I’ve often heard it say you should do something that challenges you each day.  Well, I chose to save a weeks’ worth and spend it all today.

In the last 35 years I’ve traveled a lot to be fair – UK, Europe, about five trips to America, the Cook Islands a couple of times, and Australia which is just across ‘the ditch’ as they call it more times than I can remember.  Apart from the odd domestic flight to visit Son no.2 where ever he may be living at that time in New Zealand,  I have always traveled with HG who in his usual ‘airport savvy’ and confident way seems to have the uncanny knack of knowing exactly where to go in any given airport.  This leaves me with having to use long strides and not having to think …. just sweetly follow.  Perfect, I can do ‘sweetly follow’!

Perfect until you decide to go visit a friend ‘over the ditch’ for a week of sunshine, girly talk and shopping ….. without him!  It is fair to say I would have loved my handsome Hunter Gatherer leading me through the airports but he would have hated the week of girly talk and shopping (and I haven’t seen a fire engine yet!), and so I embarked on a solo ditch crossing which started with HG dropping me off at Christchurch airport and pushing me through the wailing wall.

Mostly I find people are very friendly and want to help, and so I got to Australia without any hiccups at all …..  although I did have to borrow a pen off the man sitting next to me to fill out some sort of card thing.  Mind you, he was travelling with another three people so had to ask them for it (obviously he was a fellow ‘sweetly follow’ club member).

Feeling pretty good with myself when disembarking I used my long stride and walked briskly through to Australian customs with an air of knowing exactly what I was doing.  The fact that I was about second from last off the plane and behind 170 people going in the same direction had NOTHING to do it.  I know this because I even OVERTOOK my fellow ‘sweetly follow’ club member and his group of ‘long striders’!

That was short lived however, as they overtook me when I momentarily forgot I was in ‘long stride’ mode and had ‘sweetly followed’ some people into the wrong queue.  Noticing earlier that he was a NZ passport holder (when doing a quick summary of my fellow flyers – in case of emergencies I like to get this done early in flight.  It always helps to know what hand you’ll be grabbing should the plane go down) and assuming his long striders knew where they were going I adjusted my step stride and went their way until I made it through customs.

Anyhoos – with a combination of long striding and sweetly following (well it’s a start!) I got through to the other side and managed to navigate my self to the shuttle bus and get on the right shuttle bus too.  After a swap of buses before our arrival in Caloundra, me and two other passengers had the mad driver with the ‘please sir leave it to me, I know where I’m going, it’s in my GPS’ driver.  This is after one of the passengers asked him where he was ‘actually’ going, and we overshot the drop off point (not at the same time!) Doing another of his what seemed like 100kph roundabout turns he finally dropped us off where it was with relief my lovely friend AK was waiting with a smile 😊

Aah, now for the girly chat, sunshine, and shopping – for which I will ‘long stride’ until next weekend’s trip home!


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