When I was thinking about writing a post on my 24 hour trip to Auckland my friend and I were half joking at how Millennial’s travel. But the more I thought about it the more our jokes started to actually ring true. We flew to Auckland from the South Island of New Zealand for 24 hours in order to attend a Justin Bieber concert. Now I know I’m going to have a hard job persuading you I’m actually quite a sensible, logical adult after this and my last post but I am (or at least I’m trying really hard to be…).
To cut a long story short, I’m not ashamed to admit to you that I’m a Bieleber. I’m a 23 year old female, it was bound to happen right? I was meant to see him back in London with three of my best friends but ended up falling in love with New Zealand and buying a one way ticket here (these things happen, ok?) and therefore missing my beloved Biebs. The day I was meant to be seeing him back in the UK (which technically I did because my friends FaceTimed me the whole concert…) tickets were released for ONE date in NZ. I know what you’re thinking; it’s fate. Even if it did mean flying to a different island.
Initially I had intended on making it into a bit of a holiday and using it as a chance to explore Auckland a bit more. I’d already been a couple of times but just as a fleeting visit or in transit so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to rectify that. However, as all too often happens, life got in the way. I got a new job (yay!), I moved city (woooo!), I became a Monday-Friday gal (now this is what I’m talkin’ ’bout), and therefore could only commit to 24 hours in the city (sad face).
There’s not much airline choice in NZ; you’ve got Air NZ or JetStar (which also has a rather rude nickname, which I won’t use because I’m a lady – duh). Air NZ have a rather attractive points system that can be used through other airlines as well, such as Etihad, and because I’m quite a frequent flyer I decided to opt for them. They usually cost a little more but there’s less risk of your plane not taking off on time and you missing your Bieber concert with these guys. Plus everything is done through their super easy-to-use App which makes the whole experience a lot easier.
And here I come to my first Millennial moment. I arrive at Christchurch International Airport and proceed straight to my gate. No security, no ID checks (because I’m flying regionally), and produce my boarding pass on my App moments after receiving a notification to tell me my flights boarding. Bang on time I’m up in the air and on my way to my connection flight in Wellington. By the time I’ve reached the capital city my Airpoints have uploaded onto my App and I now know I’ve earned 6 dollars to spend at a later date (wooohoooo, gunna go wild with those). A short wait and I’m on my way to Auckland where the weathers pretty nice apparently (the App tells you that too).
Once I’m in Auckland I wait for my friend Ben to catch me up, he’s flying in from Queenstown, so I do the only thing I can think of…head to the bar. Hey, I’m on holiday remember? He arrives and we hop in a cab to our AirBnb. This is my second experience with AirBnb and I just LOVE it. I think it’s a really healthy progression in the way we travel and see the world. I know it’s causing some problems and there’s a lot of debate around it but as a Millennial who is usually a little strapped for cash and wanting to see as many places as possible it’s pretty perfect (yeah, I’ll save that debate for another time). Ben booked the room after looking for places close to Mount Smart Stadium because it’s well known that Auckland isn’t the easiest place to get around. Even though it only has a population of about 1.2 million (teeny tiny to a Brit) it’s huuuuge, going on for miles and miles. Once the place was booked Ben was able to add me into the booking online seeing as I also have an AirBnb account so we can both access the reservation. Clever, huh? Our host was lovely and the location was perfect. But we were hungry…
Neither of us know Auckland particularly well so I grabbed my iPhone and Googled “the best restaurants near me” and boy did Google provide. Phone’s were charged, an Uber was ordered, and within 10 minutes we were on our way to Mexico Ellerslie. I’m not kidding when I say this place was the best Mexican I’ve ever been to. Being a gluten free vegetarian means I eat a lot of Mexican but this place really was too good to be true. By some weird stroke of luck we seemed to arrive just before the place really packed out (lots of Beliebers were in there, I can tell ya). Naturally we (Ben) ordered way too much food which was all amazing. Super fresh and reasonably priced. The carafes of margarita and shots of tequila probably helped as well. But the entire atmosphere of the place was great and we had the nicest waitress. Sadly I didn’t catch her name (going to blame that on the margarita’s) but the service really was top notch and I couldn’t recommend this place enough.
Into our next Uber we hopped and we were off to Mount Smart Stadium for the main event itself; Bieber. I think I can safely say myself and Ben were probably the most casually dressed people there; Auckland most definitely has a different vibe to the laid back look of the South Island. Despite looking very out of place among the groups of young girls, kids with their mum’s, and random groups of guys who wouldn’t look out of place on Geordie Shore we were ready for Martin Garrix. Now this guy…what a show. The best support act I have ever seen, and I’ve been to quite a few gigs over the years. In all honesty I probably would have been happy if Martin Garrix was the main event…but let’s not forget the reason we’re here. Justin. Bieber.
The time finally came. He sang “Sorry”. I screamed. The girl behind me screamed. My Snapchat story was inexcusably long. People said he was a little sick and wasn’t performing to the best of his ability. But that didn’t matter, not to me. I had one of the best nights ever singing banger after banger (’cause lets face it, he’s on a roll at the moment) and nothing was going to dampen my spirit. Watching back the videos I took still puts a massive smile on my face and if that isn’t value for money I don’t know what is.
The best thing about travelling is you meet all these amazing people from all over the world who you’ll keep bumping into from time to time, and that’s exactly what happened to us. We met up with Jess, a lovely Canadian, who we’d met in Queenstown and is now an Auckland local. We let her take the reins and headed to Mission Bay for brunch (my favourite past time on a Sunday) where I honestly felt like I was back in Oz; the weather was glorious, the food was just what I needed in my post-Biebs haze and there was a dog paddle boarding. Not even kidding. What more could I want? It was also nice to see a part of Auckland that wasn’t the city centre so if you can find yourself a local tour guide (no matter where you’re heading) I’d recommend following their lead, even if it is just for a morning.
After this whirlwind of a 24 hours we were both feeling pretty tired and made our way to the airport. It’s safe to say without the use of my phone and the good ol’ internet my brief visit to Auckland would have been very different. I’ve always been a bit dubious about the use of the term “Millennial” and I didn’t really like being referred to as one. It’s often used in a bad context. I am, however, starting to view it in a much more positive light after last weekend. If it wasn’t for all those cliched “Millennial moments” that we were berating ourselves for it wouldn’t have been the top notch weekend (or 24 hours) that it had been. So there you have it. I’m converted to the Millennial’s way of travelling. Although I might wait a while before dropping anymore $$$ on a one night holiday again…