So it’s really happening.
It’s just two months to go before James and I hop on a 27 hour flight to the other side of the world. We may be there six months, or it may become our forever home. All we know is that we’re going to go there and see what happens.
We made the decision soon after James asked me to marry him last September. I was overjoyed to make the next step in our commitment to each other, but I was honest with him- I said: I have to go away, I have to explore somewhere else in the world, I can’t just stay here forever.
So we talked and talked and finally agreed on the place we would go and the way we would do it. Less like explorers with intricate maps and more like painters following the pull of our hearts, we created the picture of our adventure.
And so it was decided: New Zealand.
Why New Zealand? You may ask. Well -
1. Every single person I meet (and interestingly, it’s a lot) who’s been to New Zealand says something along the lines of: ‘New Zealand – Oh I loved it! You’re so lucky! It’s amazing. I’d go back there in a heartbeat if I could.’
Unanimous 5 stars. No one says ‘meh’
2 . I have a New Zealand citizenship, because my dad is a Kiwi, born and raised in Auckland. It meant it was easier for James to get a two year working Visa, too. But while James had to fill out numerous forms, send photos and messages to prove we were in a relationship and visit a posh doctor in Knightsbridge to pass a medical exam, I was lucky in that all I had to do was renew my New Zealand passport (which is beautiful and full of pictures of animals). It will be a bit strange rocking up to Auckland airport with the right passport and the wrong accent, but I hear those guys are super friendly so I think it will be OK…
It also means I’ll be able to meet my aunt Shirley, my mum’s sister, who’ve I’ve only met a few times in my life and the last time when I was 13, as well as other friends and family who I haven’t met before.
3. New Zealand is ridiculously beautiful. Here are some photos of how beautiful New Zealand is. If it looks this beautiful in photos, imagine what it’s like to actually be there – swimming in the water and walking through the mountains. James and I will be driving round in a camper van and by all accounts, we’ll be stopping A LOT because it’s just so stunning, everywhere you look.
4. They speak English and drive on the same side of the road. Also they have virtually no poisonous insects, crocodiles lurking in the water, spiders that run after you, sharks ready to chomp on your leg, snakes hiding in your boots (I’m looking at your Australia).
5. We love nature, and we want to experience a simple life in the beauty of the wild. Camping, tramping, all that jazz. No Westfield Centre or Emerald Street Newsletter. Just… green and blue stuff, that feels damp and clean and might have bugs in it and smells like life and happiness.
James and I have lived in London for five years (I was born here and lived here til I was 11). I always thought the city was the place I wanted to be, but it’s not. I can’t wait to shake off all the ‘stuff’ - buying things just to try and be happy, crushing ourselves in the heat of the tube – to just be us, in the quiet and the majesty, I want to run between the mountains and lie in the long grass, dive into the warm water, swim with dolphins, walk barefoot….
6. In New Zealand, you can see the stars at night.
Since living in London, I've seen the stars precisely once, on a December night walking over Blackheath. In New Zealand, they say they see them all the time. Imagine that...
More coming soon…