I thought I have had enough sleep on the plane and felt pretty fresh when I got here on Monday but having done this trip a couple of times already I should have known better: The jet-lag always strikes back. It just hits you out of the blue and if you don’t get to a bed or couch fast enough you literally fall asleep at the table (True story!). Yesterday it kicked in rather late and I fell asleep at around 7 pm, resulting in waking up at midnight – wide awake. Multiple techniques didn’t work out – no way to get back to sleep again. At the same time a major storm came over Auckland and it was pissing down in a way I had never experienced in Austria.
A sleepless and spooky night all alone at the end of the world – that’s a pretty perfect breeding ground for self-doubt and lots of worrying: Did I make the right decision? What am I doing here? Why the hell did I put myself into the situation where I am down here all alone? Should I have stayed at home and become normal again? Pursuing my old job? Living the life a lot of my friends do: getting a boyfriend, settling down, having kids, building a house? All of a sudden you think of all those people at home and having what they have seems like one of the greatest things on earth.
Luckily I have a damn good technique against those upcoming thoughts: Making myself a cup of tea and having a read in this little book (on the left). My Dad gave it to me as a gift at the age of 21, when I first left home for a longer amount of time which was studying in Sweden for half a year. “The little book of happiness” as it’s called has lots of wise advice for any situation but the greatest thing is how it is Eva-nized: There’s a picture cleverly inserted into the cover – the guy peeking out of the flower is my Dad. Another thing that makes it special to me are the many comments and additions that my Dad has made to the book. He added his own stories, words of wisdom and quotations that always make the pieces of advice a bit more personal and I find my own thoughts in many of his words. And finally: It comes with a very touching letter which among other things says that it should always remind me there are people thinking of me when I feel lonely. I am pretty sure this spooky night was one where at least someone in my family was thinking of me. It only needed a quick read this night to feel better and get back to sleep again and latest this morning, when I saw another stunning sunrise over Auckland I was reassured that I am on the right track.
Thank you Dad, for one of the greatest presents ever. This book has already seen many places along my travels and will continue to do so.