I set off to Wellington following an instinct. Despite feeling it was the right thing to do, everything went so wrong when I was trying to get there.
I was on Waiheke Island and made sure to give myself plenty of time to make it back to my hostel so I could get my bus to Wellington. However, I severely underestimated the bus times on the island. It took so long for one to show up, and, I’m as you can imagine, thus began the domino effect of late transportation.
I missed the ferry I was aiming to get, which meant I didn’t have time to walk back to my hostel as I was planning on. I got on a bus, checking with the driver it was going where I needed to be. He said yes. I hopped on, willing the rush hour traffic to get a move on.
Rush hour was the least of my problems as it turned out the was going a long winded way around the city. I watched the minutes pass on my phone, knowing with every passing one I was going to miss by bus to Wellington.
I had no place to stay in Auckland that evening, a flight this last minute was too expensive. I sat on my backpack at my hostel, at a loss as to what to do.
I wondered if there would be a later bus, frantically Googling. There was one leaving later that night. It would be overnight, but that suited me fine as it saved me sorting out accommodation. I booked it straight away, I’d have to worry about the money later.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so relieved to board a bus in my life. It was cold and crowded but it was taking me to where I wanted to be. All I could do was try and sleep. The journey lasted 11 hours and I was awake for most of it.
We arrived in to Wellington, and thankfully my hostel was a short walk away from the bus stop. I couldn’t check in until 2pm. By this point, I was too tired to care. I just wanted fresh air and coffee. I left my backpack there and went wandering. I didn’t go too far for fear of getting lost. I wasn’t sure how I was functioning, nothing felt real.
It wasn’t sinking in that I had just arrived in a city I knew nothing about but was hoping to settle here. In all honesty, my main focus was caffeine.
I stumbled across a wonderful café – Coffee Hangar – that I was happy to spend a couple of hours in. It was much needed energy and morale boost, afterwards I was eager to explore more, get a feel for the city I was hoping to call home.
It only took a couple of streets for it to feel different from Auckland, it was such a cosy, colourful and, quite frankly, cool city. It was a vibrant summer morning and I could feel a smile beginning to stick.
Completely unintentionally, I got my first look at the waterfront.
With the Wellington wind and the smell of the ocean came a wave of relief: I want to live here, I want to make this work.