And the Spontaneous Non-Solo Sojourn begins.

First off: the passport shambles as per the previous post was rectified. I sent a very fiery email to a higher-upperer and he said the report from the guy I initially spoke to noted, “The girl was not happy with her passport image”.

“Mate, that’s a pretty simplified account of my concerns,” I said. I then emailed my actual passport image along with the photo I sent, and received a prompt reply:

“We are reissuing your passport at no cost to you and are looking into how this malfunction occurred.”

So very pleased to not having to take a deformed-me passport overseas.


Tell you what, I packed light. It was quite thrilling to zip up the Leopard Monster (decided to leave the runsack pack behind and go suitcase) without having to sit on it and work up a sweat trying to get the teeth to meet the whole way around. As I’m going to be carrying my own gear up the hills this time (well, what I can’t cram into Craig’s bag that is) I have to cull a whole lot more. Plus I wanted to leave some space to bring back a whole load of trinkets and goodies (glee amplified when I found out I have been allocated 46kg of baggage split across two bags on the way home – do you know how many puffer jackets that is?).

So last night we were away – China Southern through to Guangzhou (11 odd hours), two-and-a-half hour stopover there (where I didn’t do the conversion first and got fleeced $60 on some keyrings – no matter, when away and all such lark) and then through to Kathmandu.

It’s the first time I’ve been on an adventure from the get go with someone else in years; international exploits have always been solo sojourns for me, the Lone Ranger rocking off to India or Paris or Nepal. So to be at the airport with a similar soul was so fun – someone to share my excitement at seeing planes take off, rather than me standing there all silly and trying not to shriek on my own.

And after some little whiskey tastings, a cider (or two), some kumara chips and the institution of buying a new bottle of Dior Hypnotic Poison (my scent since the age of 12), we were on board and up in the air (not just physically – that Isaacs got me good).

It’s fab travelling with Craig – he has the hottest body temp ever (note the “temp” in there – though his physique is pretty dead on too) so has no need for blankets. This means I get at least two each and every flight, so I can swaddle up and be right warm (I actually had one wrapped around my head and it took me back to the primary school nativity play days where I was always Mary, head adorned with a tea towel – though I don’t think the Mother of God wore Beats headphones with hers). Also, Craig actually listens to the announcements so I don’t have to scatter around asking others what has been said and instructed – I just ask him!

And shit I love finding out people’s stories on planes. Their why and where and how long for. Craig attempted to do the sandwich seat – select aisle and window leaving the middle free, as quite often it doesn’t get filled – but it didn’t work out for us, so I was between him and a very silent lad who I took to be Chinese. But upon opening the chat (him instigating, not I for once!) he told me he was heading home to Vietnam for the first time in three years, having been in NZ studying cookery. Things like that just warm my heart and always bring a few glisteners to the sockets.

Through the first leg I fell asleep seven times (folded over my lap, of course), each awaking in a state of ecstaticness when I remembered where I was and where I was going. Like, Nepal. Nepal. My favourite place on earth. A magical realm of the most gorgeously gentle people, majestic mountains, anxiety-eradicating atmospheres and an absolute plethora of puffer jackets.

My absolute happy home.

It didn’t strike me until I actually left just how much I need this. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not unhappy at all. I love my life. I just feel I need an injection of disconnecting to reconnect every now and again, else I lose myself in the week-to-week routine of everyday life. I feel that sparkle inside of me dims a bit, and going roaming reignites it to shine a bit brighter.

I’m so excited for the simplicity of life there. Of no need for strict scheduling – just doing our own thing, trekking as far as we feel, staying wherever we want as we go. No solid plan, just a loose idea of where we need to be on what dates. Being in Thamel and wandering the lanes lined with prayer flags, namaste-ing little Nepalese kids as they giggle at our weirdness, playing UNO in teahouses with porters and guides that don’t know much English but know the universal rule of no “pick up 2” being allowed atop “pick up 5”. Straighten out my moral compass (been a bit wayward of late) and figure what’s the way forward for Pop Wort.

Just-over a fortnight flit to my favourite place with someone who feels that love for it just as much as I do. Really and truly, nothing could make me happier. Four hours to go and I shall be immersed in it all, off to purchase the pink drink bottle I wish I’d got last time and to sit at Pumpernickel drinking iced tea and just yarning about nothing and everything.

Just to end, an aside: quite by chance I decided to wear my ruby-red Lululemon tights to fly. And my word, what an absolute champion of a choice – these things are fucking fantastic. On each thigh they have a perfect sized pocket to place your passport, boarding passes, eftpos cards and cellular device, making them all in easy reach for the multiple times they need to come out. The lady on security at AKL Airport actually applauded me on my attire, asking to touch the little patterny bit at the cuff (when she asked me to turn I started to gesture to the bum section sewing and how sensational it was, but she was actually just trying to bomb swab and search me – the confusion was clarified and I stopped lifting my leg to show her my inner leg seaming). Honestly, if you are ever unsure of what to wear on a flight, get some of these bad boys. Ease, comfort and convenience all in one.

Frothing in 35H and hanging out to hit that runway.

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