I have challenged myself to be more mindful this month, and today I am feeling heavy in the mindless. I have decided to take my buns to the cafe and hash out one of my travel stories I had previously promised to turn into a blog.
January 24th: It was a Sunday morning, I went to the beach and found a small market happening; I was going to be leaving New Zealand in two days and felt like maybe I could
find myself a treat. What we seek, we shall find. I did in fact stumble across this wonderful shoulder bag: Leather, vintage, buttons, a real gem. I bargained it right into my hands. Rather pleased I carried on about my beach day.
Later that evening thinking about possible routes for the rest of my trip I was looking up airfare home from various locations sometime in March. I found a ticket from Bangkok to San Francisco for $485 on March 12th. That would make my trip around the world a full 5 months. I budgeted what I had left in my travel account and what airfare will most likely cost to navigate from Australia to Indonesia and then onward to Thailand; I bought the ticket. Boom, just like that my trip now had an end date.
After getting the ticket I looked at my new bag and thought maybe it would be a good carry on for the flight coming up in the next few days, there was a cool spot for my passport and my books fit just right.
Eventually I concluded I should ship the purse home because it was a little bulky and I had already made it this far without it. So I took the books out and set it aside with the clothes and books I would be posting home the next day.
January 25th: At 10am I hitched a ride at to the post office with some awesome people who were heavily trying to convince me to skip out on the plane ride I had the following day back to Sydney to spend more time with my newly developed partner and instead come with them to Kiwi Burn (New Zealand’s Burningman). Stuffing my intoxicating desire to do all of that, I politely declined and had them leave me at the post office while they continued north.
Expecting the mail to be expensive I was still shocked when the woman said $110. Say what?!? I only had $85 on me anyway so that wasn’t going to happen. I took the box back and re-evaluated what I should send home. I grabbed out that purse looked at it long and hard and thought, “nahhhhh” placing it back in the box. Finally getting my box to only cost $79 (so I thought) I sent it off and hitched back.
At 11pm that evening I was packing for my flight the next day, back to my Kiwi lover in Australia I would go.
And then it happened… I looked across the room to the pocket my passport had been safely nestled for the past 4 weeks and my heart skipped up slamming into my skull and sank like an anchor down through my feet melting into the atmosphere. I didn’t even need to open it to know. In fact, gaze fixed on it, I backed away from it into the wall and slid to my butt into a ball on the floor; as if it were some wild creature praying on me and if I stayed still enough and got low enough it would decide not to eat me. Throat slowly constricting I sat there trying to convince myself that there was no way I was stupid enough for what I thought occurred to have actually occurred.
Eventually I worked up the courage to scoot across the room to unzip the pocket, confirming exactly what I already knew…
I mailed my passport back to the USA, at 10am yesterday.
There wasn’t even an action I could take to resolve the issue until the local post office lines opened at 8am the next day.
For 9 hours my heart raced steadily like I had just demoed a bag of cheap quality drugs for party all to myself before anyone even showed up. Imagining my parcel being driven further and further from me each second.
Ever increasing anxiety and plot lines coursed through my body relentlessly.
January 26th: At 7:57am I call the post office, got put on hold three separate times and then am told the person I would need to speak to doesn’t in fact start work till 9am. I was literally loosing my shit. Each minute felt like all 4 years of high school replayed in slow motion, so painful hah. 9:27am and they can’t actually even put me on the phone with the person in charge of international mail and the phone call ends with… “We are sorry, your parcel is gone.” Turns out it was so expensive because it had been airmailed, not shipped. It would have most likely been still at the post office if I mailed it the way I thought I mailed it.
How do I solve this shit storm? My mind was spinning.
After a call to the embassy I found
out the only US consulate in New Zealand was not on the same island as me. Thankfully I could travel by air within the country with just a drivers license id. The only flight headed that way left in an hour and a half. On the phone with the airlines and on the way to the airport I headed North. My parters mom lived in Auckland and she was literally more than an angel in helping me resolve the whole issue and make my way back to her son. She picked me up from the airport, let me stay at their home, helped me get the emergency passport sorted and had me privately shuttled to the airport the next evening. What a blessing she was amidst the chaos.
So Folks brace yourself for the pending wisdom…
TRAVEL TIP FOR DUMMIES #306:
DON’T MAIL YOUR PASSPORT TO A DIFFERENT COUNTRY (unless you are also in the box. ha)
Ultimately, my Kiwi boyfriend that I was rushing back to Australia for wound up breaking up with me damn near the second I got back to the states. So I guess I could have listened to my gut and the awesome car full of people on the 24th and went to the Kiwi Burn while I waited for my grandpa to receive my passport and then mail it back to me. I think it would have made for a more interesting story and memory but I chose differently, and that is okay. Ironically during that car ride to the post office the gypsy girl had me pul a card, this is what I pulled…