At the beginning of the month I decided I wanted to write a blog. Now, as January comes to an end and with only two days until I fly to New Zealand, I thought this would be the perfect time to start.
It seems surreal that I will arrive in New Zealand on Saturday. (Saturday their time… Friday with Manitoba). I don’t think that the excitement will really hit me until I begin my journey on Thursday. I booked my flights three months ago – October 19th to be exact. I’d been throwing around the idea of visiting my sister and the stars just lined up. Val is working on a dairy farm and nannying four kids with a family near Invercargill. Her six month term with them is up at the end of January and then she has five weeks off before returning to live and work at the same farm for another six months. As fate would have it, I have to be in Vancouver for a few days of business meetings so I would have one less flight to pay for and a few less flight-hours to suffer through in one shot. There’s no ideal time for me to be away from my work territory but I decided that this opportunity would never present itself again and I should just go for it. Credit card in hand I called FlightCentre and, half an hour later, everything was booked.
The flight is relatively inexpensive compared to some that I’ve heard of. FlightCentre is a great company to work with – they’re very reputable and will match and beat any other price you can find. I challenged myself to sell all the “stuff” in my house that I no longer needed to offset this last-minute decision which I hadn’t been saving for. I came very close – I think I ended up short $150 – so I would consider that a great success. Plus Mike was happy because I got rid of a lot of things we didn’t need.
Over the last three months things have been slowly coming together. Val bought herself a little car which will be perfect for us to road trip in. She has either borrowed or bought everything we might need for camping including a tent, sleeping bags, stove, camping chairs, cooking utensils, pots, etc. We made a rough plan of things we want to do any places we want to see; the amount we accomplish will be limited only by time or money.
I spent Saturday in Brandon getting some last minute things and, after enjoying a delicious supper with Mike at The Dock, I spent an hour trying to strategically pack everything I thought I might need (and probably more!) into a 75L backpack that was last used when I went to Sweden 15 years ago.
On Sunday morning I took Mike for brunch (breakfast quasedillas are my new fave 👌🏻), and said goodbye to Manitoba for four weeks. I plan to post every couple of days so follow along if you want to see what we’re up to!