After a few weeks which turned into months of writers block I am back and what better way to start than to share my New Zealand adventure with you.
My youngest daughter has been travelling the globe for the last 18 months and by Christmas (the second one she had been away on) I confess I was missing her. FaceTime is great but you can’t beat the the real thing. She has a working visa in New Zealand for a year and NZ is a place that has always been on my bucket list. We have spent too much of our lives putting things off, but not this time. In early January my husband and I had two return flights booked and two things ticked – bucket list and seeing my daughter.
The longest flight I had ever done was 4 hours. Heathrow to Abu Dhabi to Brisbane to Auckland in 25 hours was going to be a new experience in itself. The flight went better than I expected. There was plenty of good films to see and lots of food and drink breaks to ‘while a way’ some of the time. I filled the rest of the time with a good book, a comfy pillow, a blanket, walks around the aisles and some broken sleep.
We arrived in Auckland at midnight, looking forward to a quick stopover in the budget Ibis near the airport before boarding another flight in the morning to Christchurch. The best laid plans! My case didn’t arrive in Auckland and baggage claims didn’t know where it was. After an hour of running between the carousel and the baggage reclaim office we headed to the hotel still minus my case.
Luckily I had one change of clothes and a scaled down wash kit in my hand luggage. Not knowing when we would see the case again, I rinsed my dirty clothes, hung them up to dry and fell into bed for a few hours of broken sleep.
On waking, I was surprisingly refreshed and not feeling too much of the dreaded jet lag that I had been warned about. Quick breakfast and back down to the airport to enquire about the lost case. Still no sign of it but with the hope that it would eventually find us on our travels we boarded the flight that would reunite us with Naomi.
On arriving in Christchurch, we were greeted by an excited daughter who was waiting near the baggage carousel with what she thought was my lost case. Easy mistake to make, as it was pink. But I was travelling with the matching blue one. My husband had, at the last minute, decided to take a case and not his rucksack as originally planned. He ended up with the pink case. It was great to see her, and she looked so well – travelling has obviously been doing her good.
Off we traipsed to the baggage office once again. Christchurch staff were far more helpful than Auckland staff. Although, the case was still mysteriously missing, we were given an overnight bag with toiletries, an oversized T-shirt that could double as a nighty, telephone numbers, reference codes and the assurance that we would have our case sent to us wherever we were in New Zealand. My daughter had been working at a hostel for the last three months and was used to dealing with customer’s lost baggage, so she took over the hunt and the many telephone calls it took to find out the case was in Brisbane..
I was finally reunited with my case a few days later in Queenstown airport. But it didn’t stop the New Zealand adventures beginning.