April 2022. We arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico at 1am after a journey we felt would never end! We often get asked, how long does it take to get here from New Zealand.  In some countries, New Zealand is quite the “unknown entity”

It must be true! Google said so!

It is always a good topic of conversation to explain just how far away we live. We left for this trip from Brisbane, Australia, rather than New Zealand, but all that did was add another hour and a half onto the journey. With COVID still causing difficulties with travel, we were advised to be at the airport 4 hours before take off.

My awesome cousins Steve and Shelley were up at sparrow’s fart with us and Steve drove us the hour to the airport. The airport was not very busy and we had all our paperwork in hand. The day before we had been to the doctor who preformed a Rapid Antigen Test, then wrote a letter to verify we had taken the test and it was negative. We were so worried that we might contract COVID in that last week which would have grounded us completely and we wouldn’t have been able to fly. But we didn’t and here we are checking in on the biggest trip we had been on for 2 years. The check in guy was great and said that the flight was only half full and he would put us in a 4 seat row to ourselves – perfect! Before COVID the planes we always chocker block full, so this is a nice change – especially as this first leg, Brisbane to Los Angeles, is 13.5 hours!

4 seats to ourselves!

We do get to sleep a bit on the plane, spread out on our 4 set row. Our Steward was awesome, extra mini pies and red wine in the middle of the night…. Thank you!…

Still pretty tired on arrival at Los Angeles, half way! We clear immigration and customs here. All week I had been concerned that we had forgotten something, that we had maybe not done something right. All this “stuff” for COVID, declarations, attestations, certificates, tests, contact addresses etc etc But no, all done, all correct, WELCOME TO THE UNITED STATES!

A four hour wait in LA then five hour flight to Miami. Now this flight was a different story altogether! Jam packed full and we were sitting apart. I was in the middle of three and Chris had the window seat a few rows behind me. Not to worry, 5 hours is nothing compared to the 14 we had just done.

We arrive in Miami, the three hour wait turned into four, and off we go to San Juan. It is now 1am and we arrive to an Island wide power cut! The city is basically in darkness. We arrive at our accommodation to candle light, is this a joke? This is exactly how we left 4 ½ years ago. So we cant say we didn’t feel right at home! There had been an explosion and fire at the power plant earlier in the evening which caused power outages for a couple of days. By now we were so tired we just fell into bed and had a great sleep – WE MADE IT!

21 hours flying, 11 hours waiting at airports plus traveling to and from the airports. So that’s the answer

32+ hour journey

slightly longer as we came from Brisbane, the usual flight time from Auckland, NZ to LA is 12 hours.

We spent 2 days re acquainting ourselves with the historic town of Old San Juan. Such a beautiful place. We just wandered around, drank in the sights, the sounds and smells. Its lovely and warm, 28°C. Its so good to be back!

Here is a wee look at Old San Juan, ……..

Thank you so much for reading our story xx