Another year, another adventure! This time, life has drawn me to the opposite side of the world, and I’m heading to New Zealand. The ‘plan’ is to stay and work for a year, but I have yet to secure a job or apartment, so who knows. Maybe I’ll be broke and homeless in a couple months and will have to drag myself home.
Even if that’s the case (and I can almost certainly promise you it won’t be), I will squeeze in as much exploring as possible. The country looks absolutely incredible. Have you ever seen a photo of a New Zealand landscape and thought, “meh”?
No, I didn’t think so.
Mountains, hot springs, glow worm caves, volcanoes, lakes, beaches, wineries, epic coastlines, hobbit houses; seems like I’ll have no shortage of things to do!
Additionally, I’m hella outta shape, so I’m hoping all the hiking opportunities will help me get my shit together.
I pack everything into my trusty 80L and 28L Osprey backpacks, trying to cram in as much stuff as possible now so that I can cut down on shopping costs once I reach the other side.
I have 19 hours of flight time ahead of me; 5 from Toronto to Vancouver with Air Canada, and 14 from Vancouver to Auckland with Air New Zealand.
My wonderful parents take me to the airport and send me off with big hugs and promises to visit soon. They’ve also totally spoiled me, and upgraded me to business class from Toronto to Vancouver. I’ve never flown business before so this will be a new experience! The best parents in the world, truly.
Here are some of the perks:
⁃ There’s a separate lounge, but I don’t really have time to find it so I just wait in the general seating area with all the economy peasants (literally me for every other flight I’ve ever taken).
⁃ At the gate they call for volunteers to check their carry on luggage because the flight is so full. I take out my necessities and offer up my bag, but because I’m flying business they tell me not to worry about it. Luxury!
⁃ “Zone 1” passengers (me) are invited to board first. Some lady literally pushes past me, and I assume it’s because she’s a rude business flyer who thinks I’m a dirty backpacker (not wrong) sitting in economy, but no! I glance at her ticket and she’s a Zone 3. Extra rude. How dare she.
⁃ Obviously the seats are nicer. I’m basically sitting in a lazy boy by the window, with allll the leg room.
⁃ We get a fancy dinner menu and unlimited free booze. I have 4 boozes.
⁃ There is a selection of different red or white wines, and it comes in an actual stemless glass, not a plastic cup.
⁃ The nuts are served in a bowl and are kinda warm, but not in a weird way.
⁃ Miss Vickies chips! Lindt chocolate!
– Hot towels!
10/10 would do again.
I’ve never felt so classy! Or out of place. Literally everyone else looks like an actual business person. No celebs. I was low key hoping Seth Rogan or one of the Canadian Ryans would be my seat mate, but it’s just a normal dude who writes e-mails for the whole 5 hour stretch.
My flight to NZ is smooth too, especially because I board already 4 wines deep. The flight is pretty full but no one sits directly next to me so I get an extra blanket, pillow, and most importantly, space. I throw in my noise cancelling headphones, blow up my neck pillow and pass tf out.
Next thing I know, 13 hours have flown by (excuse my pun) and we’re preparing for arrival!
A friend of mine (who hates being mentioned in my blog and shall therefore remain nameless) is an angel and comes to pick me up from the airport. We drive around Auckland and eat breakfast by a quaint little cafe next to a boat port. It’s cloudy, but a warm 21 degrees so we sit on the patio, which rumbles when cars go by on the overpass behind us. I can’t imagine a better place to have my first meal.