Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the rumors are true. The Laptop Traveler is getting ready to put away her laptop (temporarily), experience the pains and pleasures of foreign travel, spend (way) more money than she has at the moment--all to go to New Zealand!
Yes, you read that right: NEW ZEALAND. My first trip out of the country. Shoot, my first trip west of Kentucky! And to somewhere so far, so exotic, that I can hardly believe it's true!
But as my dangerously bulging Discover card balance attests, it IS true. I'm going to New Zealand!
You see my sister moved to Auckland at the beginning of this year. And she has to return to the states in February for a must-attend conference. Meanwhile, she will be leaving her husband and young daughter there alone, without a daycare helper to be found anywhere. His mother couldn't go. My mom is in the midst of some health issues of her own. So ... they asked me! And I could not refuse!
I initially planned to go myself. But since I hate the thought of 1) leaving all three of my kids with my husband and 2) traveling that far alone, I'm bringing my 10-year-old son with me!
We leave Wednesday, February 11th. Depart Charlotte at 9:45 am. Arrive in Los Angeles at 12:15 pm, Pacific time. Then we get to hang out at the airport until our Air New Zealand flight leaves at 7:15 pm. It's 13 hours to New Zealand! Since we'll cross the International Date Line, we'll arrive in New Zealand on Friday, February 13th, at 5:30 am local time. So we lose Thursday, although we'll gain it back when we return. We leave New Zealand on the evening of February 23rd, arriving back in L.A. ... and then on to Charlotte ... at 8:30 pm local time.
The plan is to document my travels for posterity so that other laptop travelers, like me, can get a glimpse of what it's really like to travel to New Zealand--the good, the bad, and the ugly. I've found otherblog postings on the Web, but none as detailed as I'd like. So I'll fill that gap, and hopefully help others plan for THEIR trips to New Zealand!
Stay tuned ....