It’s been three years and five months since I first left New Zealand soil for the unknown.
Since then, life has managed to get in the way, a lot.
First it was in February 2011 when someone very dear to me passed away in the earthquakes.
Then it was later the same year when I was stabbed in the hand.
A year later, I came home only to meet someone who would stay on my mind for a long time. I left, was an au pair in Spain, sipped on tea in Morocco, and came home. We worked things out and we’ve been happily together ever since and it’s been great, really great.
I’ve had a relationship I’m really happy with, a self-made job that’s pretty cool and so everything was looking really good. Except, a part of me was missing travel. It’s no secret I’ve been missing Spain ever since I left.
Everything was looking good… But then life got in the way. I had a family emergency that’s been at the forefront of my mind for the past two months. I’ve been busy, work has taken a back burner and travel has been completely off the cards.
Thankfully, everything’s going well and I’ve been able to make a real change.
But due to Ben’s training schedule, jetting off for a few months around Asia is no longer an option so our plans had to evolve.
We’re staying put for another 3 months in Christchurch while he knocks out the initial blocks of his training schedule. It gives us some time to sell the things we wont be using when we return and to figure out where and how we’ll store everything else.
After 2+ years of traveling out of a backpack, it feels a bit silly to have bought things like blenders, juicers, drawers, desks and TVs only to want to package them up and be free with just a backpack or two.
We’re not quite at the stage where we’re prepared to throw everything into the wind with blind abandonment. Instead, we’re looking at chasing summer – essentially spending half the year in Europe and the other half in New Zealand (or maybe Australia), maximising the sunshine hours and our productivity.
In July we’ll head to Europe (VIA somewhere cool, suggestions warmly welcomed). We’re planning on spending around 2 months living in Valencia or Alicante. In September, as planned, we’ll head to France so Ben can compete. Afterwards, I’d love to travel to a few new places (Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Cyprus, Egypt are all big contenders) before settling somewhere else to live for two months. Initially we wanted to spend the entire time in Spain but visas might be an issue.
Our travel plans have evolved substantially since we first decided 2014 would be a big year of travel. A part of me is gutted that everything’s been pushed back and compromised, but a bigger part of me is excited for these evolved plans. I’m looking forward to exploring a new part of Spain, practicing the language, eating paella and watching Ben train in some world class facilities.
It’s going to be such a great adventure! If you have any suggestions of must-see places in Spain while we’re local, please let me know. I’d love to hear your suggestions