Trip of a life time – Part 1

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2015 was an odd year for me, after a breakup and total lack of motivation at work, I booked a two and half week trip to New Zealand.

Being a complete novice to booking a solo trip I scoured the internet and read advice blog after advice blog. There were so many people writing company promotional pieces, disguised as honest reviews, and I had so many tabs open; that in the end I barely read half of them fully!

In the end, I thought to hell with this and just winged it. I logged onto STA Travel and browsed through their offers and trips.

I had always wanted to visit New Zealand and it was certainly my first choice as my destination. So when I found a few flight offers and trips that had been discounted from G-Adventures & Contiki Travel  I knew where I would be using my unused vacation days!

In the end, I booked my trip 3 weeks before departure and with very little time to prepare.

Those 3 weeks past way too quickly and in that time I spent a fair chunk talking to a couple of friends who were going to land in Auckland the same day as me. We arranged to meet when we got there and use Facebook Messenger to communicate whilst there.

The day of my flight coincided with a staff & player photo shoot at work – Don’t I look lovely…..

Watford FC Season 2015-16 Premier Lge Pic Alan Cozzi    Season 29/11/15 Watford Academy Staff  Photocall

Credit – Watford FC Season 2015-16 Premier Lge – Pic Alan Cozzi Season 29/11/15 – Watford Academy Staff Photocall

That evening I rushed around my mum’s house and packed the rucksack a family friend had let me borrow for my trip and headed for Heathrow Airport – Even on a Sunday night there were tailbacks!! – and checked in.

Talking to a few friends and reading articles online I thought I would try to get a free upgrade…It didn’t work. However, the lovely girl at the Emirates check-in desk saw my 6-foot lanky self and took pity on me, she changed my middle of a 3 seat for the 20-hour journey to an aisle seat…#WIN!!

On my flight, I met a pretty awesome girl called Claire, in fact, she was initially in my new seat – *shakes a fist in disgust* – and we got chatting for most of the 20 hours from Dubai to Auckland, via Brisbane. Honestly, if it wasn’t for getting to sit next to her I don’t know what I’d have done on that leg of the journey!!

Eventually, we arrived in Auckland and made our way through passport control & security. At this point, I logged onto my Messenger and saw a message from my friends that they’d just landed in Auckland, only 10 minutes before I did.

I looked ahead of me and saw a few heads that seemed familiar. To make sure I wasn’t going mad I messaged them and out of all the hundreds of people in the queue, it was them! We met up on the other side of the Passport control and got a taxi into Auckland.

In Auckland, we went to the hostel they were staying at – Base Backpackers – and got them checked into their dorm room. After they were sorted and had dropped their bags off, we walked over to my hotel (formerly the Rendezvous Auckland hotel). To say my friends were jealous was an understatement!

That night we went for dinner near the port and agreed to meet up the following day….

Check back for Part 2…..

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