I'm still enjoying the fact that I left Auckland early this morning on a Monday, and here I am a few hours later in the middle of the Sunday afternoon of the previous day. A whole extra 22 hrs of life. Only I don't think you'd be able to keep repeating this without losing a day on the way back.
I realise almost every flight on this trip has turned into an indicator of where my mobility is at. And today the signs are pretty good. I still needed the chair for Auckland airport, it's still a lot of walking and I'm not taking any chances. But a lot of my current discomfort is just normal stuff that happens when you travel... I only got 3 hrs sleep last night (excitement combined with the last night with my sister) and I have a bit of a dodgy tum (too much Fix and Fog chilli and Manuka smoke peanut butter?!). Even though I am tired, this is a thousand miles away from crying with exhaustion. So different to even the Sydney - Auckland flight of 2 months ago. I am SO HAPPY I am well enough to do this. So tentatively relieved that I am going back in the direction of home stronger and physically capable of enjoying myself.
I'm in a full blown tropical island paradise. A small circle of green, fringed by a reef, exploding with palm trees and a set of precipitous volcanic peaks from the air. I walked down the steps of the plane into the wobbling heat. I have that feeling of landing in a completely new country and culture that I haven't felt for years. I can smell frangipanis. Everyone, minus the very occasional tourist, seems notably happy. The airport is smaller than many bus stations but I'm still grateful my special assistance status means a woman in a large green dress and garlands of Polynesian flowers on her head took me to the front of the queue. A little bit of me is wondering how much of this is just a pastiche of paradise while someone plays steel guitar over a drum machine. I hand over my customs declaration (my suitcase is stuffed with groceries for the second island, Aitutaki) and... no, my food stash is indeed fine. The lone official says, "Ah, I'm Joe, you're staying with me.... Wait over there, I'll just be 4 or 5 minutes and I'll be with you". Or in hindsight was it 45 mins? He does indeed have a badge saying Joe and I am staying with Joe and Odette on their farm. So here I am still waiting. About to head back and check this is a different Joe who spins the same line to any solo women travellers who hand him a landing card and take his fancy. But I think this is my Joe....
An ME/CFS Thriver