10th october 2012

Today was one of the hardest days of my 2012 RTW trip. I had to leave New Zealand. Also, I had a crippling hangover from my partying the night before in a skirt. I didn’t look pretty in the morning, let’s leave it at that.

Staring beleaguredly at my instant noodles (what was left in my food bag) and trying to ignore the huge dentist drill currently pounding against my forehead from within, it suddenly hit.

I’m leaving New Zealand today.

A huge sense of grief erupted within my chest and I even moaned out.. ‘oh god no!’ to which a bright eyed girl opposite the cooker from me eyed me with amusement and said ‘good night was it?’ With a quivering lip, I nodded sagely and brought my dish to the table. I wasn’t leaving for a few hours yet and I’m sitting with my packed bag waiting for a jet plane to take me to my next destination. So, this left me to ponder about my time in New Zealand. What was the result?

I want to live here.

This was a huge deal for me. I never envisioned staying in a country other than my home place, Great Britain. But New Zealand was the country that’s actually felt like I fitted in. It was just the right pace of life for me and I just knew that everyday would be different. The scenery is second to none, the people friendly and humourous, and many more. Even the best activities to sate my thrillseeking madness were here such as whitewater rafting, jumping off a ledge, skydiving from 12,000 feet and even hiking up precarious mountains.

I looked at my plane ticket. How about if I tear it up there and then and get a job here? I mean, they are crying out for stunning attractive, sexy, tall, dark and handsome male models here right? I could get a place by the sea, get a dog to go for walks with along the beach, become the most famous travel blogger ever and I suppose a wife to do my dishes and ironing. It was very tempting.

With that clear thought in my bedfuddled hungover brain of mine, I cleared up and headed on over to a coffee shop to try and kill laughing narrowed arteries clogging my system. So where would I live?

Oh, the South Island definitely. Queenstown? Christchurch? Wanaka? Kerikeriteri in the Abel Tasman or perhaps even Kaikoura? The possibilities are endless and in the North Island, I would punt for either the Northlands or Wellington. Or should I throw it all in and become a Hobbit in a Hobbit Hole in matamata? I just don’t know! The possibilities are endless!

Sipping my mocha (with extra marshmallows of course), the plane ticket stared at me glintingly from my pocket. Should I? I took it out, and folded it flat on the table in front of me. I only had 2 more destinations left with this ticket that screamed at me with their flight numbers and dates.

Sighing, this was truly a quandary.

Draining my mocha, I knew I would have to spend more time in New Zealand. I mean, I have to go back to Franz Josef to do my ice hike and go tramping in the national parks. Maybe get a Maori tattoo?

The hour was up. It was now or never. Could I take the plunge to stay? The airport bus would be along soon. I trudged back to the hostel, collected my things and said my goodbyes but I had a feeling that I could be saying hello to them again in a few hours.

Standing at the bus stop, the airport bus arrived and I boarded. And I did something that totally surprised myself. I cried like a baby. I was so torn! As the tears rolled down my cheeks, I debated with myself. I even imagined 2 mini rexys, each sat on my shoulder urging me to either stay or go. What to do? Please give me a sign!

And what a sign!

I got off when the bus came to a stop outside the terminal. And I looked up to realise where I was. DOMESTIC Terminal. I laughed out loud. Truly, the country was trying to make me stay. Maybe I should fly to the South Island to Christchurch and figure out what to do then. It’ll be an exciting step to my life.

Breathing heavily, should i do it? The domestic terminal gleamed and beckoned me inside. I looked outside and saw the dull International Terminal sign paling away.

An hour later, after checking in, I walked through the gate onto my flight and smiled. I knew I was doing the right thing. As I settled in the plane journey, I saw the city of Auckland go by as I headed…North.

Yes, I left New Zealand. But to this Tolkien-esque country, I thee promise.

I will return.