I’ve been wanting to write a blog about New Zealand for a long time now but it’s difficult to put down in words the mix of emotions I feel when I try to explain the last 6 months here. Now, with one month left and most of that being travel (just two weeks left of work – Yay!) I feel it can’t be left without a word before we move on so here goes….
Well New Zealand is called Aotearoa in Maori, which means long white cloud. The scenery is stunning, from North to South and the variety of landscape is a sight to behold. It is a beautiful – there is no doubt about it. And as a place to travel and sightsee it would be a dream (apart from the exorbitant price of things!) but as a place to live abroad for a while it feels entirely different. It feels so very far from any other part of the world and I have to admit, from the minute I stepped in and until the minute I leave, I have never felt settled. The place we chose to live (Wanaka) is beautiful – the lake stretches for miles all around, although cold it normally has beautiful blue sky and sunshine, the climbing and tramping is awesome, what’s not to like? As I have learnt, a place may look perfect on paper but what it turns out to be in reality is entirely different – and that can only be explained as a feeling. A feeling of a yearning for community, for friends and family who know us so well and make us feel as if we belong. Maybe we can put it down to our naivety – being so excited by an adventure that we were blind sighted by the harsh reality of setting up somewhere new. Everyone told us we would fall in love with the place – why haven’t we? These 6 months have tested us to the limit but it has provided us with time to reflect as to why we feel like this. I have learnt that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, to be more appreciative of what I have already got, to realise how lucky we are in England, not only for the wonderful lifestyle we lead but for all the services we take for granted everyday – the ability to pop to the corner shop anytime of day without getting the car to go anywhere and the fact it’ll be open! The NHS, the beautiful quintessentially British pubs, the fact there is stuff to do when it rains and the variety of things we can choose to do every single day (There’s not an insanity class to be seen for miles here! ). Here it is so quiet, we hadn’t quite realised how quiet it would be and how difficult it is to create a network from scratch.
And as I say from the start – you cannot deny the beauty of the place. The many beautiful hikes we have been on, the day after day of beautiful sunshine even in Winter, the wonderful mountainous views and the pink sunset every night. But now I have learnt a valuable lesson – that this really means very little when you haven’t got the people you love around you to share it with.
So as we look to the future of our journey, I feel different for the next part of our trip. I’m super excited to be having my parents out and to have some time with them. Then we’re off for the most incredible hiking we could ever imagine in Nepal. I’m super excited to go to Northern India and experience the craziness of it all again and marvel and how different the world is there. But whilst I enjoy all this time I am also looking forward to a time, whenever it may be, to return to England with a new found appreciation for what we’ve got at home and feel more content with setting up home. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always have the desire to travel and experience the world around me, staring longingly at the incredible photos in Lonely Planet, but I’ll know that it’s always good to have a place that you can call home and a place to go back to where you belong.
It the end it's just not for us!
Sus and Rob xx