New Year, New Home, New Zealand

Today has been our last full day in England for a while. Tomorrow we fly to New Zealand to begin something wholly new. We don’t know what, but we have a few (billion) ideas.

The last week has been a bit emosh, to say the least. My heart jumps into my throat at the littlest thing- my nephew Hudson reading Ramona her bed time story, looking at photos that have captured fun moments from the last few years, saying weepy, snotty Goodbyes to friends who’ve been my besties since I was seven.

It’s been the most overdrawn goodbye in some ways. We began properly telling everyone that we were moving to New Zealand at the start of the summer, mostly through, er, this blog. *note to self- best to tell employers about such a big move before blogging about it*

Then we said Cheerio and galavanted about Europe, than came back with a broken van, then said Laters again and trundled to Spain, then had a leaving party last week, and now, after a million farewells and six months of preparing to go, it’s here for real, quick as a flash, the time to leave.

I fall in love with New Zealand when I’m there. I really do. I moved there when I was 18 and lived there until I was 24. I met Tim there and when Tim and I were having those hypothetical conversations with each other about the possibility of marriage (you know, “If two people had only just met but really loved each other should one, like, ask the other one to get married? It’s just for a friend…”) he asked me which place I considered home. I didn’t think twice. I’d lived in New Zealand for five gleeful years already, three with my folks about and two more without them, without any family at all; “New Zealand! I never want to leave!”

We left about 18 months later, in response to an urge I had to be close to my sister while she had her first baby. And we’ve been here almost seven years…


My sister and I this week- matching blankets, coats and babies! (She is on her third now.)

For about five generations my family has been fairly nomadic- staying in places for just a couple of years at a time. Every generation, until us, have been ministers of religion, living all over the UK and the world for different vocational roles.

My grandparents, whenever anyone asked them what place they loved the most, which area they called home, would always reply, wherever they were, “Right here!”

I guess it’s in my blood a little bit, eh? This love-the-place-you-are thing.

My folks, this week.

Because right now I really feel I am tearing myself away from here. I feel like the London that I spent much of my childhood in has been in my bones all along. That returning to the neighbourhood I grew up in, and raising my girls for a bit here, has kind of unlocked a deep sense of home, a primal “This is my land! These are my people!” kind of thing. (Also, “These are my fried chicken bones! These are my fallen out hair weaves!” – not a patch of ground exists in South London free of these. But they weren’t actually mine, you see…)

We have just had the most wonderful 7 years here. We’ve made so many good, new friends and have rekindled old ones. We’ve had such a lot of adventures, riding our bikes, joining in protests, communal living, wandering streets, going to festivals, picnicking, swimming in rivers.

We arrive in New Zealand at 11:45pm on the 31st December- that is quarter to 2014! It’ll be weird celebrating the New Year with strangers around the baggage carousel (but I’ve had weirder, especially the one involving lots of elderly Scots and bagpipes.)

So, a new year and a new home, and lots of new adventures awaiting us. I just need to find out what a Zealand is, then I’ll get a new one of those too.

Have a lovely celebration yourself, and I wish you a great sense of hope for the year ahead.

*looks around the room at my family, has a bit more of a cry*

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33 Responses to New Year, New Home, New Zealand

  1. Sonya Cisco says:

    Wishing you so much joy on your new adventure xxx
    Sonya Cisco recently posted…Old Year, New YearMy Profile

  2. 76sunflowers says:

    I love your NZ story and wish you all the best. So pleased to have briefly met you at Camp B back in August ;) My BIL and his family have been drawn back to NZ following 2 yrs in Canada so maybe one day I’ll get to visit. Have a fab fab time x x
    76sunflowers recently posted…Mingles & Jingles Christmas CakeMy Profile

  3. Mary Keynko says:

    Can’t believe we didn’t get to meet in person before you go! Have an awesome time and look forward to reading all about it here! (P.S Son and DIL are planning on a sport of travelling in the net couple of years – I might send them to you for a cuppa!)

  4. Teeny says:

    Where are you going to be staying here (NZ)?
    I’d love to get together a ‘welcome’ type package for you so, if you like, and don’t find it too creepy you can message me your post address once you know where you will be. I live in the Wellington region….but not IN Wellington. More like, out in the sticks over the motorway and beyond. I’d find it hard to move away from my family now that we are all in one spot. Take care.
    Teeny recently posted…Budget Birthday giftsMy Profile

  5. Stephanie Ward says:

    I’ve lived half my life in the UK and half in NZ and consider both to be home, so hard that they are about as far away from each other as you can get! But, I love your sentiment of loving where you are now, and I am sure you will find your new place with some awesome people. And, small town NZ has some AWESOME op shops :) Happy New Year.

    • Lucy says:

      It is such a PAIN that they are so very far away form each other! It’s really the distance that makes this just so so hard.
      I CANT WAIT FOR THE OPSHOPS!!!
      Also, I CANT WAIT FOR THE INVENTION OF SUPER ROCKETS so we can zoom about in micro seconds. Get on that, science, okay?!

