Piha, Places in NZ, Traveling, Working with Kids
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Closing the New Zealand chapter, starting the long journey home

For the past six months today’s date has been marked red in my agenda – the day I would leave New Zealand and start my long journey homewards. And as usual it came far too quick. Whenever I read retrospective blog entries – people looking back on specific chapters of their lives which are coming to an end – it seems that they’re always blocking out the bad stuff. We only remember the good things and leave with that glorious feeling of having had the time of our lives. We go home with the words “It was amazing” ready on our lips, prepared to throw them back to everybody asking “How was it?” And yet giving them no idea what kind of suffering and growth you went through at the same time…

As I sit in the middle of my huge luggage pile I am shocked that the exact same thing is just happening to me too. I look back on all the amazing times I had in Auckland with the dance company, the adventures with the ski instructor folks in Wanaka, the peaceful and fun times out here in Piha…. and suddenly I realise it has already turned into past, those times are over, the chapter is coming to an end as I type this. Of course all these painful memories, the nights when I was freezing, the times when I felt lonely and miserable, those moments when I just wished I was home – they are stored somewhere in my brain too. But surprisingly, they don’t carry the “BAD” stamp. Instead they are labeled as “experiences”, as “instructive” and as “personal development”. Must be a sign that I am finally growing up… Thank you, New Zealand and all the people I’ve met here, for accompanying me on the way.

PS: I am surprised that this blog post went into a completely different direction than I had imagined. Initially the plan was to tell you about my amazing last days in Piha. The warm farewell dinner with the family that has grown so close to my heart, a last surf with Shane at South Piha beach, Ruby following me all the way from the surf spot to the house to say good-bye in her way, packing my bags and actually getting them ready in time for departure (with Poppy’s help though – who wanted to play Ski Instructor one last time……)

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