Havey's Australia & New Zealand Adventure Part 1 - Are We There Yet?

in travel •  last month  (edited)


Introduction

Finally, the day arrived that I'd been counting down from the last 270 days (yes that's 9 months) since I first booked these flights to the other side of the world to Australia and New Zealand! Here's how it went down and then, we'll get this show on the road! [Cover Image Source]

Emotional Rollercoaster


The Big Question

I'd be lying if I said this turned out to be a plain, clear cut journey from before I booked the flights but it wasn't! You'd be fed up with me with the amount of back and forth, umming and erring, do I don't I? Months and months this went on for before a conversation with my friend in Melbourne enticed me in.

"What was said?" I hear you ask.

Nothing out of the ordinary but rather a very simple yet powerful question that would get the wheels in motion.

"Would you regret it if you didn't take this opportunity?"

Yes, absolutely! This is the question I usually ask myself when faced with a "big decision" and I forgot to ask it all those months stressing about this, that and the other, going to conferences to "help me decide". All I needed to do was ask that all important question.

What Have I Done??

My situation at the time. No job, no money coming in... Sure, let's go to the other side of the world! Panic set in a little bit as I looked at my finances to see that things were looking a little grim! What have I done! Time to apply for temp work to stem the flow.

Thankfully, the universe provided the solution and a day or two later applying to agencies, a job came up that not only helped the financial situation but also gave me a little bit of "free time" to help set up the Electronic Music Alliance and @phctop3 AND the company may well consider taking me back when I return.

So What Are You Going To Do Out There?

Ah yes, good question! One that was asked by my HR Manager at the time (who did a lot of travelling when she was younger) a few times and I'm glad she did!

I didn't actually have an answer to this one for 6 months as it hadn't really occurred to me to look into it. I just thought I'd wing it and see what happens. For someone who does like a little bit of structure, that answer didn't seem to fly well with my "planning side"! More panic!

So I sat down over Christmas and started putting together something on a spreadsheet which gradually unfolded as time went by. February 2018 was the month that I was starting to feel a little easier as I researched a bit more and put things in place.

There you are "Organised Nicky" - stop panicking!

We're Actually Going Away Then?

None of it seemed real actually. I was in the work routine and, dare I say, beginning to enjoy it! The company seemed to treat its staff well, I had loads of free time in the evening with some some structure going and the communities I'm in are keeping me busy. It wasn't until the final day of work when it started feeling real.

Final Preparations

Now I had time to get the final bits and pieces done, put together an itinerary with all the information on I needed so "future me" wouldn't throw a hissy fit. It was all on the pdf! Phew!

Thankfully, the tour group I'll be on in New Zealand has an app with a checklist of things to pack in and that greatly helped matters, plus previous experience plus another couple of friends have travel experience sharing some other tips all contributed to the final preparations.

Final 24 Hours

I've been to various places on my own before, flown out, met people on the tours I've gone on, been away for 50 days so I should be used to it by now, no nerves needed.

Well, sound that buzzer because no matter how many times you go away, you will not sleep the night before as excitement hits, "last sleep before you go syndrome" grabs you, and the thoughts of "the time is now" will all make sure you are kept awake the night before! This is where that itinerary really comes in handy as you may be half asleep the day you travel!

Then it's the waiting game for the taxi. You know you've done your packing (have you got everything?), mind games start, do I need this or that, I'll just add this, will I be over the baggage allowance? And other mildly amusing anecdotes.

Ring ring.

Taxi's here! This is it.

As soon as you get in the taxi, your holiday has begun. The doubts may linger but there is nothing you can do about it. As long as you have your passport and essentials, everything else can be bought should you have forgotten anything.

The Journey

My goodness, what a mammoth journey this was. I wanted to get the whole 11,000 mile thing done as quickly as possible. 30 hours looked like it was going to be the best bet. Let's find out.

Part 1 - Flight to Singapore

After getting to Heathrow, checked in and dropped off baggage, I learned that I had a middle seat in the middle of the plane to look forward to... For 13 hours to Singapore on this evening flight. My advice here is to get an evening flight for long haul journeys as you will give yourself a fighting chance to "sleep". Buy a travel pillow that goes around your neck to make it a little more comfortable and I'd also strongly advise ear plugs to reduce the sound of... Well... EVERYTHING!

