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Backpacking New Zealand 2005 – Day 1
Monday 28th March 2005
So begins my journey to New Zealand, and my first travelling trip. I was to set out alone to a country on the other side of the world, in what would hopefully be a life-changing experience for me. I still had a lot to do and to get ready though.
I said goodbye to my old friends and work colleagues, and finished off all I needed to finish with personal matters, and only had my bag to pack now before jetting off to New Zealand, I couldn’t wait, but was a little apprehensive to say the least.
Monday morning came and I hadn’t really slept at all, and there were things littered across my bedroom floor that wouldn’t be joining me on my adventures for the lack of room in my bag. I felt like I was sacrificing vital accessories, but in reality they were luxuries I could probably do without. It didn’t help with my stress levels though, and the family were getting the brunt of it.
I was driven to the airport by my family, and there was a strange quietness that engulfed the car, nobody really sure what to say or do. There was a strong possibility that I may be away for a year, yet none of us could find any words to say. We just sat, and I began to question my decision to leave my comfortable life, and to debate with myself whether I had made a mistake and if there were a way to bail out. It was, however, a brief thought that passed as fresh thoughts filled my mind of the places I would be seeing and the adventures I would be having. I wasn’t going to back out, not now, after everything I had been through up until now.
At the airport, I was a little disappointed with the fact that I had a middle seat. Not near the window, and not in the aisle. For a long flight I at least wanted the option of either, but as it happened I was stuck in the middle. I just hoped the people I was between were bearable, and hoped they didn’t smell. Heck, I hoped I didn’t smell!
The morning didn’t improve much as it happened. I found my newly acquired drink bottle had broken, leaking its contents into my bag and over my books. It was one of these amazing hiking bottles, although amazing is not a word that I would use anymore. I left the useless bottle with my family, and hoped my books would dry along the journey.
I said my tearful goodbyes to my family, and choked, but I knew I had to be strong, if only to lift my bag onto my back. This was my first time going through the airport process on my own, and I was a little scared. But it all went without a hitch. I had parted with my family, gone through the airport, and was now on my way to the aircraft itself, and I was feeling a little easier now. Once on the plane I felt happy, and could relax a little, knowing I had done everything properly so far.
I was in the middle of three seats, so it wasn’t actually that bad, and the people seemed OK to me. The seats had colour televisions, with 60 films to watch, and plenty of games to play, so I wouldn’t be bored at least. There were music channels to take away some of the boredom also. The staff were friendly, and throughout the flight they kept the food and drink coming, so it was a very nice flight in the end.
The time passed by swiftly, and we approached Hong Kong where I would be changing planes. It was only now that I had a conversation with the people beside me, and that we all seemed to awaken, as if it was now OK to talk. It didn’t bother me though, as I would hate to have to listen to someone talking for the entire twelve-hour flight.
We came into land, and I perked up, ready for the next test, making sure I got my luggage back, and onto the next plane. I also wanted to make sure I got the right plane, as I was now completely alone, and in virgin territory. I was a little sad at this point for leaving the family, but it was something I knew I had to do, and I wanted to do it well.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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