My friend Kate and I, sitting in one of my favourite NZ cafes Bazil the year before I left. Brazil, once an Auckland institution is sadly no longer there, but my lovely friend and her wee family is. Can't wait.
Happy Monday! I hope you all had a lovely Easter break, filled with chocolate eggs, spring (or autumn) time walks and the like. The weather has played a bit of a trick on us here in Vancouver, fluctuating between sun, hail, insane winds and rain I'm never totally sure what's going to happen next! We did get to go for a long neighbourhood photo walk on Saturday, eat lots of hot crossed buns, watched weird movies, made a fancy Sunday dinner, bought discount dark chocolate Lindt bunnies and did a bit of a Spring cleaning.
However, most of our weekend was spent making lists. Many, many lists. I've mentioned before that I am a list girl (and have you seen these notepad printables? Love!). I absolutely love the planning and dreaming stage, and this past week and weekend Richard and I have had to make a pretty big decision fairly quickly, hence the many lists. I think most of you know that I'm originally from New Zealand, I've been living away from there for a bit more than 3 years, first in London and now in Vancouver. I really, really love Vancouver. However, I do miss home and Richard has lived here all of his adult life so the idea of moving home either for a bit or for good has been in the back of our minds for awhile now. Last week my Dad very generously offered to fund a trip back home for my sisters wedding next March and after much discussion we've decided that instead of just a holiday we're going to be heading back indefinitely. Naturally, I'm already looking at places to live despite the ridiculousness of it being one whole year away, I just can't help myself!
To be totally honest, it has been quite the bittersweet decision. There are things we could do in New Zealand such as buy a home, live right by the sea, have a huge backyard, etc that we're unlikely to ever be able to do here. Also, all my family is in either New Zealand or Australia (no, there is no bridge in between the two. yes, I have been asked this a number of times before) and of course there are tons of friends I can't wait to catch up with. The thing is Vancouver has also become home to me. I have met fantastic people here, and what's not to love about living on the Pacific Ocean under the shadow of the Coast Mountains? When I left New Zealand, I couldn't wait to get out. As much as it is a wonderful place, it felt small and claustrophobic to me. Since leaving, like most of us do in our twenties, I feel like I have done a ton of growing up. I'm now at a point where, while things aren't perfect by any means, I feel really happy with my life. I have a job that I love, I live with my best friend and we get to work creatively together, there's a farmers market within walking distance from us in the summer, we live in a co-op, and there's a place with 200+ gelato flavours only blocks from my apartment. I am more content and happy than I have ever been, and I feel like I have figured out who I am (or am at least close to it, and yes I realise I'm saying this as an almost 29 year old with much more life to live). There is a part of me that fears moving will up end all this, if only because I still associate New Zealand with myself as someone who was feeling unhappy and trapped.
This is not to say that I'm not excited, because I really am. It's more that there is this war of feelings going on inside my head about it all, and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed! This is not unusual though, there is often a war going on between my homebody self and my anxious world traveler self. And like I said, there is excitement. I'm so looking forward to seeing my friends and family, to eating fruju's*, taking a drive out to west coast beaches, eating fish and chips (ok, just chips but it still needs to be called that) out of newspaper on the beach, road trips like this, late night bulk bin lolly runs and looking at this as a next step, not a step back. So, you should all start saving and getting ready to pack your bags, because there is a spare room waiting for you all in Aotearoa.
I wanted to do a New Zealand music mix, but 8tracks didn't have most of what I wanted so perhaps I'll save that for NZ Music Month next month. For now, here is a song and video from one of my most favourite people in the world, Dave Dobbyn, that makes me bawl every time I watch. I hope you're all having a great start to your week, or extra day off as the case may be. Thanks for listening to this long and hopefully not too indulgent post. I'm off to search out left over Easter candy and check things off my list!
*I was obsessed with this ad as a kid. Still one of the things I'd love to do before I die!