It is now close enough that I am excited but also extremely nervous. I haven’t flown anywhere significant by myself since I was young and fearless and headed off to London alone for my big OE. It was the first time I’d ever been on any kind of plane and was an adventure that offered the thrill of a roller coaster. It’s what kiwis do when we are young and carefree. We are so far away from anything, down here at the bottom of the world, so we take the opportunity before the responsibilities of life overtake us and we explore the world. At any one time, anywhere in the world you will find a token kiwi in the local pub.
These days I am more of a Ferris Wheel kind of a girl. There is enough of a thrill to be from the great heights, but the gentler pace is much preferred to the frenzied speeds of the twisting roller coaster. It’s not that I don’t like a challenge, it’s just age (I’m not that old though) has brought a different prospective to life. One where caution isn’t often thrown into the wind, but carefully examined. There is much to lose these days from an ill-conceived plan. Responsibilities and commitments. Gosh I’m sounding like a Nana.
So I have taken my caution and after carefully considering it, I have thrown it into the wind and I am going all the way to America – for a week! I shall probably spend longer in the air than at the conference. I have to drive an hour from home at 4am to be at Auckland airport for check in, then fly to Sydney, Australia and on to Los Angeles and then across America to Atlanta. It is going to take almost 30 hours just to get there! But it will be worth every armrest sharing minute.
The Garden Bloggers Conference – now how obscure is that? It is something I have had my eye on since I first heard of it over a year ago. I discovered it about a week before the previous one and 7 days is not enough time to put wheels in motion for a trip so far. So I waited for the next one and started squirreling away my money. So now my registration is secure, the hotel is booked and I have the plane tickets and visa safely stowed away with my passport and its hideous unsmiling photo. This thing is going to happen. Gulp.
Not only will it be a bit of a culture shock – I mean ‘tipping’ what is that all about? We don’t do that here. And Wifi? How will I stay connected? I need to stay connected. Having said that, on my OE I didn’t have access to email, not many people did. And I wrote long letters. On paper. And posted them. (But I am still very young.) I will be like a deer in headlights. There are more people in Atlanta, Georgia than in the whole of New Zealand. But it will also be a bit of a climatic shock. I have been wearing not a lot more than a tee shirt, shorts and bare feet for months on end as the summer has been magnificent. I understand in Atlanta it will be cold. Very cold. I have been watching the weather forecast. I have been shopping for warm clothes, but it is easy to forget just how cold cold can be from the heights of a decent kiwi summer.
Maybe I won’t notice the cold as I get absorbed into the busy schedule of things they have going on. The programme is absolutely fabulous and extremely jam packed with all kinds of things to help improve my garden blogging experience and a few parties thrown in for good measure. If you want to see what is on offer check it out >HERE< It is going to be awesome.
But in the meantime I have to organise myself. Aside from packing and preparing, I have to get the garden into a manageable state for Hubby the Un-Gardener. He needs to be able to water it, harvest from it and keep my baby seedlings alive. Last time I went away he was too afraid to use my veggies so he brought some frozen ones! Let’s just say he won’t be doing that again. I also have a few garden visits in the week before I go and so there is all the more reason to have the garden in tip top shape. I have already had a couple of intensive “Do Days” where you just work and work and work until you can’t work any longer due to exhaustion or failing light. You can see one of these days in the video below. You will be surprized at how fast I can work when I’m up against it.
So the conference is just over a fortnight away, so if you have any advice for an anxious traveller or tips for travelling in America then please let me know. And if you are going to the Garden Bloggers Conference in Atlanta Georgia from the 25 – 27th of February or know someone who is going, then look out for a bewildered and ever so slightly frozen kiwi and come over and say hello.
Come again soon – so much to do and so little time.
Sarah the Gardener : o )