Groundhog Day from Vanuatu to Hawaii on New Year’s Day 2015
Traveling from Vanuatu to Hawaii means crossing once again the International Date Line. Hearing about the International Date Line in grade school was fascinating to me because I could not wrap my head around the idea that it was a day later on the other side. I understood time zones — when it was 6 PM in Minneapolis, it was 5 PM in Colorado and 4 PM in California, but that 24-hour thing was confusing and it still is.
It wasn’t much fun losing a day when I flew from the United States to Vanuatu, via Australia. In fact, I wondered why I made a reservation for a check-in date of 12/19 when I didn’t actually check in at Eratap Resort until 12/20, and yet I paid for a whole day I didn’t get. In retrospect, that seems like a ripoff. But getting in after midnight I was happy just to have a spot to plunk my head.
The trip today will be worse, I fear, even though I leave this morning from Vanuatu and will arrive in Molokai, Hawaii, this afternoon, after traveling for more than a day. I get the day back that I lost on the way out. Like Bill Murray’s Groundhog Dog, I get a do-over.
It is New Year’s Day for me and New Year’s Eve for you, if you’re reading my blog on the day it is published. The resort woke me this morning at 4:30 AM. Good thing I wasn’t out hooting and hollering all night, and the fireworks did not keep me up. Still, nobody should be up at 4:30 in the morning unless one hasn’t yet gone to bed. Just doesn’t seem natural.
My plane leaves Vanuatu at 7 AM and flies to Sydney, about a 3-hour flight. I will go through customs and immigration and then check back in on another level to get my boarding pass to Honolulu, which doesn’t leave until 6 PM. I could grab a taxi and drive about Sydney, which I might consider but who am I kidding? There are plenty of portals at the Sydney airport to play Ingress, and that will keep me occupied for a few hours. When I visit Sydney for real, I’d like to do it with my husband.
I will land in Honolulu around 6:00 in the morning, and go though immigration and customs again because I arrived from Australia. It will be a long wait at the airport for my flight to Molokai. I’ve never been to Molokai, and some people have warned me it will be too boring. Boring is good. No planes, no deadlines, no pressure and, best of all, it will still be New Year’s Day when I land in Molokai. My cellphone will work again, but who cares? Who calls you on New Year’s? When I look back on this trip, I bet traveling from Vanuatu to Hawaii won’t seem that bad after all.