The only things I hate more than good-byes are snakes. So when Dave was holding me a few moments before I went through security at Pearson Airport, I wasn’t fully surprised that I wanted him to just leave. We were lingering, and if there’s one thing that always stands true about lingering it’s that it can only cause suppressed feelings to surface. I know now that is why my eyes started watering and Dave had to excuse himself to the restroom only to return a minute later and tell me to knock it off. Lingering never helps. It’s a simple situation usually. Drive me to the airport, drop me off on the curb, give me a big hug and tell me you’ll see me when I get back. Simple. But then he had to come inside and see me off. Then he had to hold me tight and look at me with his big steel eyes. Then he had to listen to me when I acted all tough and told him that we had to just do it – like ripping off a Band-aid. And in all that confusion and turmoil and anguish and craziness, I forgot to take a photo of us together. And then we told each other we’d see each other later and we hugged and walked in opposite directions away. I looked back for a moment and I could see him slightly turn his head, espying me, and turning it back forward. I think he was ready to cry. I was tearing up. When I got in line for security it was far too late for me. I knew then, as my eyes watered and my throat tightened, that I was hooked on that man. It’s ridiculous in the most wonderful and painful ways.
So here I am on the first lag of my journey – hour one of 19 hours in planes and even more time in transition. When I finally arrive in New Zealand it will be a good 24-hour travel day. Not my longest travel day, however. I do think that it will have been my first day ever going back in time and then moving forward in time. I suppose that’s beer.
I slept a lot of the flight away. I can never sleep on planes, but I think a 14-hour plane ride can put that theory to test. I started trying to sleep about two hours into the trip and have woken up with less than three hours left of the journey. Well, I did wake up at least 100 times. I do not find sleeping sitting up to be particularly comfortable. It hurts my back, and though I try to nestle into that seat, it’s easy to tell nestling was not on the agenda when these seats were designed.
I turned on the television conveniently located in the headrest in front of me and switched it to the Airshow – a handy little screen showing the plane’s progress across the Pacific Ocean. Ah yes. I remember this stupid little airplane. Haha – I’ve just flown over the Pacific. Nutty. The screen says we’re passing the International Dateline. So I have officially gone forward in time.
It’s -47C and we’re cruising at 10,972 meters. There’s just 2,000 km to go to Auckland. I don’t think I can sleep anymore. But it’s easier to sleep than think. And my eyelids still feel heavy despite the fact that it’s 9:30 a.m. I’d like to go to the bathroom, but the people in the seats next to me are fast asleep. Ah, finally – a drawback to the window seat.
I suppose I am about to begin an epic journey of sorts. I have to laugh when I realize it’s in the same land that Frodo and Sam went about theirs. My God. I am corny. Must be the lack of sleep. I have very little planned. But I do know that I am looking forward to brushing my teeth and texting Dave to let him know I landed safe and sound.
I found the shuttle bus outside the airport, but only after having to ask some one where the stop was. I met a girl named Erin from Saskatoon who was also headed to the same hostel. We talked a bit and upon arriving at Auckland Central Backpackers discovered that 7 a.m. was too early to check in. So, like any good travelers, we checked in our luggage and went walking around Auckland trying to get lost. Unfortunately, the Canadian in us took over and we were able to triangulate and maintain bearings on our hostel. After about 30 minutes of walking around downtown and checking out the harbour, we both realized we were in no real condition to be trekking about the city and opted on returning to our un-check-in-able hostel to just lounge and wait.
Note to self: When travelling for 24 hours ensure arrival time at destination is at a check-in-able time.
I keep feeling like I’m swaying back and forth, no doubt a side-affect of long-distance travelling and a lack of sleep. I am slightly hungry, but it’s still only 9:30 in the morning and I’m craving something a little more substantial than breakfast food, of which I already ate on the plane.
Erin and I got drunk at an Irish pub. It’s Monday morning and my head hurts. I’m in the IEP office on the 10th floor of a building in downtown Auckland. Out the window I can see down Victoria Street all the way to the harbour. Well, honestly, Auckland is nearly surrounded by water, so the harbour is nearly every which way one looks. Orientation starts in 10 minutes and then Erin and I have decided to look into getting a Stray Bus tour around the north island. The journey would finish in Wellington on the south end, which is perfect for both of us. I can hop the ferry and get over to Motueko and she can meet up with her friends in Wellington. Who knows! haha!
I like this kind of crazy.