two years a londoner

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Two years ago today I was on the brink of my biggest challenge yet. I was consumed with butterflies, a complete mix of nerves and excitement, I’m not sure I’ve ever felt such a mix of emotions in one day. One month; I walked with a new spring in my step. Three months; I never wanted to move home. Six months; my new normal hit, reality bites. One year; I was enveloped in pride. 18 months; I could see my life at home, but I couldn’t see me in it.

Two years? The jury’s still out.

The Great London Conundrum. Continue reading

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the beauty of an escape

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Living in London is great. It’s fast, it’s vibrant and it’s busy – a far cry from the quiet serenity of the North Shore of Auckland. There is always something to do and that is part of my new homes beauty. You can never really claim boredom in England’s capital, however sometimes it gets exhausting, draining even.

When I used to feel exhausted at the end of a long week back home, I’d head home from work, cross the harbour bridge and escape to one of the nine beaches within a few minutes drive or walk from my doorstep. Whether it be walking around the rocks, sitting on the sand, or going for a swim; the beach was always my escape – my haven. Over here it’s a lot harder to escape. Firstly, I don’t have a car to jump in to and drive off in to the wilderness in – but also, I’m now miles from a coastline – which although is something I knew I would struggle with, my prediction being correct doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Continue reading

the more golden than red ticket

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It’s a weird feeling when you go to book a flight somewhere but can’t go through with the final step because the standard everyday, black and silver passport you have used your entire life won’t suffice.

Until my early to mid twenties, I never realised the true beauty of my mother being English. I will forever be grateful for being brought up to speak what my mother calls ‘properly’, without the kiwi twang, for the introduction at a young age to sherbet lemons, hula hoops & walkers crisps and the amazing department store Santa’s grotto’s at Christmas time – but it’s the realisation of the meaning behind my dual nationality that really takes the cake.

Until her final days, my grandmother – who I dare you to find a woman more British than she – called my sister and I “Pom-Iwi’s”. This amalgamation of slang was something we grew up perceiving as weird and something we never really understood or cared about. I now see what her term means and how it personifies the official paperwork that will help form my path over the next few years.

With my passport currently at Her Majesty’s Passport Office in Liverpool awaiting renewal, I can see that it’s pure existence changes things quite drastically for me;

  • I don’t need to apply or nervously wait for acceptance of a two year visa
  • I can walk in to England through the citizens line at customs
  • I can apply for any job I like
  • I’m not bound to the two year restriction with the fear of not being sponsored if I wish to stay on
  • I can flee back to little old NZ if I get homesick, and return to London years down the track without having potentially wasted my precious visa and limited my chance of living the London life

I grew up being told by my father, who is as Kiwi as my grandmother was British, that my not as pretty red passport would one day be my ticket to the world. Now that I am at a place in my life where I am eager to make the move across the globe, I see the little 36 page book that I once viewed as meaningless and associated with brussel sprouts and the cold, as more of a golden than red ticket.

Continue reading