I’ve said all my goodbyes (with more than one resulting in a rather awkward-crying-on-public-transport situation) and this afternoon I’ll be beginning my slightly epic trip to New Zealand. Epic in that it will take me 30 hours so I won’t arrive in Auckland until Saturday lunch time (NZ time – which is super late on Friday evening UK time). Not epic in that I’m swimming there or something terribly sensational like that.
I thought I should
procrastinate from packing by writing a blog post probably show some signs of life, so here are some of the things that I’m super excited about:
Long-haul flights – I love flying (let’s just skip over the whole environmental impact thing, ok?), but I’m a particular fan of long-haul. I love that almost every airline has individual TV screens now, even in Economy, so you can choose what you want to watch (assuming you’re not stuck with the only faulty screen in the whole plane). Except then there are too many options and I’m terribly indecisive… I’m hoping The Muppets are on, but we’ll see. I bet I end up watching a whole series of terrible films that I would never consider paying to go see at the cinema…
Being an expat again – Aside from the last four years of university, I’ve spent my whole life as an expat. As strange as it may sound, I feel much more at home whilst living abroad than when living in the UK, one of my “home countries”. I’ve missed being an expat so much, and I can’t wait to discover a new country, new customs and a new culture!!
New foods – I feel this is pretty self-explanatory – I write a food blog, so of course I’m excited about the prospect of new foods! I can’t wait to discover new fruits and fish and just generally new dishes… The food section was obviously the very first section that I read when I acquired my guide book. I have my priorities right, don’t you know.
Being a student again – I only graduated in June, but in the intervening months I’ve really missed being a student. As sad as it may sound, I’m rather excited about all the reading and learning that I’m going to have to do (not so much the stats that will inevitably rear their ugly heads). I think I need to get out more…
The scenery – NZ just looks utterly stunning in all the photos and documentaries I’ve seen. The dramatically beautiful landscapes remind me very much of Norway. The visa in my passport informs me that I’m there to study, but I hope that I’ll be able to visit some of NZ and see all the beauty for myself. You can probably expect some Toothy’s Travels posts in the nearish future…
Rugby – I’ve wanted to see the All Blacks play for a long time (in real life). Even if they beat France at the World Cup… So fingers crossed that that happens! I’m also hoping that the general love of rugby that seems to permeate across the country means that the 6 Nations matches are shown on TV.
Middle Earth – I’m quite enthusiastic about Lord of the Rings (I love both the books and the films), so going to NZ is totally exciting, even if Auckland wasn’t exactly the centre of filming. Oh, you were under the illusion that I’m ultra cool? Oh… Well, that’s that illusion dispelled then. Bonus points to anyone who spotted the LOTR reference in the title of this post, although I’d like to reassure you that I have no intention whatsoever of fighting orcs. Or fighting anything for that matter.
NZ wine – I’m really not familiar with NZ wine, so I’m excited to discover it properly (because as we know, I’m quite partial to wine…), but whenever I say that to friends who actually know about wine they generally give me a pitying look that effectively says “good luck with that…” Doesn’t bode too well… I’m hoping that it’s just a case of NZ keeping its best wines for the domestic market and exporting the not-so-great stuff. Any suggestions for wines to taste/vineyards to visit are obviously welcome.
And in the interest of balance (I seem to have come over all BBC), here are a few things that I’m rather less excited about, but still turning into positives:
The time difference – NZ is currently 13 hours ahead of the UK, so the impending jet-lag will probably be marvellous fun to deal with, I’m sure… The difference will make watching the 6 Nations rather interesting – I can’t wait for the matches that are on at 4am on a Monday morning… At least I won’t be late for wherever I’m supposed to be/whatever I’m supposed to be doing on said Mondays. No promises for the rest of the week though.
Three winters in a row – It’s the end of the summer in NZ, so after winter in Europe, I’ll get winter in NZ, followed by winter in Europe again at the end of my course. Planning fail. Though on the plus side, winter = mulled wine… And I feel NZ winters sound rather preferable to European winters. In fact, they’re probably better than Scottish summers.
Downton Abbey – The problem with moving around is that TV series are always at different stages in different countries, so I don’t usually get too into them. I’m totally addicted to Downton Abbey though – I rather hope that the series has made it to NZ and that it’s not too behind either. Once again, I clearly have my priorities in the right place…
I don’t have anywhere to live (yet) – Because I won’t know exactly what I’ll be doing until I’ve met my supervisor (hopefully next week), I don’t know whether I’ll be based in Auckland or Leigh… So I haven’t been able to look for anywhere to live yet. Panic panic. But I do have two weeks’ temporary accommodation organised when I arrive, so at least I won’t have to sleep under a bridge (for now). Hopefully that will be enough time to find something decent…
So, on that wonderfully positive note, I’m off to
Middle Earth New Zealand! Exciting stuff!! Needless to say, I’m not sure how much blogging will happen over the next few weeks as I sort out my living situation (minor detail) and settle in, but do bear with me!
Wherever you are, enjoy the rest of your day!
PS – Sorry for the lack of photos in this post. I’m actually supposed to be packing, so ya…