And we're off!
Our first ever around-the-world family adventure has officially begun. I’m currently perched on a beautiful West Coast beach in New Zealand somewhere in what feels like the middle of nowhere.
Our journey began two week ago on a wet, cold Friday in London. The bad weather mainly being due to our lack of winter gear, not the actual elements. You see, before embarking on a future move to Copenhagen this summer, we traded in our scarves for swimsuits to embark on some epic family travel. We sent all our prized possessions, and even some not-so-prized ones, like our tattered sofa, ahead of us on a truck to Denmark. We furiously said our final goodbyes, ate our last Indian takeaway and kissed our fair city for the past six-years goodbye. Driving to the airport that morning with three suitcases and a small backpack each was liberating. I’d be fooling myself if I said it wasn’t a bit sad too though.
In 2012, Sven, my husband and I made London our home together with our little one year old boy, Axel. At the time, we hadn’t given much thought to how long we might stay. We both figured a couple of years. After five-and-a-half though, it was time for Sven to give up on the city grind. While I adore London, there wasn’t a big argument to be had against moving to Copenhagen with a family that had now expanded to four with the addition of our second son, Viggo. I won’t get into the details here, but you can read more about my deliberations in this opinion piece I wrote for the Copenhagen Post here.
So, that afternoon we boarded our Dubai-bound jumbo jet and settled in for a seven-hour flight. Daytime flights with kids tend to worry me, but luckily our two little ones are well seasoned travelers. I don’t think I’d even been on a flight before I was Axel’s age. He’s already traversed half the world by now! Upon arrival from the relatively painless flight, you could already feel the hot desert air before disembarking. We planned to spend two days in Dubai, to help ease the jetlag, but also because, why not! I’ve always been fascinated by the dizzying heights of Dubai, a modern-day Las Vegas of sorts, only with less alcohol and gambling. A city sprouting out of a desolate landscape, quite fascinating. Stay tuned for a 48-hours in Dubai post coming soon.
After our short stay in Dubai, we had to wake up early to catch our flight to Auckland. Total flight time – 14 hours. We brought a ton of toys and activities for the kids, but they mainly wound up watching the in-flight TV and movies. I’d caution against checking the in-flight map as constantly as I did. The first half of the trip felt like it would never come to an end. On the bright side, the long haul made the short layover and three hour flight from Sydney feel like a breeze.
Upon touchdown amidst the volcanic splendor of Auckland, we were lucky enough to have some very good friends hosting us. This was crucial in easing into the bizarre jet-lagged life we led over the next couple days. Despite our stop in Dubai, we all still felt groggy, almost as if we were living in an underwater tunnel. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend a few nights stop on any long-haul flight if possible. We caught up to the time-zone fairly quickly, becoming fully adjusted by the third night. Just in time to venture off on a quick tour of the north island down to catch the ferry to the country's legendary North Island.
So here we are now, lovingly crammed into our camper van for the next six weeks as we tour around New Zealand. Stay tuned, there’s heaps to share!