Its time. Time for the best and worst things to happen.
I will start with the worst as this is all I can think about at the moment. Such a small thing really but a massive part of mine and Christine's lives. We have been thinking about this time for as long as we have been thinking about the trip. When we started to discuss the trip, this was the first thing I thought about at the time and we have had many many talks about this and its still something we really don't want to think about, but the time has come.
When we travel off to start the trip, we will be leaving behind 2 members of our wee family. Sina and Jay, our pet cats.
We have found homes for them both, this was no problem as everyone loves a cat that will love you! I should say at this stage, we want them back so they are being looked after while we are away.
But, this is the hard bit though. We know we will be saying good buy for ever to one of them, Sina.
Now, let me tell you a little bit about Sina the cat.
Christine has had Sina for longer than she has had me, around 18 years! I can remember when she arrived at the flat we were sharing. It was a big house, we had 8 other housemates and I already had 3 cats (yes, 3...long story I may tell later) and Sina was Christine's second and these were not the only cats in the house, so... it was a busy place for us all.
My big boy cat Luce was very (VERY) interested in Sina and appeared to be grooming her for something and they spent a lot of time together. Well, needless to say the attraction was not just between Luce and Sina and before too long, we were all one big happy family of 5 cats and 2 people. Sadly we went to 4 after Zinzan lost all 9 lives on the driveway...
Thus started a very long list of places that Sina has lived in. I think maybe 4 small units, at least one dozen houses, some big some small in 4 cities and 2 countries. Yes, Sina moved from Auckland to Christchurch, Melbourne and Perth and and finally back to Auckland. More moves and more cities and countries than a lot of people will ever hope to make in a long life lived! But, here's the big one, Sina is sick. Very sick. She has acute sinusitis that we have been treating for a few years now. Left untreated, it would have been the end of her. In the last few months she has also developed a 'lump' under her chin. She is too old and sick for an operation. We are quite realistic and if she was not happy, we would have ended it all for her. But she is still a happy cat loving life, so we can not decide to end her life just to make this easy for us. Its sad to think we can not be with her at 'the end' after such a long and happy life together with her, but we will let her live until she has had enough. She will be looked after very well by Christine's Uncle Reg until then.
Jay on the other hand will not be so sad, she will be heading to a nice country property in Havelock North, nearby to where she grew up. She will be looked after by Chris who worked with Christine at ANZ. He since moved to the Hawkes Bay and is really looking forward to having Jay for a few years. We have had to make it very conditional that we are having her back! She might even get the occasional visit from her long lost first keepers, my Mum and Dad!
So, this all brings us crashing back to reality after having our heads in our travel cloud for the last few months. We hope this will be the worst we have to deal with on this trip.
So, to the best? Well, the best part of this has been catching up with all our friends and family as we get ready to leave New Zealand. Both Christine and I have had some great times catching up with our work friends. Thanks to ANGELO for sorting out a dinner with my Direct BB family. 12 months of working with the best team ever has left its mark. Its really great to hear how we have all done so well, and it keeps going. Lets catch up when I get back!
For Christine, it's the realisation that it's been more than 6 years with the team and the great friends you make over the time make the years pass so easily. The lunch catch ups have been great!
We will leave with many good memories old and new. It's been great making them. We are looking forward to making some great new memories in the next 2 plus years.
We have confirmed the tickets now right through to England. We had thought we could be flexible with dates but it made planning difficult, so we are locked in now.
3rd April: Depart New Zealand for Perth to walk the Bibbulmun Track
10th June: Perth to USA, Visit friends and complete the remaining 900kms of the Appalachian Trail
8th September; Washington DC to Glasgow via Iceland, 1 week in Iceland
14th September: Shetland Islands to see where my (David's) grandparents were born and raised
October: Netherlands to see friends, and start the overland adventure!
oh to have had the 9 to 5 life. I don't think I have ever had a job that could be described as 9 to 5. It has always been sort of more like 6 to 6 or worse. Who has 9 to 5 now? Maybe doctors? Banks don't open till 9am, so bankers?? I don't think so.. haha
We are now definitely not 9 to 5. Christine has quickly reverted to a 9:30 (at best) to what ever, and I am starting to develop a 4:30 or 5 to something time frame... WHAT 5am... Well, there is a story behind this. It starts with Jay our cat.
Jay has always been somewhat of an alarm clock for us. Often waking us at an ungodly hour asking for food or attention (no, always food) and when we don't respond she will sit on our chest or back until she gets her way. This was an OK arrangement when we were working, so I was up a little earlier than normal, but I got some time with Jay or Christine, or both! Jay had good time keeping, usually 5:45 or 5:50. 10 minutes or so early was OK.
Now, we are home all day and Jay still wants us to start our day with her, and the times are getting earlier and earlier.
I think that is because she's loving us more and more!
So, we have temporarily managed to cure ourselves of the disease that is working. Its taking a few days for it all to sink in, but it is slowly fading away to a memory.
The cure however, has come with some side effects.
I was watching some of the first round of the new Super Rugby tournament where the Blues outclassed the Highlanders. I was looking forward to seeing what Wesley thought of the game, I'd be able to ask him before the meeting on Monday morning... oh, hang on.. Looks like I will have to discuss this with Christine if I want an opinion on the game..
I'm also finding myself daydreaming about lunch, as we all do ah.. Looking forward to seeing Dhaval or Nehal, or both if I am lucky at the local Subway.. hmmmm, Pork Riblet... but it will be a long trip to see them, ripped away from me because I wanted to have a holiday.... bitter sweet..... like the mustard they were so generous with..
We have spent so much time thinking about and preparing for the trip, we didn't think about the things that were right in front of us. Our friends and colleagues that will be missed. In an ideal world, we would all be travelling together! (Someone else would be doing the planning on that trip for sure!!)
Our work colleagues are often the people we seek out for advice and a second opinion on things we have been discussing with each other at home. What now? Google?? No, it's each other. This trip is going to be a lot more than taking photos and seeing sights. Its 2+ years of co dependence and getting to really know each other. How many couples get to do this? Maybe they all know something we don't eh?
The one thing that neither of us will miss is the apparent stress that came with having a job. Its not something you are aware of until its gone. I don't miss that at all. In fact, as soon as I released it had gone, I had a really strong urge to turn around and run hard out all the way back to where it was just so I could kick it in the butt and call it names, but I resisted. It didn't deserve the attention..
it's Our Epic Trip...
David & Christine are from New Zealand and are embarking on a trip around the world the slow way, on foot and by personal vehicle. This could get interesting!