Used: 2007

Exactly 4 years ago on this day,22-February-2007, I left for New Zealand. I picked this day for the lamest of the lame reasons. TV. In other words, LOST on TV.

This was the first time I wasn’t binded into anything, I didn’t have to leave or come back by a certain day. I picked a random day that I thought would be good. I love winter. Unlike most people, non-stop winter sounds like a joy to me. That was a big reason for me to pick to leave in February. Los Angeles winters would be heading out around this time and hopefully New Zealand winters would be just arriving. 22-Feb-07 was a Thursday. When they announced that LOST would air on Wednesdays that year, that is why I picked Thursday, so I could squeeze in one more episode of the show I loved. I would deal with the rest of the season when I arrived and figured out what I was doing. Worse comes to worse, just skip the show until I come back and catch up on DVD then. I love TV, but traveling beats it by a mile.

I remember that day. Unlike most people, I didn’t start packing until that morning. Since I only had one flight and it didn’t leave until like 9pm, I had no reason to pack up early. I made my lists early. I made two lists that I carried around with me everywhere for a few weeks, just in case I remembered something else to add. The morning of, I did my laundry, threw everything in my bags, boxed up my computer, just in case I was in a position to ever have it shipped (what did I just say?!), unplugged my tv and vcr and pushed them into a corner of my room at my parents house where I had been camped out for nearly 6 months, to go unused until I returned.

It rained that day. The winter I was trying to follow had finally arrived in Los Angeles. Perfect timing! Because of the rain, traffic getting to the airport was horrible. I was so freaked that I was going to miss my flight that I instantly ruined the manicure I had gotten the previous weekend with my chipping. I flew Qantas and luckily, there was only one flight leaving when mine did (mine) so while the check in line was long, there was no way I was missing the flight. YAY! For the amount of times I have flown international, oddly, I had never been to the international terminal at LAX. This was the first time. I didn’t know how long security would take and while my parents offered to have one final coffee with me, I was the most anxious I had ever been about travel and just wanted to get through security, so I turned them down. Security was about as normal, not very short, not very long and when I got through I did have some time to kill.

Everything was on time. My start to New Zealand was going swimmingly!

Moral: Freaking out is pointless. While I rarely stress about flying, mainly because nothing bad has every happened, I do find it worthless, especially when looking back on this day. For the most part, I was calm. Hello, leaving for who knows how long and not packing until the morning of? Do you know anyone who works like this? The ride to the airport was the worst stress and biggest worry about my entire trip. Otherwise, I was pretty chill about everything.

The first picture I took in New Zealand, at the airport, bright and early, 7am on 24-Feb-2007 while waiting for the Airbus