Missing our life in New Zealand

As beautiful as it is here in Santa Barbara, California, I’m missing so much of our home in New Zealand. People will say I’m ‘nuts’, since much of New Zealand is currently experiencing full on spring storms of destructive proportions, whilst the climate here is very easy to live with, but I love the ‘wild’ of our home in Wellington and need to have a fix of it – so am sharing some photographs of my home with this post.

Lyall Bay

I know I should ‘just get on with it’, ‘make the most of it’, ‘live in the moment’, ya de ya… but right now, I just want to have a moment to reflect on what I’m missing – and be happy knowing that this time living here is only temporary after all (so, yes, I should ‘make the most of it’!).

A larger reason for my melancholy is the ebb and flow of my children’s happiness – and right now, as much as they are fine in the house we are living right now, they – like me – are missing their friends and their home in New Zealand.

We’ve done with the darker evenings of winter and find our bodies ready for lighter evenings of spring, but the nights are drawing in fast here for ‘Fall’ – though it isn’t autumn like we know it. I cannot imagine not seeing the spring bloom of the Kowhai and hearing the trill of the Tui. Four seasons in one day, barely catching my breath in the spring winds.

The scent of the air, on Wellington’s south coast, and the roar of the waves in the bays, cutting through the rocks.

Island Bay

The crystal blue of the sky, that is a deeper hue of blue than anywhere else I have been.

The clarity of light and the amazing night skies.

The rich lush of the bush, with every hue of green, luminescent with vibrant life, from city to sea.

Wellington harbour from Te Papa, museum

The freedom to step out my front door and be running by the sea in moments, or through native bush in the town belt reserves. Sweeping vistas for miles around, distant mountains across the Strait, towering to the sky from the South Island’s majestic land mass. Fantails flitting around me as I run, matching my steps with every beat of their wings, searching for insects that my footsteps disturb, hoping for a snack, whilst I seek out a moment of time.

Rainbows aplenty on my southcoast runs

The cafes with views, the people that make the most amazing coffee and serve it with love. Friends that know us, no ‘getting to know you’, no explanations, just friendly acceptance, support and understanding.

Maranui cafe, Lyall Bay

It’s so tempting right now to jump on a plane back to Wellington, living on the edge in the beautiful shaky isles, where the weather always keeps you on your toes, never complacent, makes you feel so alive and appreciative of the sunshine between the showers.

Kite flying on Lyall Bay beach

Where the land is green and lush and the scenery is breathtaking. A place where the ground itself is forever moving, growing, changing, just like every cell in our own beings.

Kapiti coast


  1. What beautiful words Sarah NZ will always be there for you take each day and find those words to express what’s stunning and precious about where you find yourself now x maybe you could all write your thoughts about what is great about SB and the adventure that you are on xxx love to you all x

  2. I love the way you have written about New Zealand here. So beautiful and descriptive. Almost poetic. My kids were talking about how they are going to travel when they are old enough and I was saying to them how travel away from NZ is the one way of making you really appreciate what we have here. xx

  3. Remember the feelings when we moved here from Penarth and how I missed not being near to the sea. Feeling for you so much – Just keep taking one day at a time.

  4. It’s hard yards – and welcome to life as an expat,
    Im sure you’ll find it harder still because everyone back home expects you should be having a flat out great time. There are so many factors at play that no advice is the right advice, and no comfort the same as what you need or miss. I’m a Kiwi who brought my family first to Belgium and then to USA, it is at once wonderful and terrible and wonderful again then…
    I met an expat English woman who worked for Twitter in San Fran the other week and as she said when we talked about my fantastic wife going through much the same as you describe here – she needs woman time, a woman to share things with and be loose and crazy and her self and not herself…
    For sure I think she is right – hopefully that may bring some comfort to you and your partner (because i know what strains it puts all around),
    Keep blogging, it’s therapeutic, keep talking, crying, being in the moment and enjoying the difference, keep loving NZ theres a bloody good reason for that;
    you’re not crazy, you’re just like a lot of us. Ok you are crazy, no you’re not , yes, no…

    Laugh a lot if you can – it’s easier to dry up the tears 🙂

    1. Cheers Richard for taking the time to write such a lovely, supportive comment, which made me smile, laugh and feel better. This is my second expat move – I moved from the UK to NZ 17 years ago and it took me so many of those years to ‘let go’ and fully immerse myself – (it was supposed to be a two year contract for hubbie, but 3 children later and all the rest… I ended up feeling NZ was very much home and it is). This current venture isn’t intended to be long term for the family. I know, without children to worry about, I’d be having a blast – but their happiness is of course central to my own – and it’s hard without my support networks. But, I know it’s just ‘time’ and we’ll get there. Very thankful for your kind words 🙂 Sarah

      1. You’re welcome Sarah, if you ever have reason to be in DC or Virginia We would welcome the chance to host your family and reminisce over a good Sauvignon and a Yorkshire pudding!

  5. Hi Sarah – just reading what my husband wrote – aw shucks – he is such a lovely man! But he sums it up so eloquently. You are so allowed to miss NZ – looking at your photos just made me want to be in Welly so much. And it is hard when all those people say “just make the most of it” etc. etc. Even if you are only going to be there a short time it still takes time to settle – it doesn’t happen over night. And as you say when you are doing the expat thing with kids its a whole extra layer to contend with.Is there an expat kiwi network in SB? I know we are really struggling here in Viriginia without a group of people who understand all the ins and outs – our expat circle was a big help in Belgium. Kia kaha – going to watch the kiwi sailors kick butt today?? 🙂

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