It’s Friday the 15th of March. I wake up at 7.15AM, excited and so ready to start my new adventure. I get ready, have some breakfast, do some last repacking and we head out on our way to Napier airport. Joost (my brother) has taken the day off school and so we go, the four of us (dad included), to the airport! I haven’t weighed my bags at this stage and so I don’t have a clue how heavy it’s going to be. Surprise surprise…..38 kgs!!!! Only “slightly” over the 23kgs I’m allowed :/ I quickly open my suitcase and start chucking things out I won’t need (although when you’re leaving for at least a year, you kinda need everything!!). I weigh it again…32kgs!! Back to repacking. Time is ticking by and the Air New Zealand staff is getting a little annoyed as we need to start boarding. I work like a headless chicken, sweat running down my face, but I can’t help laughing at the situation. I don’t even know what’s in my suitcase anymore. That’s going to be a nice surprise when I get to Holland! Finally I’ve been able to get rid of 15kgs and the lady now asks me what hand luggage I’m taking. Oh crap!! My camera bag weighs 9kg and she is now getting so annoyed with me I’m sure she’ gonna tell me to “just” take out my camera. I’m about to turn into Shaneiqua, saying “girlllll hold my earrings!!”, but apparently if I hang my camera around my neck it’s no problem. Don’t ask me how that makes a difference, but ok…. Mum and I are almost the last ones to board the plane and for some reason I’m kinda glad this whole thing happened, because there is barely any time for goodbyes and so no time for tears either. We quickly hug and I say my “see ya later’s” to dad and Joost as mum and I board the plane to Auckland.
You would think that one issue is enough, but no, when you have two blond girls traveling, there’s gonna be more dramas. As we get to Auckland, my head is still kinda spinning and mum and I forget to pick up our bags from the carousel (as you do haha). When we check in the lady asks us for our boarding passes and obviously mum has left hers in the plane…. so at this stage we are without bags and mum without a boarding pass. Luckily the Emirates staff is very friendly and sent someone to pick up our bags (and hope they are the right ones…).
At Auckland airport we have a couple more hours left, so we have some food and drinks, do some last pillow and magazine shopping and head to the terminal. (of course not after the “random” drug test on me). Luckily the lady sitting next to mum on the plane is so nice to swap seats with me so we are able to sit together as we fly to Melbourne. In Melbourne we have an hour transit where we have to go through security, where a man, resembling Hitler, by the way he yells at us to “TAKE YOUR LAPTOPS OUTTTTT!!!! PERFUMES OUTTTT!!!! LIQUIDS OUTTTTT!!!” commandeers us like we are children. I wish I had filmed it, because I’ve never ever met a man in need of so much authority, I almost felt like giving him a hug saying “it’s gonna be ok”. Even the people around us were astonished by the rudeness of the staff there. However we get through security (and I feel like a bit of a rebel for being able to sneak my 200ml Nivea past this scary man haha) and board the plane to Dubai. The 14,5 hour flight wasn’t too bad and the food was quite good for airplane standards. I manage to only watch one movie as mum’s sleeping pills are really effective. In Dubai we have some lunch and get ready for our last leg to Amsterdam.
Eeek I am getting soooo excited!! This is it!! Only one hour till we land in Amsterdam and I will see Lance and my uncle again!! I order a Vodka lemonade to steady the nerves before descending to Schiphol!
We get our bags (which luckily arrived) and head to the arrivals hall. And there they are!! I have been looking forward to this moment for the past 2 and half months and I can finally give Lance a massive hug and kiss!! It is so good to see him again and the same goes for my uncle. I haven’t seen him in 5 years and we are all so happy to be together again. We brave ourselves for the drive to our house, which my grandparents have rented for us, as Dutch traffic is absolutely CARAZYYY. My uncle drives like his life is depending on it, racing past cars that are going too slow (100km/h), squeezing through very narrow streets and almost giving us a heart attack. We even see our first accident… a girl knocked of her scooter by a car! Maybe Dutch people need to slow down a bit haha.
When we get to the house my grandparents are already waiting for us with coffee and cake. I hug them and kiss them and am so very happy to finally be able to hold them again. I haven’t seen them in 5 years and have missed them extremely. We sit and talk and I notice them just staring at me every now and then. They’ve been looking forward to this for a very long time and are so happy to see me again. They also meet Lance for the first time and tell me they are highly impressed and think he is very good looking and give me their approval haha. He seems to remind them of my dad…. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing hahahah.
That night I sleep like a baby. A bed has never felt so good after 48 hours of travel. I fall asleep at 7pm and don’t wake up the next morning until 8.30. My granddad picks us up that afternoon for dinner at their house. They have bought so much food and I keep squealing in excitement when another thing that I have missed so much is brought out. Even Lance is impressed and tells me he finally understands what I’ve been talking about for the past few years. We leave that night absolutely full and very bloated.
On the drive back I think about how grateful I am for everything: for being with Lance, for seeing my family again, for the food and the love in our family. I fall asleep that night completely contempt.