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1. Chapter 1


I shivered and hunted for my phone in my bag, sighing when I saw that there were no notifications covering the lock screen. I unlocked my phone and started tapping some sentences in my journal. Then my fingers stopped in their tracks and I immediately deleted the little paragraph I had written. Way too personal, I thought to myself.


Eventually, I ended up shoving my phone back in my backpack and crossed my arms tightly around my waist, glancing up towards Gate 22 where I was expected to go through and board my plane to Auckland. I left a mental note to myself that I was supposed to go and line up in two minutes. I looked around and examined my surroundings, peering to see if there was anybody else with a tennis bag like me, but the only thing I could see was a soft blur of colour circling my vision.


The rush of nervous adrenaline exploded in my body once again. I wondered how a sport like tennis could make someone as amateur as me so anxious and perplexed. The whole year of training had come to the dreaded national tournament starting tomorrow. Who wouldn't be nervous?


As I sat down in the plane I planted my headphones in my ears and looked out of the window, noticing that dawn had already arrived, as beautiful as ever. Hot breath left my mouth in ghostly plumes, making the window cloudy and fuzzy, and I could do nothing but grin. Maybe this nine-day trip could be enjoyable in some measures.


The departure of the plane was always my favourite part of the flight, and I loved sitting back and leaving my home behind me. I glanced outside the aeroplane window again and was surprised to notice the patchwork quilt of countrysides and candyfloss clouds were accompanying the flight. I loved the way the sun rays were shining into the plane and the way children were so mesmerised by the fact that we were up above the clouds. There was no point denying that life was wonderful with all its little perfections, and I couldn't help but thinking about myself. I'm one of the most insecure people I know - one of those people that thinks about their weight and what people think about them literally all day long. I shook that feeling off, as I realized that this was a holiday, not a time to self-pity.


Landing into Auckland was exceptional, and it looked like the perfect day to walk around and enjoy the shimmering heat. The sky was a flow of clarity holding the sun in it's hands, and I fell in love with the Auckland landscape once more.


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