We have been on the road for over 4 months by now, and we are enjoying our adventure to the max! As often mentioned in earlier blogs, we are having all that quality time together that we dreamed of, back then, when we were sitting in a flat in Copenhagen feeling trapped in a stressed everyday life.
And just as we had said “See you soon again!” to all the people we had come to love in Australia, and just as we had arrived in New Zealand, ready to start yet another adventure, we got the news that my beloved grandmother had passed away, aged 88.
Suddenly I found myself with our campervan parked by the beach at Oakuru Bay with the feeling that I just had to be on the other side of the world, back in Denmark, with my uncles, aunts and cousins to be able to mourn and cry with them. It was pure coincident that we had decided to buy a mobile internet package and also that we had actually already put in the SIM card in the smartphone to be online so that my mum could reach us with the sad news. Had this happened during one of those many weeks in Australia where we were completely off-line, I am not sure I would have been able to make it back to Denmark in time for her funeral. Just the thought if that is devastating!
It was one of those things that we knew might happen while we were traveling. Before we left Europe I made an agreement with my grandmother, that of course I would be there for her funeral if she was to die during our journey. Hence we also made sure to buy a very good and very expensive travel insurance so that no matter what happened, I would always be able to get back if needed. My grandmother was not really ill, but aged 88 she had achieved everything she wanted in life. All the points on the list were “checked”. Death came suddenly, but then again, not really. A couple of months ago I actually asked her if she was prepared and ready to die. After reflecting for a couple of seconds she replied “Yes, I am ready!” And then, for some reason, last week, just before leaving Melbourne, I had this strange feeling that I had to call her. I topped up my Skype account and made a call to her old-fashioned telephone line in Denmark from Australia. We talked for about 30 minutes. She always followed our blogs and knew exactly where we were and what we were doing. She sounded well, and was thrilled to receive my call. We agreed that I should call her again soon. Sadly, I never got the chance to do that...
Even though the deal with my grandmother was quite clear, and even though I really had no doubt what I had to do, it was not an easy decision to leave Anton and Alexandra behind in Auckland for a week, while our adventures are put on hold. They too are mourning. But I also know that I would never be able to forgive myself if I did not embark on the long way back to be by her side for her last journey. Life and death both have their own mysterious ways, and will hit us when least expected. I am not in a position to complain over “just” a bit of traveling. I chose this by myself, and I know that my grandmother would have done exactly the same for me if she could.
The journey back to Denmark goes Auckland-Hong Kong, Hong Kong-Amsterdam, Amsterdam-Billund. A total of 36 hours. 4 days in Denmark, then back again. Billund-Amsterdam, Amsterdam-Singapore, Singapore-Auckland. Again 36 hours.
This is a very long journey, sitting in economy-class, seat 38K, with no leg-space and a very uncomfortable seat. But I know that my loved ones await me in Auckland and that our journey together will proceed as soon as I am back. We have so much to see and do! The view from my seat was, however, quite beautiful as seen on the picture above. On the flight from Auckland to Hong Kong the dawn was chasing us somewhere over Java (the indigo blue line on the horizon). A very beautiful sight!