Playing out the last weeks, Kiwi style.

The past few weeks have been filled with impromptu meet-ups and casually arranged gatherings with friends. It is very indicative of the way we’ve lived our lives here in New Zealand – a very relaxed, unstructured, casual, ‘go with the flow’, ‘she’ll be right, mate!’ kind of way. I still vividly remember having to adjust to the ‘Kiwi way’ in my early years here.

We soon got used to the ‘no flairs’ dress code, that ‘bare-feet’ were all good on almost any occasion and that ‘bring a plate’ and ‘pot luck dinners’ were all the rage. We learned to invite twice the number of people we expected to any BBQ, as Kiwis would casually roll up to the party – or not – depending on how they were ‘travelling’ on a given day – and that was ‘all good’, ‘no worries, mate’!

So, with the ‘big move’ looming on the calendar for the past few months, we’ve been asked, ‘Are you having a leaving doo?’ but have preferred to give the big ‘fanfare’ farewell a miss. Instead, we’ve spent quality time with small groups of friends, from all the different paths we’ve walked during our fifteen years or so of living in New Zealand.

I’m sure our friends won’t mind me sharing a few snapshots from the past few weeks. These photographs mean a lot to us, personally, but – from an outsiders perspective – they also shine a light on the relaxed way of life we’ve enjoyed living in Wellington, New Zealand.

There have been play-date days of gentle farewells at wonderful outdoor cafes…

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Time on the beach to focus on the now and have a breather from the packing and boxes…

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There have been casual evenings with old friends…

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And fun nights with our wonderful neighbours, friends and people that have helped to support us in raising our little Kiwi born children… (It takes a village, you know!).

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And whilst I’ve been at home, looking after our three children, my husband has been working hard to tie together all the logistics and administrative necessities of the big move (as well as holding down his job and being a great father!).  He has had Friday night drinks with his soccer team and old colleagues. Wellington is a close-knit business community and he’s made some amazing friendships over the years.

He has come home to countless requests for assistance with ‘MineCraft’ mods! Thankfully, he has incredible patience… often staying up till 11pm to spend quality time with his older daughters, after having been tied up with work all day.

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As well as entertaining his youngest daughter, with whatever game of the moment she is into… making cars and unicorns talk, or being rolled up like a sausage!

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It’s winter, but the sun has been mostly generous. The ground hasn’t been as calm – but living on the ‘shaky isles’ is something we made a choice to do – certainly keeps us on our toes and has a way of bringing the community closer – even having friends for to sleep over for an impromptu gathering after a rather strong quake!

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So many happy moments of life, simply lived, over the past few weeks. Moments we will treasure always and hold close in our hearts whilst we live on the other side of the Pacific Plate, in California, USA.

From the simple, universal joy and magic of bubbles in the garden with a friend…

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To an outing on Wellington’s beautiful waterfront, where two sisters have a laugh on electric cars and eating gelato…

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IMG_6410We will be back in Wellington, one day, for sure… maybe in a year, or three, or more. We are open to where this adventure will take us and how each person in the family feels.

It’s not as easy as the ‘before children’ days – and the older our children get the more their opinions, as to where to live, matter!

They are so fortunate to have such opportunities to explore.

I am sure, once we’ve settled in Santa Barbara, California, our children will adapt with greater ease than myself!

We shall take every day, every week and every year as it comes…

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8 comments

  1. So … all these things you have done here and all the memories and lessons you have so willingly shared. All the secrets within which you have perhaps deliberately but probably inadvertently revealed to us – your Pinterest likes for example. The enthusiasm you have shown for us – for people and for place, especially the south coast. The loyalty shown to friends and family. The connection to your own family in the UK, especially to parents. The doubts and insecurities you have shared. The love that you have shared. The inspiration you have been. All that and more has been noticed, thought about, reflected upon, sometimes responded to. You are a most remarkable woman and I thank you and again wish you all the very best for the new beginnings in California. We lose, they win.

    1. Such beautiful words,that really stirred deep in my heart. You are extremely perceptive and yes, secrets have been subtly revealed. This journey we are on has so many unknowns, but that is part of the fun – I wouldn’t want it any other way. My gut tells me I will be back in New Zealand – sooner or later – in one way or another. My children will undoubtedly become global citizens, calling their home wherever they lay their passport. I’m beginning to feel more open to this expat living – allowing my heart to be open to new experiences. As much as my heart grows from these experiences it also hurts a little, at leaving a part of it behind with each move. xx

    1. Thanks my fellow expat living friend. I am so thankful to have met you (in real life, twice!) and suspect our paths will meet again (question is – where?!). All the very best on your new chapter that is unfurling since your return to New Zealand xx

  2. Hope the packing went well and best for the next part of the journey. You know we will be thinking of you. Luv

    1. Packing went very well & house looks lovely and uncluttered! Nice to be free of all those toys for a spell 😉 !! Amazed at how well all the pieces of the jigsaw have fitted together. The girls are all coping really well – naturally a few moments of frayed nerves – but on the whole, they are so positive – even young Alice is being a trooper (especially as her special bed went away ‘on the ship for an adventure’ today!). Love you xx

  3. Wow awesome post. You know what they say “Once a king or queen in Narnia, always a king or Queen…” The same applies to NZ. You’ll always be secretly a little but Kiwi now, and all your Kiwi blog followers will look forward to following your new adventures on the other side of the Pacific Plate. Wish we could have met :in person” but who knows – maybe one day we’ll head to California and meet up there? (Disneyland IS on my before-they-grow-up bucket list after all)

    P.S. I have a bloglovin social media button that matches you set if you want ?

  4. All the best with your move Sarah. We too are a globetrotting family, having moved from Wellington to Antwerp and now we are in a small town in northern Virginia. I’ve enjoyed dipping into your blog and look forward to reading about all the new adventures that await 🙂

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