Six years

When I arrived in the UK, I was 23 years old, with an open mind and no expectations to what the future holds.

Since then I have been on countless adventures, visited many countries (some multiple times), made dear friends and met the most amazing man. I’m still with the same company and am currently enjoying a secondment as the Deptuty Manager for Master’s Admissions.

New Zealand still holds a place in my heart – and my accent is still holding strong. The distance between me and my family and friends back home can be hard at times, and I’m looking forward to visiting in December.

Six years on, it seems fitting that I am once again completing some last minute packing…this time for a long weekend in New York with my love.

20 years on

It’s still March 12 in London, well at least for another hour and a half, but with the time difference it is already March 13 in New Zealand.

Twenty years ago my life changed forever, when my mum lost the love of her life – my father. He was a really good man and I miss him every day.

One of my brothers said to me the 13th is a day of reflection and I like that approach. In the last 20 years, I have moved halfway around the world, travelled to 33 countries (some of them multiple times), met the love of my life and grown as a person.

I was fortunate to grow up in a loving family, surrounded by positive role models who encourage and inspire me every day. My dad was one of these people – his selflessness in helping others is something I will always remember, as well as the importance of family.

In 1991 he wrote in a letter to his aunt ‘…This is a bit of a ramble but actually it made me stop and think about each of the kids individually. I would have to admit to being very proud of each and everyone of them. With the various strengths to be found among them they present a formidabe force to be reckoned with when working together’.

It seems strange that tomorrow is just another day, when it feels like so much more. But I will follow my brother’s advice and reflect upon the past and my personal development and growth and I will raise a glass on toast to your memory Dad x

Five Years Ago Today

Five Years ago today, I arrived in the UK. Life in London always seems to move so fast and the years have truly flown by.

Looking back, this was definitely the right move for me. It can be hard at times with the distance and whilst technology definitely plays a part in keeping in touch, it’s not quite the same as real human interaction. But you make the most of the time you do get together and video call the rest.

I love being able to travel; to see the world and experience different cultures. Part of my heart will always be in New Zealand, but over the years England has also developed roots in my soul.

I have visited so many incredible places, made wonderful friends, had some crazy adventures and met the most amazing man.

Five years on, and still loving it.

Reflections in the frozen pond

5, 4, 3, 2, 1…’Happy New Year’…and then begin the resolutions and reflections.

One of the biggest lessons I have learnt in life is that life itself is unpredictable. That does not mean that everything is flung together in chaos and we frantically cling to the liferaft of sanity (although on occasion that does occur). Moreso, that on ocassion the unexpected happens and throws us for a loop.

We become adept at procrastination, putting things off – not out of malice or spite but because we believe we have more time. This blog post has taken almost 2 weeks to write because one train ride to work was not enough (and another 4 weeks to post because I keep forgetting when I reconnect to wifi to publish).

I have been reflecting a lot lately on the things we often leave unsaid because we think we will have another opportunity or the things we leave undone because tomorrow awaits. I believe every day is an opportunity to live life to the fullest, to tell your friends and family the things you appreciate about them or to book the trip you have been thinking about for months.

In surrounding ourselves by those that inspire us to be our best self when we look into the frozen pond not only is our outer beauty reflected but also our inner radiance. Looking back at the past year, I can see the difference this has made for me.

2016 was not a good year, I was unhappy at work and it began to affect my personal life and relationship with friends. 2017 was so much better, work had improved and had become a more encouraging environment in which to grow and my mental health and happinness prospered.

I have the love of a good man and I have some amazing friends and family who encourage and inspire me. I am proud of what I have overcome and am grateful for the experiences so that I can truly appreciate what I have now. I am truly excited to see what 2018 holds.

My Top Ten of 2017

It has been over a year since I lasted posted…which is not ideal but things have been busy. To get back into it I thought I would start off with my top 10 of 2017.

