I left Honolulu, Hawaii both relaxed and anxious at the same time. Honestly, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Honolulu. It was the beautiful island life all tourist sites advertise.
Despite Hawaii’s beauty, looming inside my brain was the knowledge that Tuesday, May 15th at 2:25pm, I would be boarding a plan to move to New Zealand. I was finally doing it. I was going to New Zealand! I was moving out of the country!
I was about to fulfill quite possibly the biggest dream…of my childhood
I made it to the airport three hours early to ensure I made my flight on time. Normally, I’m the type of person that brings a backpack and arrives an hour before my flight. At this airport, I was glad that I gave myself the extra time.
The Honolulu airport does not do itself any favors. It is small in areas where it should be big, like the security check in line where they choke 50 people into a small queue with one luggage examining conveyor belt. The design feels and looks old; they still have a wall of pay phones lined up for use if you have the spare change. It does have a lovely open design, which I enjoyed! However, the walls are painted a yellow tint you only see in movies about the 50s. Hawaii is wonderful, just be prepared for the airport when you arrive.
Honestly, I think ultimately I am disappointed that I didn’t receive a lei as soon as I walked off the plane.
I boarded the plane for Auckland, New Zealand and we took off without a hitch in the flight. After eight hours later of binge watching Arrow on Netflix, we landed successfully. Huzzah!
After an extra twenty minutes waiting for the plane to dock, I finally exited the door of the plane. I was finally breathing New Zealand air! Before I could take in my first sight of the country, I had to go through customs first.
Customs was not too big of an ordeal, despite claiming items for the first time. (If you’re visiting me in New Zealand and you bring you camping gear, you must claim it at customs!) They did take the egg sandwich I had been saving for a late dinner. Understandable, I guess.
I wasn’t mad, just disappointed.
But after my hungry belly and I made it through customs, I was ready to leave the airport. I walked out to see a few people waiting for their loved ones or business clients with signs just outside the secure exit. I didn’t have anyone waiting for me this time, but they aided the excitement within me. I wanted to shout to them, “I’M HERE. I MADE IT!”
Instead, I walked outside alone and looked around. For the first time I was seeing New Zealand with my own eyes! It didn’t matter that it was 11pm and thus too dark to see anything. On top of the darkness, it was raining. Not the moon, nor the stars were there to greet me.
Nevertheless, I smiled at its beauty.
It was too dark to see anything of significance. The darkness was beautiful.
It was cold and wet from the weather. The smell of rain was beautiful.
It was unfamiliar territory with no one around to guide me. The solitude of the moment was beautiful.
I was in New Zealand. I made it. I finally made it.
I took the moment for myself. I had been dreaming of this since I was a child. I had been planning this move for a year. My time had come. I was breathing the fresh scent of rain from the only country I’ve visited in the southern hemisphere.
In that very moment, I could hear the wind greeting me. “Welcome to your new home.”
After the sweet greeting from the wind, my face was introduced to a not so graceful shower of rain. “Moment over.” I replied to the wind. Time to call an Uber, because after sitting on a plane watching Netflix for eight hours, I was exhausted.
If I could travel back in time, I would go back to see myself as a child in the front of the many classrooms where I would report on my findings of the country that was on the other side of the world.
After Little Nuñez would finish his report, I would walk to him and say, “One day you’re going to New Zealand. You’re going make it. Just wait and see.”