You travel to come home and see it in a new way.
I’ve always liked this quote about travel. Only now I come to search for its origin I can’t get the language precise enough to find its author. Maybe it’s just a much quoted sentiment. It’s true, anyway. For me never so plainly as in the first hours of arrival. Here’s what we saw:
- We dress casually. Like, all the time. We might dress up to go to work, or for a special event, but not to go to the airport, or shopping.
- There is a higher rate of shorts wearing per capita, per degree of temperature than anywhere else in the world. Seriously, it’s not that hot.
- There is a strong (and inverse) correlation between a woman’s age and her hair length. I would wager the majority under forty have hair below their shoulders, and the majority over don’t.
- We’re courteous to strangers. Everyone apologises for meager bumps of luggage trollies.
- When the pilots on our domestic hop offered some commentary on the sights we could see below it was a simultaneous reminder of a) how note-worthily beautiful New Zealand can be and b) it is worth celebrating every time the weather is cloud free enough to provide for a decent view.
- Other airport signs might say “trolleys not permitted/authorised/allowed…” Auckland’s say “no trolleys through here” like some neighbour is yelling at kids to get off of their lawn.