The jet engines of course being the biggest sound but even so, they don't drown out the penetrating noise of a screaming (and I mean SCREAMING) child. Most ear plugs reduce the decibels by up to 30db which is not a small amount. I also have over ear headphones which played a vital role in blocking out sound further and playing music. Yea sure, you can still hear the plane as a faint rumble but you'd want to take that over jet engine + screaming kid!

Part 2 - Flight to Sydney

As the plane needs to refuel, you need to get off the plane, which also means taking everything with you AND going through customs again. I am wearing my hiking boots, I have my laptop and a relatively warm hoody that I need to take off every time I go through customs. This the second time but whatever it takes to get to Melbourne!

You'd think the second leg would only be a short flight seeing as Singapore is close to Australia... Well, Australia is a big country! Very big! It was another 9.5 hours. Back to the middle seat I go, ear plugs in, headphones on, piercing baby scream - check!

Part 3 - Flight to Melbourne

The part I was least looking forward to was connecting to an internal flight from Sydney to Melbourne as I had to go through customs, pick up my baggage and then check it in again. There was just under 1 hour to get this all done before my next flight. So... Not a big time window really!

So why is it that my bag hasn't come out of the carousel yet 30 minutes after everyone else's has?? I'm definitely going to miss the connection flight now, I have to get a shuttle bus which takes 10 minutes and they only come every 20 minutes. I was sweating and despairing at this point...

But wait, what's this?!

There you are you beautiful suitcase! What took you so long?! Right, where do I need to go? A nearby steward informed me, "It's about a 5 minute walk, take a right, then a left, follow the signs, drop your bag off and away you go". Right, that sounds like 10 minutes at least but, loaded up like a donkey, I wasn't going to argue - to the check in kiosk!

A chance to discover just how unfit I was as I "ran" to the baggage drop yielded results I was fearing the most - very unfit! Nevertheless, I got there in time and this lead me to another awesome situation of unpacking my laptop, hiking boots off, hoody off, backpack with sleeping bag off then put it all back together again.

The shuttle was just about to depart... Crap!

They waited for me. Hurray!

The transit to the plane got me there in the nick of time and I got to my seat grateful that there was no more screaming kids. Oops, spoke too soon!

The exact SAME kid who had haunted me the last 24 hours was about to do it one last time... I kid you not (pun intended). Thankfully, it was only an hour flight but what a pain in the butt this creature was! Seemed to cry only when their tablet got taken from them. That kid has a rude awakening coming I feel!

Part 4 - Taxi to Couch Please!

Finally, I'm in the desired city and I was looking for the taxi section. Seemed they found me as there was a driver on his way back from a job and I obviously looked ready to collapse as he just approached me and said "taxi?" Yep!

We had a good chat in the car as he is a big football (soccer) fan and he let me watch Arsenal football highlights on his phone with the sound blasting through the speakers haha! It was a great laugh and even better - no screaming kids in the taxi! I tried paying using my Revolut card but it didn't seem to work and was blocked a few times, panic set in. I was beginning to crack but thankfully I had cash available so gave it to the driver. Turns out you need to disable GPS blocking in the Revolut app settings so one to remember for the future.

World's Longest Blink

Finally, I made it in to my friends house, 30 hours later from when originally setting off. Being the legend she is, she put the sofa bed out for me and I showered, freshened up laid down, blinked and...

5 hours later I think I'm with it! Will find out when I try to get up I suppose!

Catch you soon

Nicky

PHC Top 3 - A Chance To Win From A Growing Prize Pool

Well, whilst I'm here, I might as well take the chance to tell you about a new contest that I've been a part of with the Power House Creatives called @phctop3. All you need to do is tell us what your top 3 favourites for a chance to win from a growing prize pool - more info here.

Electronic Music Alliance (EMA)

EMA is a growing electronic music community run by electronic musicians FOR electronic musicians. We have weekly playlists on a variety of platforms to cater for all streaming preferences - make sure you follow our blog for your weekly dose here. We're also launching a new community run label called Electronic Alliance Records which aims to spread the word even more for our artists - check the latest developments and what music is coming up here




Posted from my blog with SteemPress : https://nickyhavey.co.uk/2019/04/haveys-australia-new-zealand-adventure-part-1-are-we-there-yet/

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

Weeeeehh, happy you landed & are well!! <3

·

Thanks a lot team and great to hear a bit of the show this morning 😊 thanks for having team EMA on again, sorry I gate crashed again 😂

Posted using Partiko Android

Good, excellent, amazing :) Let's see what happens when you try to get up.

