Something still remains hugely exciting about flying to another country: and doubly so, to fly to New Zealand..terra incognita!
The huge, crinkly-paper map spread over the dining-room table, the fascination of spotting strange place names, the enormous spaces between them where nothing is marked… Paper lists, emails, and the major blessing of advice from kind friends who have been before, on where to go, and what not – absolutely not – to miss seeing, or doing, or eating!
Planning ahead, a trip involving thousands of miles and numerous visits is a nervous business in the doing. Flights booked 5 months ahead; school-friends inviting us to stay, even offering to lend us a car!
Dates are another thing: some prefer to play it all by ear, others feel more relaxed when the bookings are firm – and online, it becomes clear that the cheaper rooms in the touristy hot-spots are already booked out. And, with no real idea of what happens in different towns …how many days do you stay in any one place? What actual driving distance/time is it from one visit to another?
And so it is that, close to departure, the final bookings were just being made, confirmations anxiously awaited, and numerous prayers sent up that all will be well.
But – packed we are, ready for 6 weeks of travel (and including lots of presents) – and with splendidly spotty, new hand luggage!
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