Getting ready for New Zealand

Another country, another adventure! Five weeks in New Zealand, literally the other side of the world. Every direction I go from there means getting closer to home again. It’s not just a long way to get to New Zealand but it was also in the making for several years before I decided to actually do it. I think it was in Brisbane/Australia, 9th of September 2001 with my mate Sev. We where sitting on the grass, smoking cigars and watching the Goodwill games. We both talked about our travel plans for the next couple of years. I wanted to visit six continents before I turn 25 and he wanted to continue his studies in Australia after finishing his degree in Austria, somewhere around 2005. We came up with a plan to meet up in New Zealand and travel around together.

Well, plans change sometimes and at the beginning of 2005 I did manage to visit all the continents I had intended to, but did not think of going to New Zealand and planed on traveling around Cuba or Chile in January or February 2005 instead. Those plans where scraped and after some thinking I decided to stick with my original plans from my heydays in Brisbane and visit Aotearoa (meaning ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’) – New Zealand.

My trip started in Linz, it took two stops in Frankfurt and Singapore and 30 hours before arriving in Auckland, the biggest city of New Zealand. Fortunately I put up a very nice smile at the airport in Linz and convinced a very pretty flight attendant to reserve emergency exit seats all the way to Auckland for me. (Almost as good as Business Class!)