Saturday, May 30, 2015

Summers End - Part Two

Alas, the time has come. One chapter is coming to an end and a new chapter will begin.

Change is hard and as we write this we remind ourselves that when we started this blog over 5 years ago- yes it has been five years- we were facing the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

Looking back we remember how difficult it was saying goodbye to all our family and friends, packing up our home, and moving across the planet. Of course it was also exciting. Going to a new country with lots of unknown ahead. When we left we thought it would only be for a couple of years. Little did we know how much we would love New Zealand, what amazing friendships we would make, and how utterly entrenched in a life here we would become. 

We did not know it was possible, but we honestly have two homes now. New Zealand will always be a place we travel back to. To visit and to see friends. We may even return again in the future; we can. We now have Permanent Residency status. We will have to renew our drivers licenses in 2020, -lol. But it is time that we head back to the States. Time to reconnect with our family and friends there. Our parents are not getting any younger, and we wish to be closer to them at this point.

Our return plans are still being sorted, but we are looking to be back the end of June. At this stage, we do not yet know where we will be settling back in. We don't have jobs lined up and that will eventually determine the where. We will start with landing in San Diego for a bit and start the search from there. Perhaps a job offer will come between now and then and we will adjust the plan. There are a few irons in the fire, but nothing for certain.

We have Myztyc our kitty  to transport along with some of our belongings. We will be selling a lot of our furniture and our 220v electronics (as they are useless in the states) and starting fresh. We are looking forward to that. 

We are expecting this to be a bit of a shock to the system. Similar to learning to drive on the other side of the road and understanding the kiwi accent. It takes some time...

While we have continued to visit the U.S. over the last 5 years, visiting and living are very different.  Eric and I have shared a single car for the last 5 years. We will now need to get 2 cars upon returning.  And we have no idea what the current rate is to insure two cars and drivers, but I bet it's not $350.00 NZD per year. We will have to sort out medical insurance - certainly not looking forward to that.

So we find ourselves thinking about all the differences, all the things that we will miss about New Zealand. And we try to think about the things we will look forward to. Yes there are those too.

Neither place is perfect, they both have great aspects and both have their faults. We are often asked in our travels what they are. Some are small, little things; others are larger more significant things.
Here is a partial list- And I am sure we have left some things out.

We do not need pennies and nickels -they are useless
We can drive and parallel park (mostly) on the other side of the road
Traffic circles are better than four way stops
Meat pies are okay sometimes
Cicadas are cool, we love the sound
Bird songs are unique and cool
I wish I had a kiwi accent
Less is sometimes more
220 power is great when you want hot water/ electric kettle instead of 
stove top teapot
Insulation is better when not just a concept 
The Metric System is MUCH better and can be learned - eventually
Whitakers Chocolate is sooo good
High fructose corn syrup is evil
Reasonable Portion sizes
Eggs are brown and don't need to be refrigerated
Quality of life isn’t about things
Healthy priorities

The U.S. has a sense of entitlement, and decadence that can be embarrassing 
Too materialistic 

Too much time is spent sitting in traffic

We will look forward to:
Central heating and air
Double pane windows
Screens on the windows
Books!  And the Overall cost of goods being much less expensive 

And if course some our favorite foods- 
In-n-Out Burger - burgers in general
Mexican food
Frozen yogurt

But if you ever get the opportunity to travel and live someplace outside of the U.S. for a period of time. We highly recommend it. It gives you an amazing perspective, and will change your world-view and highlight all the various things you take for granted. You’ll notice things you never noticed before, and learn things about yourself you might not otherwise learn.

For our last few weeks we intend to soak in as  much of Wellington, New Zealand as we can.

The zepherometer has been repaired and reinstalled -a favorite local icon.

One last dessert (for now) feast at Strawberry Fare
A walk along the coast
Hot chocolate at Scortch-o-rama

We will spend as much time as we can with our remarkable friends and make plans to Skype them regularly although it won't be the same. 

And we will be bringing back with us a little reminder of our amazing 5 year adventure - we have each gotten a tattoo designed that is our memento. Yes I- Ms. needle phobic, braved it. Yes it hurt! 
But I love it and am glad I did it. It is on my ankle and the tail wraps around it, and of course it is a dragon but in a style more traditional of New Zealand. (photo taken just after a few days so it is still slightly red)

Eric's is more Middle-earth/Tolkien focused  and incorporates both Dwarven and Elvish writing. Thank you to Daniel Reeve for his beautiful caligraphy work. It says "There and back again a Middle-earth adventure. The road goes ever on. And thank you to the talented artists at Sinatra Tattoo - Nathan and Damian.

So what will become of this blog? Not sure. Might continue it for a few months back in the states to be able to end it with where we land…or not. Might try to transfer it into a photo book to keep as a journal of our last 5 years. 

We hope that those of you that have been following along have enjoyed it. We have loved the adventure! 

We are looking forward to the future, to our next new adventure wherever it may take us.

Love to all,
Poroporoaki hoki inaianei
(Farewell for now )

Stacy & Eric

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