It’s a strange experience, waking up and discovering you’ve lost an entire day.
I suppose that’s my fault really, choosing to fly the ‘wrong way’ around the world. Listen, I understand the concept of International Time Lines to a point (fly one way and jump back in time a little bit, fly the other and jump forward in time a little bit… thank goodness I’m a Doctor Who fan, because that’s some straight up Time Travel fun come to life!) but the idea of flying over a certain area and losing a whole bunch of hours in one go??? I left LA on Sunday night, and woke up in Auckland on Tuesday morning… PETER CAPALDI, GIVE ME BACK MY MONDAY PLEASE!
Night flights - they have their perks, they have their disadvantages.
So somewhere between trying to do math to reset the time on my phone (yes I know now the answer is ‘take the phone off Flight Mode and it’ll reset itself’, it only took 6 hours for my brain to remember) and fighting off the residual evil sleepy dust pixies determined to slip me back into the Land of Nod (I swear 12 hours sleep is only 3 hours in Plane Time!) my fried mind decided that it would be a reeeeeeeally good idea to take the cheese omelette option for breakfast.

I thank every deity under the sun that there was a McDonald’s waiting for me at Auckland airport. And that it tastes exactly the same as it does in the UK. 
One fairly cushty shuttle bus ride later (wherein I spent most of it staring at this rainbow - I’m big on signs, and if this wasn’t a big old ‘you done good’, I don’t know what is) I finally, FINALLY, make it to my destination - Base Backpackers, Queens Street, Auckland. North Island. New Zealand. Southern Hemisphere. (I’ll stop now… THE WORLD! Ok now I’ll stop.) 
It’s a really nice set up once your addled brain works out that you need to take the lift to Level 3 to get to reception - not Level 2, that’s a set of offices for a bank, worked that one out after 15 minutes, go me! Anyway, check in is HUGE, one massive desk that spans the width of the room, half of which is dedicated purely to information and deals on activities, bus journeys, site seeing guides… if my mind wasn’t only capable of noticing the words ‘CHECK’ and ‘IN’ I’m sure I would have loved it!
The staff at Base were super lovely too - after telling me I couldn’t check in until 2pm (aka 6 hours away) they offered to store my hulking rucksack for me and let me in on the breakfast buffet - I don’t know what it is about travelling but it certainly makes you hungry for 2.5 breakfasts in a 3 hour period. Light of bag and heavy of stomach, I fell into one of their many, many squishy leather sofas to relax, have a little cat nap maybe…
And that’s when it ALL KICKED IN.
The jet lagged tiredness. The homesickness. The sudden realisation of WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE?-ness. All rolling into one big lovely ball of anxiety ridden crying and snotting surrounded by perfect strangers. Cue an hour of solid messaging people back home with the following conversation starter:
Which led to this wonderful reply from my wonderful friend Jess, who is ¾ of inspiration behind me doing this trip in the first place (this is also for anyone else out there who may be in a similar position - IT’S ALL GOING TO BE FINE, I PROMISE!):

So distract myself I did… by walking to the travel agents next door. I’ve found that talking to people (or more letting people talk to me) is a great way to distract from my anxiety, which is precisely what I let Julien and Gaby do. They’re very nice people, and the set up of the shop is so cool - never seen swings hanging from the ceiling being used as seating before! Between that, the grass on the floor and all the bright colours it was a wonderful way to calm down and while away the remaining hours until check in. It’s also an awesome way to find out what’s good to do in Auckland, although I’m not 100% sure my mind is in a position to retain any of the information they gave me.
By the way, if anyone reading this is in Auckland and happens to bump into Gaby or Julien, tell them I said hi!!
Finally, oh so finally, 2pm rolled round, and I’d never been so happy to see a bed in my life! I was fully ready to body slam into those sweet sheets and zonk out for a thousand years, but luckily for my body clock the nice german ladies that I was sharing the room with refused to let me sleep until a more decent hour….
I made it to 5pm. Eh, close enough!


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