After months of planning, delayed decision making and packing procrastination, our departure day has finally arrived. I strap on my suspiciously light backpack, check for the 375th time that I’ve got my passport, say goodbye to family and friends (not in a morbid way, I don’t have that little confidence in myself) and hop on a train to Manchester Airport with Suzy (travelling buddy, life coach, best pal). Here we bloody go!
Our first journey is Manchester to Auckland, which involves three separate flights. We set off fully aware of how long it was going to take to get there, but nothing prepared me for the reality of a 24 hour flight. I gradually lose track of what time, day, month, or year it is. A couple of Harry Potter films and unsuccessful sleeping attempts later and we still have 9 and a half hours to go. I start to wonder if by the end of it I’ll be married with kids and a mortgage. To quote everyone who took a not-even-that-long car journey as a child; ARE WE THERE YET????
Eventually, after stopovers in Dubai and Melbourne, we land in Auckland, and celebrate by sleeping for 14 hours. The next day we go for an explore and head up to the top of the Sky Tower (a tower that goes up into the sky) which has incredible views of the whole city. We sit and watch the panoramic views for a while, partly because there’s so much to look at but mainly because of the jet lag removing our ability to move.
The next day we go to Waiheke Island (the first of many place names I don’t know how to pronounce on this trip) just off the coast of Auckland. We spend the whole day exploring the most New Zealand looking countryside that looks like it’s come straight out of a Lord of the Rings film, only without the elves and shit:
On our last morning in Auckland, we get on a train to Wellington, where I’m currently typing this blog post on my phone. (I was going to write it down physically, but then I remembered I’m a millennial and that would be ridiculous. I’m not even sure I know how to write anymore.) It’s a full day’s journey so I tell myself I’ll use the time to get some writing done, but I just nap and eat lots of food instead. A nice throwback to my dissertation writing days.