After eleven years of travelling and living overseas, I am edging ever closer to the move back to my home country of New Zealand.
It has been coming for a while. I thought that living in Sydney, which is only three hours from New Zealand and therefore a quick and easy trip away, would be enough but the truth is that I feel more homesick here than ever.
I love Sydney and it will forever be one of my favourite cities in the world but when it comes down to it, there is something missing. I don’t fully feel like I belong here. I am not Australian and I never will be.
Because I am a proud New Zealander.
Some days I am completely in love with this place. My homesickness dissolves and I can’t bear the thought of leaving. We live in a beautiful Art Deco apartment that is within walking distance to pristine native bush and numerous white sand beaches. I can hike all year round and swim for six months of the year. I have some amazing friends here.
But there is always that nagging doubt. Deep down I know that I am not meant to end up here and that New Zealand is calling for me to return. I have ignored it for long enough.
So we are moving back.
This move is still a while away, after all I will be travelling for a year from next month. I should be returning from my trip in early July next year and I will be looking for a six-seven month contract to save some money for the move (and some more travelling). We are looking to travel in Patagonia and Brazil for around two months from January or February 2017 and then we will be flying into Auckland.
Another reason for this big unplanned move is to get Trav permanent residency in New Zealand. We realised a while ago that he wasn’t on the path to Permanent Residency here in Australia and to get on the right path would cost about $8000, and the time he has already spent here wouldn’t count towards residency. We had only ever planned to stay in Sydney for four years and had talked about possibly cutting it short and moving to New Zealand. The visa situation was a sign. I feel like this is what we are meant to do.
Luckily me and Trav are on the same page with this. Trav loves New Zealand and is looking forward to the move.
We are hoping to move to Wellington, the small and funky capital city, as it has a gorgeous harbour with bags of culture, incredible dining and coffee, lots of job opportunities, and easy access to hiking trails in the numerous regional parks and forests surrounding the city. It is also close to the mountains for snowboarding and there are a few surf spots for Trav.
Getting out into nature is important to most Wellingtonians, despite the less than stellar weather. The city has a cute nickname ‘Windy Welly’ because the wind is notorious there. It is something that we would have to get used to.
Although we may not be able to make as much money as in Sydney, the cost of living is a lot lower and we can actually get a house with three bedrooms and a backyard with sea views for the same price as our tiny two bedroom apartment with no outdoor space in Manly.
If Wellington doesn’t work out for us then we will be heading to the outskirts of Auckland to either live on Waiheke Island or on the wild west coast beaches. To be honest, I don’t mind either way and there are benefits (and downfalls) to living in both cities.
I have no doubt that I will miss Sydney when we leave, just like how I miss London, Auckland and Vancouver now. That is just something you have to live with if you choose a life of travel. There will always be somewhere that you miss.
I don’t imagine we will be back for good. I still have my heart set on living in Vancouver so we will be working to make that a reality in the next five years. I would also love to live in San Francisco, Hong Kong, Cape Town, somewhere in Argentina and back in the UK. There are so many amazing places in the world.
But New Zealand is next and we couldn’t be happier.