Blog, Destinations, Dispatches from Down Under, New Zealand

I lived my dreams in New Zealand

14 Comments 24 September 2012

I lived my dreams in New Zealand

As I write this, half my body hangs out the sliding door in my room, being warmed by the sun. It’s Spring in New Zealand and while the grass is always green in this country, you can really feel nature come alive here as the temperature rises.

Big Jet Plane by Angus and Julia Stone is playing, something I always like to listen to when I’m about to go on a big trip. Up until this moment I’ve felt nothing but excitement about visiting Thailand and Malaysia as well as my family in the States and Ric’s in England. But at this moment, it hits me, going there, means leaving here, New Zealand.

My body stiffens up and temples start go tense.

We came, we saw, we created a home and once again it’s time to leave.

I have to say it’s much harder to leave a home made in a foreign country, not because you love the people there more than those of your real homeland or because it’s better, but because you know you might be leaving forever. Ric and I have every intention of coming back, more on that in future posts, but that’s not promised, nothing ever is when your dealing with a home in a place that’s not naturally your own.

I’ve been traveling now for almost three years and have visited and lived in a lot of places, leaving and saying goodbye to people never gets easier.

New Zealand was a completely different experience for me for a lot of reasons. For one, I arrived here with my partner. We made New Zealand our home together and I think there’s a lot of sentiment with all things involving young love. We struggled together when we first arrived and looked after one another throughout our time here. We moved to Wellington together. We played in the Coromandel together. We watched the All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup together. We even put on a Thanksgiving dinner here, together.

Ric and I at the top of Mount Victoria, days before saying goodbye to our first home in New Zealand, Wellington.

I treated New Zealand as more of a home than any other place I’ve ever visited. Prior to coming here I spent a year in Australia, which I can only compare to my childhood. I had no intentions, no responsibilities. I partied and played day and night. While New Zealand had a bit of that here and there, I definitely felt myself grow up here. Maybe it’s because of that, because I treated this place as more of a life than a play date, that it hurts so much to leave.

Maybe there’s just something about this place that feels right, that feels comfortable, that feels…like home. It’s in the kindness of strangers here, the welcome of new friends and the rapture of the land.

New Zealand is the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited. I’ve said that a few times before and I stand by the statement completely. I expected it to be pretty, but not to be in aww of every sight.

Milford Sound is one of the most beautiful places I visited in New Zealand. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

It’s one of the easiest places I’ve been able to settle into over the years and it’s a place that really gives its people the freedom to be creative, live how they want and do things a bit differently from others.

After winning an Oscar for The Muppets, Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords said this about his native New Zealand to the New York Times, “It’s a great place to grow up, you can do whatever you want there. Whereas I think in America, everyone is obsessed with their careers, New Zealand I think you just get to live your dreams.”

Living here for just over a year, I definitely feel that.

Maybe that’s why so many people do end up staying here. It’s definitely why I’m coming back.

So New Zealand, thanks for the sunshine, for sweeping me off my feet and making me feel at home. It’s not goodbye, but till next time.

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- who has written 310 posts on Heels and Wheels.

Creator of Heels and Wheels. Writer, traveler and more.

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  • Jodi Henderson

    When I read things like this, I think “I’d like to live in NZ, too!” but then I wonder how that would be possible. The first thing to consider is getting a visa, right? Is it easy or hard? How much does it cost, etc.

  • Henry Lee

    Before I visited, I had read a number of blogs, and all of that provided great anticipation (and motivation). But being there was so much better; after just 3 weeks, I only got a taste with the result that I want more. Pretty addicting stuff that Aotearoa! I hope you can return to New Zealand in the near future.

  • YHA New Zealand

    Great post and a great reminder why we love living in New Zealand so much and why we encourage travellers to come and discover our backyard!

  • twoOregonians

    Oh, I can relate to that, Bobbi. When I moved to NZ for a short stint, I absolutely fell in love with my new life there, and returning to home in the states was more bittersweet than almost anything else I’ve experienced in life. This time around, I’m returning to New Zealand and bringing Ted along, but I already know it will be a shorter stay than I’d wished for… When we leave after a two-month reunion, it’ll be bittersweet all over again, and I’m not sure how I’ll process it. I love what you say, though – it’s not goodbye, it’s ’til next time. And – ahem – I LOVE Bret’s quote 😉

  • Kate – CanuckiwiKate

    Nice reflections, Bobbi

    I feel the same sentiments as you, and New Zealand is SO livable and lovable, it’s no wonder it will be 4 years in January that I’ve been here and living my own dreams that whole time.

    Enjoy your new adventure :)

  • Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    Awh I love that! It really is!! Keep living the dream. I’ll be reading :)

  • Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    I can’t wait to read about your return. You sound like you really love NZ! Maybe you can make a move there? Isn’t that Brett quote amazing? It was so nice meeting you guys the other night :)

  • Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    Thanks very much. Agree! Everyone must get out there.

  • Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    It’s an addictive place. I hope so too! And I hope you can as well 😉

  • Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    NZ is honestly one of the easiest places to move to I’d say. Have a look into your options, but the working holiday visa is a great option for people 18-30 of certain countries (US, UK, Canada and many more). BUNAC also offers visas and you can even look into skilled work permits. Anything is possible. Let me know if you have further questions!

  • Erin Jensen

    Bob. This was perfect.
    You managed to experience in 14 months what others look for their whole lives. Keep going my darling darling girl.

  • Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    :) I love you! Thanks. I need to get you out here with me now!

  • Tina

    This made me cry, my Daughter and her partner started life for a year in NZ together 1st of September. She is there from England.

  • Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    Awhh no don’t cry!! You’ll just have to make a visit now :) Thank you for your comment!

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