there’s no place like home

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It’s a funny feeling when you’re about to head home for the first time in two years. Combine it with being a surprise trip for my 30th (ew!) birthday – I actually felt more nervous than excited when I left my office in East London to head west for Heathrow.

What if no one cares that I’m back? What if everything’s changed? What if I don’t get along with anyone anymore? What if the place I have always kept so dear to my heart, is no longer a place I feel at home in, connected with, or happy to be in?

I honestly needn’t have worried. The second I stepped off the plane and heard that kiwi accent I knew I was home.

If anyone is ever planning a surprise trip to the other side of the world…do it. Don’t get me wrong; it’s hard, it’s stressful and involves a lot of lying – but the look on people’s faces and the sheer joy and excitement generated from popping up in real life not on-screen after two years away when they’re least expecting it, is absolutely priceless. I still get goose bumps and tears in my eyes thinking back to the moment I surprised three very special groups of people. Continue reading

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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

wai?

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Sitting at home on the eve of Waitangi Day with a glass of wine cup of tea reading the news (#rockstarlondonlife) I was anticipating a bit of patrisim. The New Zealand Herald, Stuff.co.nz and Facebook were my voyers to life at home. Alas. My patriotic excitement was flatened like the Punakaikai Pancake Rocks. I felt like I had been slapped in my kiwi face with a chocolate fish.

Negativity consumed the media. I don’t know why I was expecting to read or see anything different – maybe it’s because I’m 18,324km from home – rose tinted glasses, grass is greener and all that jazz – because in reality year on year the majority of the country’s patriarchy is clouded by the minority radicals and the political issues surrounding our national day.

Us expats over in London will find any reason to celebrate our roots, boast about our clean, green islands a world away from the real world and all of its problems. So while us girls didn’t join the 30 odd thousand Kiwi’s on the annual pubcrawl through central London, we explored five different supermarkets across three potscodes to find the perfect ingredients for our own Waitangi Day celebration. Continue reading

blue with envy

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So it’s your first winter in London. You’re not overly concerned – winter lasts around 3 months, temperatures rarely drop below 13 degrees and summer is just around the corner – right?

WRONG.

Turns out, London does this winter thing quite differently to Auckland. It’s rarely above 7 degrees (actually, that’s quite tropical here…), it’s dark all the time, you have to face it front on morning and night due to your heavy complete reliance on public transport and the supposed three-month season goes on and on and on…and on. The sight of sunshine and blue skies and the feeling of warmth seem like a faint and distant memory that you think once happened but is so far out of your grasp it’s now more like a cruel torture method than a comforting memory.

If dealing with winter and all of his sidekicks wasn’t hard enough – trying to cope with your social media news feed is the real kick you in the crotch, spit on the neck fantastic. Continue reading

a.k.l.

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Auckland
New Zealand
Home ♥

When the rest of the world think of New Zealand  – or those who have heard of our little islands at the bottom of the world – more often than not, they think of the South Island. They look past the largest city in the country and think mainly of hobbiton or the mountainous, lakeside, glacial, views.

Don’t get me wrong. The South Island is absolutely stunning, but poor Auckland often gets forgotten and missed from a travel itinerary – because it’s just a city. I can hear all you South Islanders cringing as I type..us Aucklanders cop a lot of flack from the rest of the country, i.e. our nickname being  JAFA’s (Just Another F***ing Aucklander…) but I stand strong as a born and bred Aucklander and believe that Auckland is absolutely a destination that should make it on to any NZ travel itinerary. Continue reading