smallest of things like relationships with people have changed. I’ve learnt to appreciate time with my friends and family. Some I’ve out grown and learnt to accept it and let go.