Journeying “Down Under”

And so ‘life from a bag’ begins!


  • LHR T2 – SIN (13hrs10mins)
  • Quick sprint through Singapore Airport to make a 45 min transfer
  • SIN – AKL (09hrs45mins)

A few things that I learnt on my first solo long-haul flight include having breakfast twice in 10 hours is very confusing for my brain and stomach, especially when breakfast is noodles; 45 minutes is not long enough to stretch your legs after a 13 hour flight; a fat man in the middle seat is always a bad idea; and ‘The Night Manager’ is a bloody awesome series! I can’t say that I’m the greatest fan of flying so I was certainly apprehensive about this journey. But it went well, allbeit slightly uncomfortble and in need of a shower.

David and Ailsa, who are family friends, met me at Auckland Airport and took me back to their house in Maraetai – a small seaside village about 40 minutes from Auckland. It was midnight by this point so I can’t report too much about the villages along the way but, this morning I woke up to this:

Their house is right on the beach, with a walk that follows the coast around the neighbouring areas. I just sat and took it all in most of the morning, accompanied by ice cream. It’s so peaceful, with a wonderfully leisure-focussed lifestyle and cute cafes. But, the dog-walkers and runners did give me the itch to get out there myself! Therefore, travelling day 1 and I started as I hopefully mean to go on, taking myself off exploring via an afternoon run to Ōmana Regional Park.

Afternoon run in Maraeti

In the evening, David and Ailsa’s son, Matt, came over for the night. We made the most of the lovely weather and joint fondness for alcohol, with Matt and I first heading to a bar in Pinelands Marina before all meeting for dinner at Maraetai Beach Club.

A round up of my first day then:

  • Coastal walk to Maraetai boat club
  • Run to Ōmana Park and Beachlands Second Viewpoint
  • A lovely dinner and drinks out at the Beach Club, built over the sea

And a 4am start awaits for tomorrow’s trip to the bus…

2 days in to ‘life from a bag’ and so far, so good.

Now, let the Kiwi Experience begin!

Gabby x


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