Posted using Partiko Android

·

Haha thanks Manol! Time to do some evening exploring of the local supermarkets as I need to get some food! Legs are still attached which is a plus!

Posted using Partiko Android

·
·

Even that reminded me of exotic times. Local markets. Even the super- ones.

Posted using Partiko Android

So glad you got there in one piece. Long haul trips - not for sissies. Reminds me of Cape Town - Tokyo....

no matter how many times you go away, you will not sleep the night before

You are so right and I've traveled a lot on business, sometimes as frequently as once a month domestically. Always suffered from that afliction. Every time - even when I lived 30 minutes from the airport!!

Also, travel is not the same easy thing since 9/11.

Look forward to your next installment!

·

Absolutely not for sissies! Cape Town to Tokyo sounds like a nightmare as well! How long did that take?

·
·

It felt like forever. It was CPT-JNB-SIN-NRT. I think it was 48 hours all told if not longer with re-fuelling stop - on the tarmac in Mauritius. On the way back we had a 6-hour layover in Singapore, which we used. Not to the best - my colleague was looking for Thai boxing shorts for her son. So we did Orchard Road and shops. My best memory is a wonderful market not too far from Raffles.

Be grateful that you had a screaming child and not a smelly Bangladeshi sugar worker en route to Maruitius who stole the cutlery as a travelling companion - that's what I had - in the middle seat from SIN and he had the window seat. He was a shrimp of a man, and slept spread out like a spider. Not sure which is worse, the snivelling, griseling child. Oh and then he was illiterate, so I had to help him fill in his forms for entry into Mauritius!

Worse though, but not as long was CPT-JNB-JFK. Packed in like sardines - both ways - and with compulsory fuelling, crew and passenger stops (also on the tarmac) in Dakar, Senegal where, actually, I'd love to have stopped for at least a day - great music and interesting country. I was ill on the way back. To add fuel to the fire, it was my birthday which happened somewhere over the Atlantic and I landed in Cape Town at around 22h30. I was literally delirious. Urgh! Memorable for all the wrong reasons....

Oh, and on Australia being a big country - it is - it's a continent! Interesting, they tend to think South Africa is small and then learn the hard way. That's a story for another time....

BTW, if, by some chance you come across two of my school/uni mates, Di Sherman and Colleen Roberts who live in Melbourne, you know what to do.... #juststaying ;)

Epic so far mate and you're only just getting started. Have fun, stay safe and keep posting about it.

Gaz

·

Thanks mate! Hopefully once I've rested up, tomorrow will have more adventures from Melbourne itself. Strewth!

·
·

Watch out for the Dingo's or is it the Drongo's!

You are much braver than I ☺ Have a wonderfull adventure 💖💖💖 Looking forward to seeing/reading more about it! 🙏

Posted using Partiko Android

·

Thank you @thereikiforest. Brave or stupid haha! Hope to have more tales as time goes on, take it easy 🙂

Posted using Partiko Android

Half the adventure is in the planning Nicky, have a great time down under.

Flying is not fun like it was (4o years ago LOL), going anywhere is educational, something one will never regret.

Now to make sweet memories you can add to tunes, have fun!

·

Haha it sure is @joanstewart! Thanks a lot and let's see what this cool country is all about 😁

Posted using Partiko Android

  ·  last month (edited)

Oh, wow! I'm telling you, I felt like I was right there with you, sweating bullets every single time. Nine months is a long time to wait to start an adventure of a lifetime. And here it has begun! The sheer thought of taking 30 hours to get to my destination is daunting, especially if I am flying and not driving. You managed it like a champ and now the fun begins! The memories have already started!

Someone give that baby something to eat! Or drink! Or nap it! The poor baby's ears probably hurt. Inner ears or something. Let's just go with that one so you won't freak every time you have to do the long haul with a baby. ;)

It was fun being in the final countdown stages with you and I am glad you are taking us along with you. What fun!!! Are you sure we have everything???? Don't make me whine! :)

I'm excited for you and it is with great anticipation that I look forward to the very next post with your name on it. Glad you made it, even if you had to dress and undress a hundred times to get there. Note to self: wear flip flops, with socks, if necessary. I am sure that pull out couch with your name on it took you in and kept you until you were well rested.

