Let me just re-hash the day for those of you who might have missed this ridiculous 24 hours by employing present tense and writing in first person. This is mainly because I would like to re-live it in the most sequential and realistic way possible so I never forget it.
At 6:49am, my alarm blares. I wake up in slight disbelief – a) because it’s still fully dark, and b) because as confirmed by yesterday’s phone call, apparently I’m engaging in some epic activities today. With little time to waste, I force myself to become vertical, shower, slap on some tanning moisturizer (as armour) and try to decide what the hell I wear to a) mark the occasion, and b) to impress without looking like I’m trying to.
In the end, I settle with my classic black skinny’s, a navy top, a tan scarf and a black coat with cream coloured fur cuffs. Can never go wrong by keeping it simple amiriiight??
I become too caught up with my appearance (hair is not playing ball), and no longer have time for breakfast. I do, however, have a minute or three to smash a coffee before I get picked up at 8am (priorities). The no breakfast will likely turn out to be an amateur move, but am sure I’ll live to tell the tale.
Because I am the smallest of the 5 people in the car, it would be rude not to sit in the middle (the unspoken bane of a small person’s life). We make our way across the Harbour Bridge, and once we’ve battled through some classic Auckland Harbour Bridge traffic, we pull in to Heletranz in Albany – which is where the adventure really begins!
After spot of waiting for everything to fall in to place (standard), and a solid safety briefing from Pilot Pete, the time comes to get into a flippin’ helicopter. I am sure to pay special attention as to how exactly to put the seatbelt on, so that when I sit down it looks like I’ve been living in a helicopter that my whole life. No biggie. All good. Nervous sweats? Nah, that’s just my glow.
Leather interior? Check. Headset? Check. Seatbelt click? Seamless.
Before I know it, we’re hovering. What’s super surprising is how much movement a helicopter has. As the blades speed up, the body of the vehicle shakes and as it rises, you feel every shudder, every vibration and every little shift in direction. And boy, are they quick. We fly past the Auckland Harbour Bridge, the Sky Tower and over Mt Eden.. I mean, that crater is impressive walking around it, but from directly above, it’s something else!
We head out towards Clevedon and set down at Kauri Bay Boomrock – a 45 minute drive from the city, but a 12 minute ride by helicopter – who would have thought a day would come where I’d engage the latter??? The weather is a little grey and moody, but that doesn’t dampen the views in the slightest. If not for the people and the cameras around me, I’d feel like I was the only one in the universe.
Now, there are three reasons we are going on this adventure today, and these reasons will explain why there are so many cameras around. Firstly, John and Sofia, the lovely owners of Heletranz are shooting a promo video. Secondly, Trey Ratliff and Curtis Simmons, the masterminds behind the blog ‘Stuck In Customs‘ are shooting a ‘Live from Above’ video. And thirdly.. We’ll get to the thirdly soon.
At Boomrock, I engage my inner badass and partake in some knife throwing, some four wheel driving (footage caught from above via drone) and also some golf. Now I know that golf doesn’t seem overly badass, but when you swing the club like you’ve got a vendetta, you can at least pretend it is. And also when you are wearing heeled boots and a coat with fur cuffs, anything is badass. Yes, even knitting. Yes, even milking cows. Yes, even golf.
Once the required shots are achieved (camera shots, not golf shots), we pile back in to the chopper and angle towards Waiheke Island (lol, casual). The weather is clearing really quickly now. In fact, it’s getting kind of hot. There goes that glow again..
We park up (helicopters park, ok) at Man O’ War Bay at the Eastern end of Waiheke Island and are treated to a wine tasting (incredible) and some simply splendid platters (simply splendid). I try my darndest to keep my chill in regards to the cheese platters, but struggle due to the no breakfast thing. Damnit, I knew it was a bad move!!
Now I should have also mentioned that while all of this is going on, myself and Dave from Eighth Wonder Travel are candidly being filmed while engaging in these experiences. Why? Unfortunately, I can’t fully disclose this info just yet.. All I can say is that while we are at Man O’ War, we film a short outro segment (lucky I took it easy during the tasting), and that I will be going to in to record some voice overs later in the week. Just hang tight and keep your fingers crossed – full disclosure on this as soon as possible!!
After the filming is done, the wine drunk and the cheese consumed, it’s home time. Into the chopper I go (may be the last time I get to say that), and on this leg of the journey I get to sit up the front with Pilot Pete. Such a treat! Only when you’re sitting up the front with the headset on, you get to hear all of the control sounds too – and lots of the dialogue proves quite terrifying. My favourite statements are ‘Warning’ and ‘Engine 2 Down’, both of which are said by a female robot for extra impact.
We land. Drive back to the city. Share a celebratory wine with the team while doing a spot of editing. And the day is done.
Can you believe that happened?? Not 100% I can.
The weirdest thing about the whole scenario is that David discovered Monday Hustle on Instagram. He was looking for a co-host for a project (clue alert!), and on the same day he started to wrack his brains, I apparently ‘liked’ 5 of his photos. By some strange twist of fate, he clicked into my profile, saw that presenting was one of my skills, checked me out, liked my style and got in touch.
The rest? History.
Do you remember the post I published last Monday? Quite a different vibe to this one. Can you believe the change of fate Monday Hustle experienced between Monday and Friday last week?? I am feeling so good right now that I can’t even rationalize the mindset I was in a week ago. So what did last week teach me?
A) Just because you can’t see something directly in front of you doesn’t mean that nothing is coming towards you
B) Just because you can’t see anyone directly in front of you doesn’t meant that no-one is watching
C) There are some opportunities that come in life that you will never be able to anticipate, plan for, or even really explain
But most importantly, last week taught me that just because you feel down and isolated does not mean that you are alone.
The support I received from you after publishing that post last week was absolutely mind blowing. And it backed up the fact that it’s ok to feel down. It’s ok to admit that you’re struggling. It’s ok to feel vulnerable. Because we are all human, and we all get it. Feeling down does not mean that you’re failing. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.
It just means you might have more to learn about yourself, about your direction or you might just need to consciously acknowledge what it is you’re grateful for.
And when you keep the things you’re grateful for top of mind.. Strange, strange things can happen!
The hustle is back in action. The question is.. Where on earth will this journey take us next?