Trip Start Jul 30, 2012
4Trip End May 24, 2013
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Where I stayed
At the Dodunski's
What I did
Walked the Opunake Walkway
Cooked Danish food at Christina's place
Went to the beach
- Tea means dinner and dinner means nothing
- L&P is the world's number one soft drink, not only beating Coca Cola but also Faxe Kondi(!)
- New Zealand does not have super hot sunny weather all year round...
- This is how much Maths a 15 year old Kiwi know: 7 + 1 = 6. I'm a fucking genius here
- Cadbury chocolate is everything
- Drinking approximately two cups of tea a day does not make your teeth yellow
- "Crack up" is colloquial for funny and "a hard case" is a crack up person. Got that?
- Kiwis are not necessarily more down-to-earth than Danes are
Leaving my mum, sister, and three of my best friends behind when I went through the security area was the hardest thing I've done in my entire life. It was fairly easy to say goodbye to my dad and my grandmother, as they left the airport a bit earlier when we were still sitting at a café, having a drink of coffee or whatever - and take-off was still far, far away from my reality. But when I went up the stairs that only travellers are supposed to go up, my family and friends went with me. They walked me all the way to the place where you have to show your passport and boardingpass before going through security. At first I just hugged everyone once, laughing at a few jokes and stuff, then I had a really emotional moment with my mum and I started crying for real. When I turned around to walk towards the desks, I found that I couldn't. I said, "I can't do it," tears running down my face. Then I went back to them, hugged them again, and my mum said something about being brave and that I had to go and that everything would be alright. I still couldn't make myself do it, and at one point I thought I was going to have to stay in Denmark because I just didn't have the guts to make that final goodbye. I was bawling hysterically when I realised that yes, I did have to leave my loved ones behind and not see them in 9 months, yes, I did have to go through that desk and just carry on
I arrived in Dubai International Airport at 23:15 local time. It was definitely not as I had expected: The airport was full of life as if it was in the middle of the afternoon, and not late at night. It had its disadvantages though, because all the sleeping chairs were occupied (and there were A LOT of them
In Brisbane we were sent through security and I was pulled aside to have my bag checked for that bottle with the boiled lolly for Justin (host brother) in it - I think they thought it was a liquid, but nah
Before stepping out of the plane, my heart was pounding heavily and I was sweating like someone who had just finished a marathon - all because I was so nervous about going through biosecurity, in spite of having spent hours at home reading all about it on the biosecurity website. I was so scared to have my running shoes taken away from me, my wooden earrings, my homemade coconut necklaces, my diving goggles and whatnot. I didn't have to worry though because none of the security people took any notice, even when I stressed that I had "four handmade coconut necklaces!!!" and showing them one. They didn't care. Not even the cute dog that got to sniff my bags. So I just proceeded towards the entrance of the international airport, standing there for a while, not knowing where to go. Because I had to check-in at some "domestic terminal" counter before taking the bus/walking to the domestic terminal. I asked a lady behind the information desk, thinking she had the information... haha. She pointed it out for me, and I really don't know how I could have missed the sign with the big yellow letters "Domestic terminal." Anyway, I wheeled my bag-wagon with 35 kg of bags to the right place where you were supposed to check-in yourself on this little check-in machine. It didn't work, until one of the two ladies behind the counter told me that I couldn't check in a bag with more than 23.5 kg contents. I panicked inside!! My bag weighed more than 28 kg. I showed the lady my e-ticket, and to my luck she could point out a place where it said that my ticket allowed two pieces of checked in luggage. That saved me a few thousand Danish kroners. One of the few things MyEducation has done right, so thank you very much for that MyEducation! I had a nicely sized handbag with me that I used for my in-cabin bag, checking in my backpack previously used as cabin luggage. It took some repacking though, getting my big bag from 28 kg down to 23 kg, and fitting all my shoes in my Fjällräven backpack... the ladies were real nice and helpful though, not like the half-angry, stern-looking and very formal staff that Kastrup Lufthavn has, haha. When I finished repacking and checking in, I went outside in what seemed to be a nice sunny summer day, even though it was actually winter! The weather was great so I decided not to wait for the bus and walked the 15 min walk to the domestic terminal instead, videoing myself as I was walking. I was in a great mood, almost ecstatic. I guess that's what you get from coming to New Zealand for the first time. :) In the domestic airport I almost went to take a shower - but then I realised that I didn't have a towel or any sort of shampoo with me so that idea was gone pretty fast. I bought a really expensive 420ml Coca Cola to enjoy outside in the sun and then I just waited.
When I finally boarded the smallest plane I have ever seen, and sat down in my seat - that for the first time was not a window seat - I fell asleep right away. I guess it makes sense, after having been awake for 70 hours. I just don't understand how come I couldn't fall asleep in the other planes...
Anyway, I got picked up at New Plymouth airport by Dianne and Amy, and the first thing that came out of my mouth after a casual "hi!" and an awkward hug was, "Wow, I thought you were taller than that..." haha. Worthless to say but funny anyway, New Plymouth airport is smaller than the airport I visited in Akureyri in Iceland. But I guess it fits the size of the airplane pretty well... (I cannot believe they could fit 40 people in there!!)
When I went to sleep that Wednesday night I lay in my new bed in my new room, chanting to myself: "What have I done, what have I done..." I cried myself to sleep that night, and now I blame the overwhelming fatigue. The next day was much better, and I went to sleep after having written in my diary, "I now know that I'm not gonna cry myself to sleep for a very long time."
(more to come)