Sweet dreams! Until we hear again!!!

Upped and Steemed

!tip

·

Hey @dswigle! Thanks for the tip and the epic comment! Yes lots of sweaty moments but all's well that ends well!

I think I'll give that baby a sound proof room instead 😁

I'm not sure I have everything but I'll find out soon enough haha!

I wore the hiking boots to save room in my case but it was good practice to tie shoe laces in double quick time, I feel like a pro lol.

I've spent a lot of time on the sofa bed already but it's time to explore the city. These time differences... 😁

Thanks for the resteem too 😊

Posted using Partiko Android

·
·

The time difference is easier to manage when you get well rested! Honest! You go and explore and have fun! Resteeming you is my pleasure!

🎁 Hi @nickyhavey! You have received 0.1 SBD tip from @dswigle!

@dswigle wrote lately about: Wednesday'S Words Feel free to follow @dswigle if you like it :)

Sending tips with @tipU - how to guide :)

Congratulations! Your post has been selected as a daily Steemit truffle! It is listed on rank 7 of all contributions awarded today. You can find the TOP DAILY TRUFFLE PICKS HERE.

I upvoted your contribution because to my mind your post is at least 7 SBD worth and should receive 295 votes. It's now up to the lovely Steemit community to make this come true.

I am TrufflePig, an Artificial Intelligence Bot that helps minnows and content curators using Machine Learning. If you are curious how I select content, you can find an explanation here!

Have a nice day and sincerely yours,
trufflepig
TrufflePig

·

Hey @trufflepig! Thanks so much for truffling me haha 😀 keep on truffling and pigging won't you!

Posted using Partiko Android

@nickyhavey, Without any doubt it's quite a journey and not all just because of travel but also because of the pre tarvel part and definitely when we want to do something with determination then definitely Universe always opens path for it and i am also waiting for my door opening moment. Stay blessed.

This comment was made from https://ulogs.org

·

Hey @chireerocks you're right about that. Your door will open my friend, keep going and you be open minded about whatever comes your way, the universe has a plan indeed 🙂

Posted using Partiko Android

·
·

That's true and i believe upon the timing of the Universe.

We are SO proud to have you as a member of our
FANTABULOUS Power House Creatives family!
uvoted and resteemed!

❤ MWAH!!! ❤

Power House Creatives Logos FINAL_float.png

#powerhousecreatives

Posted using Partiko Android

·

Thank you for having me in the community! Love you all in there 🙂

Posted using Partiko Android

Hello!

This post has been manually curated, resteemed
and gifted with some virtually delicious cake
from the @helpiecake curation team!

Much love to you from all of us at @helpie!
Keep up the great work!


23.png

The first steps of what I'm sure will be an amazing adventure. Have fun down under!

·

Thanks a lot Derek! Still adjusting but going to get out in the city today and see what's what down there 🙂

Posted using Partiko Android

Maybe it sucks to write on the go, but you are damn good at it

·

Thanks a lot @psyceratopsb! It's not so easy to write on the go but good to have a steem travel diary 🙂

Posted using Partiko Android

Congratulations! This post has been upvoted from the communal account, @minnowsupport, by nickyhavey from the Minnow Support Project. It's a witness project run by aggroed, ausbitbank, teamsteem, someguy123, neoxian, followbtcnews, and netuoso. The goal is to help Steemit grow by supporting Minnows. Please find us at the Peace, Abundance, and Liberty Network (PALnet) Discord Channel. It's a completely public and open space to all members of the Steemit community who voluntarily choose to be there.

If you would like to delegate to the Minnow Support Project you can do so by clicking on the following links: 50SP, 100SP, 250SP, 500SP, 1000SP, 5000SP.
Be sure to leave at least 50SP undelegated on your account.

haha! howdy sir nickyhavey! great job of finally getting there and of telling us all about it! yay! can't wait to find out how it goes!

·

Hey Lord Janton! Seems the adventures carry on like they started. My friend just came back from a conference and looks like there is no rest for the wicked as she will need my help for a tour starting on Tuesday which could be epic - I'll be a spare pair of hands for her as we go down the great ocean road 😮

Hope all is well for you young chip

Posted using Partiko Android

·
·

howdy sir nickyhavey! so good to hear from you, I figured you'd be way to busy! Well that's thrilling news, you get put to work as soon as you get there. That's what would happen if you visited us but the work probably wouldn't be near as fun! lol.

