As you already must have noticed, last week I unfortunately didn’t manage to write an update before my departure to New Zealand. And to be honest, I knew that I probably wouldn’t manage, since I know myself well enough. Yes, 28 years and counting, and still thinking that I can do different. Who am I kidding?! Doing everything last minute is definitely my speciality, but this is just how it works, and it will probably never change. As I mentioned before, the last days I was pretty stressed out, therefore, writing wasn’t my priority number one. Yet, I would like to give you a short review from day to day, so you’re up to date again. Last week has been a rollercoaster of emotions, that’s for sure.
After a lot of confusing information first, I figured out that my Dutch health insurance will expire, once I will start working in New Zealand – something I didn’t know about. So, I decided very last minute to get a special insurance for people like me, who are travelling overseas on a Working Holiday Visa. This insurance can be upgraded to an extensive one from the moment I start working in New Zealand. It just feels more safe to have an insurance like that, and one less worry. While being in the centre of Leiden for the last time, a visit to my favourite butcher – Slagerij van der Zon – couldn’t miss, followed by a delicious late lunch at home. For dinner, the promised, and ‘oh-so-famous-goodbye-roast-chicken’ at Mum’s was on the menu. Best in the world, no doubt! And thereby, the last planned date was a fact.
Packing, packing, packing. Oh yeah, and packing. No seriously, I think I didn’t do anything else than packing that day. It wasn’t only determining which things to pack for the upcoming year, but also how to fit it in my suitcase and backpack, without exceeding 30 kg. Quite a challenge, I can tell. In the end, I wasn’t able to pack anything extra, except the most necessary things, like clothes, 4 pairs of shoes, some toiletries and my foam roller. Yes, the foam roller came along! For the first time, I also realised that my adventure is getting real. The last weeks have been flown by and now I was suddenly having a last drink with my boyfriend. Where has the time gone? On a moment like that, you just want to push the pause button, even though it’s impossible.
After a short night sleep, it was time to leave to the airport, accompanied by my boyfriend and mum. It was certainly the weirdest goodbye ever, not even knowing when to see each other again. On that day, I think my brain was just set on autopilot. Of course, you don’t want to leave your loved ones behind. Who would? And when you see their sadness, it makes it even harder. So, it was definitely a very tough goodbye, as you can imagine. Once I passed the border control, I got myself a coffee and answered the last text messages I got from friends. Then I boarded the first flight to Singapore and the long journey began…
The first flight from Amsterdam to Singapore was actually quite good. Still not really comfortable, but it could have been worse. After a very brief layover, I boarded my second flight to Auckland. This time, however, it was a matter of surviving. With very bad food on board and therefore being hungry all the time, swollen legs and no sleep, I just wanted to get it over with. Being on a plane for more than 24 hours is certainly no fun and nothing I would recommend anyone to do, unless you have to. When I arrived in Auckland that night, I was just happy to get into bed as soon as possible. Luckily, a freshly made-up bed was awaiting me.
The very first morning in Auckland, and I was already called out of bed early. A courier with a package from Holland was knocking on the door. What a nice surprise and a very good reminder how blessed I am with my friends back home! Since I couldn’t sleep anymore, I decided to have brunch at my favourite café Kokako nearby. Even though the food and coffee were delicious as always, my jet lag stopped me from enjoying it as I would normally do. The rest of the day wasn’t any different. Strolling around Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter on this sunny day, didn’t help me to feel more energised. I must have looked awful, just staring out in front of me. Later on that day, I managed to put a smile on my face and met my roommates. They all were very welcoming, which made me feel even more at home.
Feeling slightly better than the day before, I hit the city again, but still taking it slowly. Besides of getting some groceries, I didn’t do anything special that day. At some point, I just decided to go back home and take some rest in order to recover from the jet lag.
Already being 2 days in Auckland, required a first easy run of course to get active again. After a slow start-up in the morning, I went out running towards Point Chevalier – I will introduce this spot later on – and also spent some time at the beach watching people paddleboarding. Even though I only ran 11k, I spent quite some time outside, whilst stopping several times to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. I was actually very surprised how well I handled all the hills and humidity. That run definitely helped me to feel more relaxed afterwards. Later on that day, I went out with my roommates.
And that’s about last week. Writing up all the things I’ve experienced, still doesn’t make me realise a 100% how everything’s changed in just a few days. I can’t feel that I fully arrived yet, and I’ve no idea how long it will take me to do so. Somehow, it feels very natural and familiar to be back in Auckland, like I never left. But on the other hand, my heart is still in Holland with my loved ones. I just can’t place my feelings yet. Hopefully, it will come with the time. In the meantime, I’m very grateful for FaceTime and Skype and a deeply rooted trust that everything will be alright.
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