Bill English was bequeathed his political honeymoon in Europe by John Key.
It was an unusual way to start the leadership because it is normal for a New Zealand leader to head to Australia first.
And it is unusual because in an election year, one might expect a stronger domestic focus to kick off the political year.
Barely back from English's debut in Europe this week, the focus is still on foreign affairs.
English received a farewell call from US Ambassador Mark Gilbert who had to be gone by midnight last night, before Donald Trump's inauguration in Washington this morning.
The Europe trip had been organised for Key by his officials last year, oblivious of the fact he was privately planning to resign on December 5.
But fulfilling Key's obligations to undertake the Europe trip was a blessing for Bill English.
It was an immersion into international relations at the deep end with the political heavyweights of one of the most important regions on the planet right now.
How could that not enhance his confidence in the job.
For 10 days the newspaper and television coverage of English's trip, including working lunches and press conferences with Theresa May and Angela Merkel, reinforced back here the reality of a new Prime Minister.
It is hard to adjust to the term Prime Minister Bill English because Key's exit is still perplexing.
We could call it the Jerry Seinfeld resignation.
Like the sitcom, the resignation was about nothing: no scandal, no burn-out, no failure, no rhyme, no orthodox reason.
But it has offered Bill English the chance at this year's election to lead a Government to a fourth term for only the third time in New Zealand since 1935.
Excellence at foreign affairs will not win Bill English that fourth term. But do it badly and it will hinder him.
Like all Prime Ministers, he is essentially the Foreign Minister and with 26 years on the clock at Parliament, he can't play the novice card for too long.
Theresa May's interest in English's social investment policy got their relationship off to a constructive start as did advances towards a trade deal in Europe.
Key excelled at international relations. Helen Clark may have been a specialist in international affairs all her life but Key brought his ability for relationships to the role.
Key's personal connections especially with former US President Barack Obama, are legendary and could never be replicated by English.