After a 2 hr journey to Heathrow; a 9 hr flight to San Fransisco with a 5.5 hr stopover; a 12 hr flight to Auckland and a 2 hr flight to Queenstown, I was ready to take the final step of my journey. Suffering with slight travel psychosis, I collected my bag from Queenstown airport and headed toward the food hall. I ordered an Organic Feijoa drink and a sandwich, and sat in the lobby contemplating what had actually just happened - that is, I had traveled to the far corner of the Earth, leaving everything familar and dear on the other side of the World. Although, I was so jetlagged I was too tired to embrace my emotions, even when I Skyped Laura, the only emotion I experienced was ´blank´.
My Tracknet bus to take me to Te Anau was due at 11:00am local time, I gathered my belongings and headed outside. The first thing I noticed was the cold, clean air, almost sterile, that was harsh yet invigorating- I haven´t ever experienced air like it. I then noticed the amazing landscapes surrounding the airport, beautiful tall mountain ranges that were nearly intimidating, but so majestic. I suddenly felt in a very unfamiliar place indeed.
I smoked a cigarette to calm my nerves, and as I glanced up I could see my shuttle bus arriving. I stubbed out the remains and a friendly native driver met me and took my bag, which was stowed away in a lock up at the back of the minibus. I jumped on and belted up, and the only other passengers were three Asians, chatting among themselves about how beautiful Queenstown was. I sat at the back of the bus, an alien, but I found myself gawping at the views from the bus - mountains, green pastures, lakes and hundreds of sheep and elk.
2.5 hrs later, I arrived at Te Anau, and butterflies flitted round in my stomach - I felt sick. I was dropped off at the DOC visitor centre, where Emily was working, and I walked timidly towards the door. I saw a blonde girl stood at the desk, and my bottom lip started quivering. She ran from the desk (despite all the tourists and customers) towards me and we embraced eachother. I sobbed so much, all my emotions flooding out onto her work shirt I felt like such a wreck, especially when she introduced me to her work colleagues and I had a teary face - but they were lovely! We then headed out for some lunch at a local diner.
I had found my soul sister once again.