  6. Carly says:

    All the best with the move! I did the same thing last year and can say I did not regret it at all! I was very nervous but we love living back in New Zealand it has so much to offer and is perfect for kids :) Hope you settle in well and Happy New Year xx

  7. Roger Driver-Burgess says:

    Feeling for you as you leave, Lucy. I know you’re going to love it here, but I’m glad you’re coming from a place of connectedness, too.
    Thinking of you.
    Blessings
    Roger

  8. Notmyyearoff says:

    It sounds like you are moving home away from home. I wish you all the best and look forward to reading your new adventures :)
    Notmyyearoff recently posted…Silent Sunday / Project 52 – Week 52My Profile

  9. Emma says:

    You are about to start the emotional roller coaster that is expat life! As much as it drives me mad sometimes, I wouldn’t have it any other way… Good luck, bon voyage and bon courage! :)

  10. Anna says:

    Oh good luck! What an adventure! We were just talking yesterday about living in NZ and then I came home and read this post (and the previous oneā€¦) and I felt all emotional ha ha! I can’t wait to hear all about the adventure on the blog next year! Exciting times! X
    Anna recently posted…Mothering without a motherMy Profile

  11. I was going to wish you good luck but as you are in fact going ‘home’ I wish you happiness, health and hopes that you’ll regularly update us with beautiful photos and stories of what you have been up to
    Boo Roo and Tigger Too recently posted…Kids Say The Smurfiest ThingsMy Profile

  12. Aw, I’m tearing up and homesick for London after reading this, and I live in New York!

    Thank you for sharing such a lovely personal story. Just the other day I was saying to my husband, “please let’s sell everything and move to France. couldn’t we?”

    Best of luck, excited to hear about your new adventures. I understand Hobbits live in New Zealand, so I want to travel there someday.

  13. Valerie says:

    Good luck guys! I am sure you will have wonderful adventures. My sister lives in NZ just outside Auckland with her husband, kids, goats, chickens etc lol and I know they LOVE it. If I ever make it to see my sister I will let you know, we may even bring you a souvenir from Blighty. Safe travels
    Valerie
    xxx
    Valerie recently posted…A Little Bit Of Our ChristmasMy Profile

  14. Emma says:

    OMG I’m so excited for you!! The leaving part is so hard but the adventures will be wonderful and I for one can’t wait to read about them. Stay safe and God speed babe xxxx
    Emma recently posted…Christmas QuicktakesMy Profile

  15. Samantha Mertler says:

    So weird! I lived in New Zealand for just shy of 5 years. 2003-2007. I’ve been back in Canada for coming up on 7 years.. New Zealand totally spoke to my soul and I thought I’d live there forevermore.. But haven’t made it back. Good luck it’ll be awesome.

  16. Paula says:

    Oh, eee! I just found your blog and live in NZ. Happy travels! Where will you be settling?

  17. Mia says:

    All the best xx
    Mia recently posted…Another miscarriageMy Profile

  18. emily says:

    My best mate lives in New Zealand and she feel the same kind of 2 way pull you describe every time she visits us back in the UK. Have a wonderful time and do keep us posted of your adventures. xx
    emily recently posted…Merry Christmas!My Profile

  19. All the best to you and your family! It must be so exciting and yet so difficult to say goodbye, but that’s the way of adventure, right? Looking forward to reading about life in your new home in the New Year. X
    LondonHeather recently posted…AdventMy Profile

  20. Pingback: Oh, yeah, also: NEW BLOG! You are going to want to marry it... | Lulastic and the hippyshake

  21. Lady Demelza says:

    Lucy, I am so thrilled about you moving to New Zealand, because it means I can come and visit you. I hope you don’t mind that I’m inviting myself over, because I’ve already decided that’s what I’m going to do. Don’t worry, I haven’t even got a passport yet, so I won’t be rocking up before you’ve had a chance to get settled. No need to put the kettle on just yet.
    Lady Demelza recently posted…Lady Demelza’s Year in Books 2013My Profile

    • Lady Demelza says:

      Umm, it just occurred to me that that possibly sounded a bit over-excited about lunatic stalker-ish… gosh, I’m so crap at communicating in these little comment boxes. Perhaps what I should have said was… Lucy, I’ve never been to NZ, even though I lived as close as Tasmania for several years. I’ve been thinking I’d love to get my passport again and come see NZ. You being there makes it all the more exciting. When I get there, I’d love to come and pop in for a cup of tea. Especially if it were served in one of your lovely tea cups.

  22. Crystal says:

    Good luck! I hope you guys are settling in to your new home in the glorious summer sun. Wishing you joyous days filled with love and laughter x
    Crystal recently posted…Placenta smoothiesMy Profile

  23. BabyCalmCorinne says:

    Welcome to NZ :) Sounds like you’re in the Nth Is. at the moment. Feel free to visit us if you’re down in Chch later on :)

  24. Cara says:

    Congratulations on making the move! I read your most recent posts about you being in NZ and got all confused thinking I’m sure Lucy is a UK blogger. I read back until I found this post. We were actually over in NZ 16 Dec to 10 Jan visiting family for a wedding. What a wonderful place for you to raise your family. We split our time between Auckland, Mount Maunganui and Whitianga (my favourite place-the coastline was amazing here.) My children had a ball of a time. I agree that most trees have a swing in them. I look forward to following your further adventures. Ps there is a gorgeous campsite at the base of Mount Maunganui if you ever get down that way. We wandered around it lots admiring the caravans and camper homes. I must find the time to blog it all x

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