Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Final: Australia & New Zealand

Well, this is it. The end of a nearly three week trip half-way around the world. I’ve been dreaming of this adventure for so many years. It happened and exceeded my expectations. The landscape was beautiful and the people were as well.

I started the morning early with a 3:30am alarm (although I was up at 3am...I often sleep light the night before a flight). 

I left Haka Lodge in Auckland and made my way to the bus stop. Auckland is super clean and the reason is the city sweepers and garbage haulers that are working at 4am!

First flight was Auckland to Sydney. The Auckland International airport is AMAZING! Seriously the best airport I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. The security checkpoints are super efficient with the latest technology and streamlined processing of bags, etc. I was super impressed. 

My flight to LAX was delayed an hour. I boarded and had the entire middle row to myself. Woot woot!!! With some extra attention from the flight crew it felt like first class. The only bummer was WiFi was down...ugh. 

Traveling half way around the world (19 hour difference from home) is like traveling through a time warps of sorts. I’m constantly looking at my world map trying to figure out if I should be tired or awake. I left New Zealand at 7am, traveled 26 hours, and landed in Minneapolis seven hours later. Weird. 

I fully admit I broke my “stay sober during long hauls” rule. Don’t judge me. I blame it on the WiFi being out and grateful crew members. In my defense I made sure to drink plenty of water - when I remembered. 

I fell asleep a couple hours into the flight. When I woke I bashed my head on the seat in front of me and tripped over my own backpack. Seven hours into a fourteen hour flight I committed to sobriety (for this flight). 

I sailed through customs, picked up my bag, and made it to my (last) connecting flight with four minutes to spare! Last flight - uneventful and I was welcomed with snow. Not my favorite, but I was also greeted by a teenager that was eager to see me - that made up for the snow. 

Final Stats:
  • Eighteen (18) days
  • Three countries (two new)
  • Nine (9) flights
  • 40,523 miles
  • 56.432 views of this blog
  • Two-and-a-half books
  • So many laughs
  • So many beautiful beaches
  • So many beautiful people
I’m not confident what my next adventure will be but I guarantee there will be another soon. Safe travels everyone! 

Rae Ann

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