After just arriving in New Zealand I wrote a post about the downside to travel and since then I feel like everything has changed. The last time I was back in New Zealand was February last year. A devastating earthquake had torn apart my home town and family, causing me to cut my time in India short. As much as I was glad to be back, to be able to support my family, I wasn’t myself. I wasn’t happy here and I was itching to get back to The Rest Of The World.
This trip home was a conscious decision, fueled by a genuine desire to see my friends, family and country again. From the beginning it felt different. I had worried about reverse culture shock and had intentionally planned a short time frame home so I didn’t get bored. I wanted my trip home to be special, but fleeting.
And then life got in the way of all of my plans. My dad wound up in hospital and I chose to miss my flights in order to be here for him. He’s fine now, but, if I’m honest, there’s another reason I want to stay. I’ve already said more goodbyes than anyone should have to say in a lifetime and each is getting a little harder. Since being home I’ve met someone I’m not ready to say goodbye to. I just don’t want to. I know that I have to return to Europe for myself, but for now there’s a little less spring in my traveling step. I’m mindful of the fact that having my camera stolen has really changed travel for me, but it’s good being challenged and forcing myself past it.
As much as I’m tempted to stay, I think it’s important to follow through with my summer plans. I’m looking forward to spending some time in Sydney, getting lost in Hong Kong, visiting friends in London and making my way to Madrid for the summer, via Portugal. After I’m finished I want to visit Croatia, Slovenia and Italy before making my way back to New Zealand. I’m gifting myself a summer in New Zealand because I’m greedy and because I’m madly in love with my own country, too.
And because the coffee is just way better here.