In no particular order my top 10 is:

  1. Meeting Abdul; a truly amazing man who makes me feel special every day and is also probably the biggest doughnut I know.
  2. My sister’s wedding; getting to be a part of Michaela and Jared’s special day was definitely a highlight of 2017.
  3. Trip home to New Zealand; it may have flown by, but a month at home was definitely overdue. Was so nice getting to catch up with family and friends.
  4. Travel; with so many trips to pick from it is hard to single out just one – Iceland, Liverpool, Disneyland Paris, Basingstoke, Budapest, Barcelona, Oxford, Italy, New Zealand and Brussels were all fabulous in their own way.
  5. Friends (regardless of distance between us); who have kept me sane, laughed at my jokes and shared in my joy.
  6. Seeing the Northern Lights with my mum was an unforgettable experience and a magical moment to share.
  7. Ringing in the New Year with my love and a few drinks after a delicious meal.
  8. Finding the house in Liverpool my Dad spent his first few years in before his family made the move to New Zealand.
  9. My family; crazy, strong individuals who inspire me every day.
  10. My activities; netball, fighting fit and strength & body.

2017 was an amazing year and I think 2018 is going to be even better. Over the past couple of years I have learnt the importance of doing the things that make you happy and surrounding yourself with the people you love. Life is too short to be tangled up in the weeds of negativity.

Footprints in the mind

Yesterday you would have been 67, I had a drink for you.

I’m reminded of your kindness and your goodness and hope that I make you proud every day.

I remember how you had a hypo at my first communion and needed to drink my cola drink to give you the sugar you needed. You felt so bad, you bought me a proper coke afterwards. It made me feel special that I could help you.

You were a good man and constantly put others first. You and mum were pillars of strength, from which I draw inspiration. I can’t recall a time when you weren’t helping out with one thing or another.

I may have only had you for just over 9 years, but unlike footprints in the sand that wash away with the tide, the impressions you made on me will be imprinted in my mind and heart forever.

Happy birthday Daddy. Love you.

Return from blogging hiatus

‘You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.’ – Dr. Seuss

‘Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. Oh! The places you’ll go!’ – Dr. Seuss

I know I have been very quiet on the blogging front lately. A lot has been going on in the last six months and whilst normally I would process it by writing about it, this time it felt more appropriate to process in private. But now I’m back…

Three years ago I was packing up my belongings and saying goodbye to the my safety net of friends and family and plunging head first in the depths of the unknown.

I have made so many amazing friends in the last three years and built up a new life from scratch. I’m still me, but stronger and more confident. Based in London I’m afforded the opportunity of regular travel and have managed to add to the number of countries travelled that I’m now at an even 22 with so many more places to see.

It can be hard being so far away from the people back home and having to take part in the big moments from the sidelines, but distance only means so much. Thankfully with technology today it is a lot easier to keep in touch.

Tomorrow is my three-year anniversary of arriving in London and much like this time last year I plan to celebrate over a few drinks with friends.

For those of you keeping track, since moving to London, here is a list of places I have travelled:

Places I've been between 30 May 2013 and 29 May 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Batteries running low

Two years, six months and 6 days (8 by the time I’m back) ago I left my safety net I had built up in New Zealand and headed over to the UK to start a new adventure in life.

And boy what an adventure…so many cities visited, so many people met. I have no regrets in my decision to leave, it was exactly what I needed. However, it hasn’t always been easy. There have been quite a few moments where being so far away from my family has been hard; only being able to share in grief, joy, concern and celebrations from the big screen rather than the sidelines.

However, for a month, I’m off the bench and back in the starting line up and I’m super excited. Two of the biggest changes since I was last home, is the birth of my youngest nephew and the passing of my gran. It will be different being back after so long, but even an energiser bunny eventually runs out of juice and I can’t think of a better place to recharge than New Zealand.

But don’t worry England, I will be back in January…

Checking in

The saying goes time flies when you are having fun. It would seem the same applies for when you are extremely busy. Months begin to meld together and you start sentences saying “last year” when you meant “last week”.

The last five months have whizzed by so quickly and at the same time felt so long. Apologies to all for the recent blogging hiatus, especially those who sent me very friendly emails to make sure I was okay and still alive. Between travelling, work and moving flats – life has been hectic and my blogging has taken a direct hit as a result.

I am aiming to be a bit more regular with my blogs again and entertain (hopefully) those of you still listening with my ramblings. So just checking in to let you all know I haven’t checked out.