We had discussed our holiday for a good year. First with each other, then with our bosses, who generously agreed to our 5-weeks-leave.
On 24 December we received confirmation of our flight tickets.
For the last month and a half we’d had a time tracker on the white board next to the front door of our apartment. We were feeling like children on the days before Christmas.
Needless to say, we (i.e. myself) compiled lists. There is a list of things to do before we leave (get an international drivers’ licence, find suitable travel insurance etc) and of course there are packing list.
I actually put together two lists: one for him (so he won’t forget shaving cream – we have shaving cream from most European countries in our bathroom) and one for myself, for the compilation of which I felt the need to consult various travel websites dedicated to minimizing your luggage.
Turned out, I wasn’t going to travel hand luggage-only (surprise!) but I was able to significantly reduce the things I brought. Despite the 30kg allowance Emirates generously granted us!
This is something I would need coming back from the US, where I regularly shop for shoes and office clothes – not for a backpacking trip to New Zealand. Nevertheless, this meant I could bring an extra pair of shoes, i.e. sturdy hiking boots.
Other than that, we read anything and everything about New Zealand we could get our hands on: newspaper articles, blog posts, guide books, novels, you name it. It kept us going while the number of days decreased and gave Mr A an idea of what to expect. The eternal optimist he is mostly expected to freeze to death. I tried to convince him we wouldn’t.
With all this and much more in mind, we finally packed our bags on the morning of 1 August and later that day made our way to the airport.