Day 1 of 3: Wellington-Queenstown

December 14’21

I woke up to the sound of heavy rain and wind constantly knocking at my window. Well, this is usual Wellington weather. But you still expect some kindness from the weather on the day when your holiday plans are just meant to begin.

It was the day when I had planned a solo trip to one of the amazing places in Aotearoa New Zealand. Any guesses?

Well, I know you might have so many places in your mind right now! But that day it was Queenstown! This was my second visit to Queenstown because you can’t have it all in one go and also you need to re-live some moments. Isn’t it?

Like most of my travel plans, this was also a very last-minute one after my leave got approved unexpectedly. Early morning while I was going through my checklist on the phone, I received the message from the airlines, ‘Your flight may be disrupted, please keep a close eye on the updates’.

I ignored it as if it had never appeared on my phone and carried on with my morning routine! In order to avoid the traffic and last-minute anxiety, I left for the airport 3 hours earlier than my flight. I didn’t say a word about the weather warning to my flatmate who was dropping me at the airport. The traffic was heavy and it took an hour to the airport which would normally take only half an hour from my place.

The rain had got heavier by the time I reached the airport. While I was checking the boarding gate for my flight, there was an announcement of five flights being canceled in a row just because of the weather conditions.

What more do you need to deter your solo-traveling confidence and courage?

Anxiety had filled in the airport as people started returning from their respective flight gates to the baggage area. I was constantly looking at the departure board and checking my flight’s status which was still a long way to go.

As I write this blog, I am almost laughing at the situation that day. I had no one next to me whom I could say, ‘I have to go, I really want to go on this trip’. I was sitting with a long face like a toddler ignoring all the weather warnings and cancellation announcements. Hahaha

Around 10 am, an airport official came and told me, ‘If you are waiting for the Queenstown flight, just keep checking the departure board’. The moment he said those words, my anxiety levels multiplied. And then he continued, ‘the boarding gate may be changed for your flight’. The next moment I was smiling to myself, but I didn’t have the courage to ask, ‘so what are the chances that flight may be cance…. Oh! I didn’t even want to use that word. Because in my mind I was thinking-I am going. I am just going to go to Queenstown today.’

It’s funny that at times, the mind becomes ignorant of reality because it just wants what it wants.

As much as I was relieved to see the security-check gates open, I was equally shocked to see just two people including myself at the boarding gate. While a few other people followed later, the plane wasn’t even half full. I was sitting at the window seat near the wings and waiting for the final announcement. At such moments, your mind brings you thoughts like, ‘what if the rain suddenly got heavier and they tell you to get off the plane now’. The flight was delayed by 15 minutes and those fifteen minutes are among the most anxious moments of my life.

While anxiety and adrenaline were at their peak, the plane finally took off from Wellington and entered into the deep dark cloud!

Look at the photos below-

Finally boarded!
Inside the big cloud!
Okay! Finally, on the way to Queenstown! Yayy!!
The shades started changing
Okay, finally some blue
Queenstown first photo!
And there we are!

Since the check-in was in the late afternoon, I decided to take a walk around Lake Wakatipu and visit Queenstown Gardens.

Here’s the beginning!

For more photos of my walk around Lake Wakatipu, you can visit my Facebook page here:

Feel free to share your feedback or experience of visiting Queenstown in the comments below.

In my next blog post, I will write about day 2 of my Queenstown trip which is about the spectacular Milford Sound!

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