·
·
·

Haha! I'll be taking it easy the next couple of days I think just to make sure I recover for it! Looks like it will be quite a hiking trip if I get to go -

https://www.inspirationoutdoors.com.au/tours/great-ocean-walk-tours/

Posted using Partiko Android

·
·
·
·

wow I love this walk thing sir nickyhavey! dang, just think how well you'll know those people after spending so much time with them, you might be able to make a friend finally! lol. Dang, you better rest up good but this is right down your alley isn't it? Well, you'll probably want to run part of the way and it may be a little slow for you but other than that it sounds like you!

·
·
·
·
·

Haha finally, maybe I can meet some people who actually want to speak to me (I won't hold my breath though lol)!

Still not going to take any chances with running due to the tendinitis but hiking will probably get the blood pumping!

Some of those distances look ridiculous though! Going to be an intense walking tour but should be epic!

·
·
·
·
·
·

Howdy tonight sir nickyhavey! how's the temperature there? what season is it? What is the biggest difference, friendly people? lol.
Hey on that website about the tour they showed a bunch of old geezers, I think if the crowd is like that you can easily handle it!

·
·
·
·
·
·
·

It's actually going in to their winter here but it was 24c today and is going to be 29c later in the week! Far hotter than any UK summer, I still need factor 50+ lol!

Yea everyone is really friendly here so far from what I've seen except for one guy which would put rednecks to shame! I walked past him on my first night and the words "I don't want to go back to prison" were shouted out at the top of his voice lol! Thankfully it was aimed at someone else rather than me but a taste of culture off the bat 😁

Haha we will see, if it's at a leisurely pace I will be alright. Would struggle if it was going flat out for the whole hike I think!

Posted using Partiko Android

I'm finally able to make it! That is to reading about your travels so far. It's funny to think that at this very moment you are sleeping when it would still be daylight. You are now living in the future :P
Wait. Does that mean, right now you are a day older, but when you return you are a day younger? :O You know... that might be the loop we needed to live eternally :D

Sorry to hear the flight wasn't such a great flight and there was a lot of stress put on you. Reading this kind of gives me an idea of what to expect later on. I'm excited to go there, just not the plane part . EEK!

·

I'm indeed from the future 🔮 haha

That's an interesting theory but unfortunately I feel years older rather than days after that one 😂 maybe I could get some pampering on the way back to wind back the clock. If I cross the international date line in NZ I'll be behind you 😉

How long is your flight later in the year by the way?

Thanks for reading meuf 😊 their animals make some interesting noises here but nothing quite matches the native squuuueeeeroarrrrr 😁

Posted using Partiko Android

·
·

Only wishful thinking that theory, we all know that the secret to eternity is through vampires ;)

The flight will be a short one in comparison, I think it might be 3-4 hrs depending if we go directly or through another one that's less expensive but makes more stops on the way. I'm not sure what time we will be leaving either but it sounds like it might be super late or way too early. Like being at the airport for 4am. Not looking forward to that.

Always looking forward to reading ^_^
You wont find too many of these animals around, they can be a rare sighting.... SQuuueeeeROOAARRRR! :p

What an experience! I hate nothing more than the middle seat on the plane. I remember one flight that I was sandwiched in between 2 over-weight over-happy salesman. Nothing more painful or annoying!

·

Haha damn what a harrowing experience that must have been as the filling of a "thick bread" salesman sandwich 😣 ergh! Glad you lived to tell the tale

Posted using Partiko Android

·
·

Hahaha! It was an experience! Definitely the best flight ever was on KLM the the last time we went to Scotland. Lots of room, individual TVs, and open bar!

Loved the write up ..... I'd say it went as smooth as you could hope for :) You made it there, hehe!

·

Haha, all's well that ends well @for91days 🙂 definitely relief making it here, still feeling the time difference and journey tiredness but trying to get the body clock synced up! Hope it's all good with you now you're back home?

Posted using Partiko Android

·
·

I flag trash. You have been upvoted by trash. I have negated the vote from said trash.

What an insane trip you had! 😮 So glad that you finally made it there safely! Hope you have a marvelous time! 😃