“Bye Mom, I’m moving to New Zealand”…. (Flight 77: Honolulu to Auckland)

I feel like this story is a vital tidbit and also a fun glimpse as to how my life tends to unfold. My friends and fam always joke that my life is basically like one of those Bravo TV shows..kind of like The Real Housewives, except i’m not a millionaire, nor a housewife. I also don’t have lip injections, butt implants, or any of that fun stuff..so maybe that’s actually not me at all. However, I could drink Ramona under the table any day, any time.

ANYWHO. The point is- I get myself into situations that are stupid and hilarious, quite frequently. One incident that seems to stand out happened on my flight out of Honolulu, HI to Auckland, New Zealand. This was a few years ago, nearly four, but god damnit do I remember it. It was my first time heading overseas, and not only that, but going to live. So, you could say I was nervous but also tremendously excited. I was basically Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in Passport to Paris- except I wasn’t going to Europe and I wasn’t a twin. Anyway-

I got seated next to some middle-aged man who had a thick black beard and tortoise-shell glasses. I was immediately intimidated. Who cares though, right? Nobody ever talks to the person their seated next to on a plane. Especially when you’re on a flight that lasts 10 hours… WRONGO.

We started chatting, (fuck) and he proceeds to tell me that he’s a photographer heading to Australia to do some sort of super cool Aussie photo stuff, probably throwing shrimp on a barbie and hand-feeding kangaroos. I honestly barely remember what he was saying, because I was already trying to cook up some eccentric shrimp story in my head for who I was and what my mission was. Before I could even think, I started talking in an English accent. Side note: I love doing accents, and i’d say 70% of the time i’m talking in normal day to day chit-chat, it’s probably in some weird voice I made up.

For some reason, I told this man that I was from Surrey, and I had done a house-swap with a random girl online, and her house so happened to be in New Zealand. A couple things to note here:

  1. Why would I be flying from America if I was from England? Maybe I was on holiday in Hawaii? Who knows.
  2. Why did I just provide a synopsis of the movie “The Holiday” starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet but pass it off as if it were my own real life? I do not know.

I figured, ah what the hell, this conversation is maybe going to last all but ten minutes, why not make myself seem super interesting and posh. Oh no. NO no no no. This lasted the DURATION of the flight. Before I know it, I’ve made up a name, where I went to school, an imaginary boyfriend named Elijah whom I left back in England (he’s cheating anyway,) and a fake profession of: Freelance Journalist…at your service. ALL in this English accent. FUCK. I kept it up for far too long, too deep, to the point where there was no return. Bless this man’s soul, he ate up every bit of it. Or maybe not, maybe he knew my game all along and just pitied me. Poor girl, making up accents and fake lives.

By the time the plane landed, which honestly felt like an eternity, I had really gotten to know this man sitting in Row J seat B. Too bad he didn’t know an ounce about me. Before we parted ways, he asked to exchange emails, in a non-creepy way. I agreed, and without thinking, offered my mom’s email. Sorry Ma.

When arriving to customs, I was jet-lagged, exhausted, confused, what the hell just happened on that damn plane, and also extremely nervous. I was so caught up in my accent and lavish life I had made up, that I had completely forgotten this was my first time in new country. I didn’t know what the hell to do. I followed the herd, and made my way up to the very intimidating Immigration officer blocking my way into New Zealand soil. He asks for my passport…FUCK. I have left my passport in my seat on the plane. I must’ve been so distracted when filling out my paperwork onboard, ensuring my new Aussie mate didn’t see my real name I suppose, that I obviously just dumbly left in sitting in my seat. I try to explain myself to the officer, and start talking in that damn English accent again. I accidentally say, “shit!” in my normal American accent, and he gives me a sharp look. He makes a call, and next thing I know, i’m being escorted by an officer into a detaining room. I was there for a total of two hours having to explain the whole situation. The accent, the shrimps on the barbie, the tortoise glasses, and where to find my passport. Apparently, the cleaning crew “couldn’t locate the passport” which raised even more suspicion. Did I look like a terrorist? Miraculously, after a lot of gabbing, they let me go and sternly instructed me that I would need to go to the embassy first thing in the morning to obtain an emergency passport. I was in a panic for the remainder of the night. Didn’t sleep a wink. Luckily, I wake up to a phone call the next morning. My passport has been found! Oh- and it was found exactly where I said it was. Row J Seat A.

Moral of the story? Before putting on your best Mrs. Potts accent, know your audience, and know your flight duration.



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