My flight crossed the Tasman Sea without incident.
A few times I did glance out the window two seats away, but all I saw were clouds.
Most of the time, I read and dozed off.
Three relaxing hours later, we finally arrived in Auckland.
It took an hour to get through Customs, but only minutes after stepping out of the terminal my bus to Auckland arrived.
Half an hour after that, I checked in at my hotel.
It had been a long day, but everything had gone smoothly.
Despite the long day of travelling, I somehow stayed up until 2am the following morning, unwinding.
After that, I got six hours of solid sleep.
Alas, that would be the last decent sleep I would have for the next two days.
I spent a week in Auckland. As expected, most of that time was in meeting rooms with colleagues discussing how to document processes and procedures.
There was nothing wrong with that, however. Everyone was very friendly and helpful, and because I haven’t worked in an office for almost three years now it was good to be around people again.
Unfortunately, due to my stressing subconscious or whatever the fuck was wrong with me, I slept very little during my second and third nights in Auckland and the following mornings I got up feeling like murder.
And to add insult to injury, on Tuesday morning I woke up ill.
I soldiered on at the office that day, but Wednesday morning I felt even worse and called in sick.
One of my project managers told me not to worry (and my other project manager had spent Tuesday sick at home herself). She told me to take the day off and rest, and I did.
There are much worse places than the room of a four-star hotel in which to spend a sick day. As well, for the first time in days I got some decent sleep.
Also as expected, I didn’t get to see much of Auckland.
What I did see I liked a lot, though. Auckland reminded me very much of Melbourne, and my hotel was in a great central location near many restaurants and a supermarket.
As well, New Zealanders in general were very friendly, and the weather was pleasant.
Back in 1997, my father discovered that he had an adult daughter from a pre-marriage relationship.
My half-sister grew up in New Zealand and lives not far from Auckland.
Although we’d reconnected via Facebook a couple of years ago, I hadn’t seen sis since the late 1990s – so this trip presented another golden opportunity.
Before I travelled we made arrangements to meet up on the Wednesday night, but after I became sick I was worried that perhaps we should call things off.
Sis was prepared to brave my germs, however, and I felt much better after my sick-day of rest, so Wednesday night she kindly took me to her farm where I had a very pleasant dinner with her and her family.
As well, I got to meet some of her animals that include (but are not limited to) two horses, two miniature horses, two goats, the two largest sheep I’ve ever seen and two cats (albeit from a typically skittish distance). The adorable mini-horses couldn’t get enough of sniffing my boots.
(The sheep reference is not a dig at New Zealand – they really were the biggest ones I’ve ever seen, and even sis is astounded by their size)
Finally, my week in Auckland came to an end and it was time to return home.
Early on Saturday 10 August I returned to Auckland Airport, checked in without any hassle and spent another few hours reading until I was ready to depart.
I boarded my ‘plane and by take-off I found to my delight that the two seats next to mine were vacant.
Enroute back across the Tasman, I even looked out the window a few times at the ocean far from land 38,000 feet below.
Another three relaxing hours later, we landed at Mascot International.
I cleared Customs without incident and stepped out of the terminal to a glorious afternoon.
My first trip overseas was over, and it had been a success.
During the next month or so, I could be returning to Auckland for more work.
If not, another day I’d like to return on holiday to both visit my half-sister again and see more of Auckland.
Until next time, stay well and take care 🙂