Last night, I had a really hard time falling asleep. I was too worried about work projects and the light from my phone wasn’t helping. So I mentally started writing a blog post. I had planned to write all about my upcoming, very spontaneous New Zealand trip and how it was filling me with excitment but also some nerves and doubts.
But then this morning, I received an email saying that the airline had cancelled my flight.
I was crushed. Definitely 95% disappointed and just 5% relieved. It’s shitty to have something that you’re looking forward to get ripped away from you.
So it all started on Tuesday morning when Secret Flying was advertising ridiculous prices to New Zealand from US cities. Like less than $300 roundtrip. So insane! I was intrigued and had called Colin over to witness the outrageously low prices. Sadly, none of the airports were near us.
But then I got an email from YVR Deals saying a similar deal was being offered out of Seattle – $370 roundtrip to go from Seattle to Auckland. Now I was really interested.
I wanted to go in the summer, since we have Ireland in April and Toronto at Chrsitmas. It would be perfect to have something in the middle. But the dates only worked at that price for February/March travel.
I hemmed and hawed. Colin watched me panic at my desk. Even though he couldn’t go, he was encouraging me to go for it. Eventually, we found dates that worked where I would be away 10 days, with 8 full days in New Zealand. It wasn’t a ton of time but it was just enough for a little adventure. So, I pressed the purchase button.
I was excited! I quickly texted a bunch of people to let them know about my plans and see if I could find any takers to join me. But, to be honest, I was kind of liking the idea of going alone. That way, I wouldn’t have to try and plan out a short 8 days while balancing someone else’s ideas. I could do some of my freelance work and not feel like I was holding someone back. And I could do the things I wanted to do in NZ.
I reached out to a friend who lives there to see about meeting up. She’s on the South Island, so it was proving difficult, but she had invited me to fly down and visit her. I started to look up things I would do and planned out my itinerary for the short trip. The plan: I was going to ferry over to an island off of Auckland, take the bus down to visit Hobbiton and the glowworm caves, and maybe spend a couple days in Rotorua. I had it all roughly planned out. I was looking into tours and had checked prices on AirBnB (actually, very reasonable!).
But a small part of me was nervous and worried about this trip. It was a combination of a few things. Obviously, I was sad to not be traveling with Colin. I know 10 days is not a long time to be apart, but we would still miss each other. A year ago I went to Vietnam for three weeks without Colin and I’ve done a handful of trips to Toronto without him. But maybe now because we have a home where we live together and a dog, the separation was feeling bigger. Of course, Colin was so supportive. He was excited for me and assured me we would Skype and that 10 days would fly by. He was even going to drive down to Seattle to pick me up when I returned.
I was also a little bit worried about work and balancing that with my trip. I wanted to work while I was down there since it was a spontaneous trip and I hadn’t planned to take 10 days off. That’s the luxury of working freelance – I can totally do it from New Zealand. But at the same time, I wanted to make sure I was actually experiencing New Zealand and not just there to sit in a cafe and do work. So I knew my work, and therefore my income, would slow a little bit. And even though the flight was a great deal and AirBnB was pretty cheap, I knew this trip would still set me back a fair amount.
I was also a little hesitant about the length of the trip and the destination. 10 days is a while to be away from home but it’s such a short time to journey to the other side of the world. I would much rather have gone for like a month. But I definitely wouldn’t want to leave Colin, Ellie and our home for that long. And New Zealand is known as this gorgeous outdoor paradise with tons of hikes, adventures and extreme sports. Seeing as I don’t drive, hike or bungee jump, I was worried NZ would be wasted on me.
All that to say, I was a little bit nervous and doubtful. But I still really wanted to go. After chatting it through with Colin more and him reassuring me, I was feeling better about the decision. And doing all of my research and planning out my itinerary had me really excited.
So I was totally gutted when the airline cancelled the flight.
I’ve always booked these crazy flight deals and I have never had one cancelled on me. I know it’s a possibility and they always say not to book anything else for 24 hours in case the flight does get cancelled. But this email came past the 24 mark and they still cancelled it. So I’m pretty disappointed about that.
I was telling Colin we should go somewhere or have some kind of adventure every month. It doesn’t have to be somewhere as far as New Zealand every time but just something – a weekend on the island, a drive down to Seattle or up to Whistler, even exploring some more of the Lower Mainland on a day off – just something! I know that Ireland is going to be this big awesome adventure for us but I’m itching for more. This last minute New Zealand thing was crazy but it also really appealed to me. I kinda loved the idea of having New Zealand, Phoenix and Ireland all back to back. It would be exhausting but it would also be really fun and adventurous.
So yeah, I’m bummed. It looks like my New Zealand trip is going to have to wait a little longer. Hopefully the next time NZ comes up, I can go for longer and maybe bring Colin along so we can rent a campervan and drive around both islands. We were saying this trip would be my appetizer of New Zealand and that we would go back together for a main course. So fingers crossed that still happens! And fingers crossed getting my refund from Air New Zealand is a smooth process!
Have you been to New Zealand? How bummed should I be that I missed this?