After a whirlwind 6 months in Melbourne, I welcomed my family into Australia and wrapped up my final days in Australia by laughing, reminiscing, and eating everything in sight. It was amazing to show my family where I have been living, but my heart felt really heavy with the weight of leaving behind such wonderful friends that have become family, an amazing first job out of college, and memories that will last me a lifetime. I left Melbourne feeling a mixture of sadness for the city that built a part of me and anxiety with a sliver of hope for my future life in London.
Some of my greatest friends in life have come from New Zealand, but I had absolutely no clue what was on this island in the middle of nowhere. Madi planned this leg of our trip so that I could take a breather and relax. After all, this was the only summer I would be getting until August, so I figured I deserved some restorative time to myself.
Little did I know that Mom had booked an exquisite 1970’s beach house right on Takapuna beach, complete with dreamy white walls, retro furniture, and the beach as our backyard. We spent the week with all the windows open, bare feet traipsing across sand colored tiles, with a sky of blue and sea of green at our beck and call. The sunsets and sunrises settled my nerves and the beauty of this tropical paradise became my personal detox that allowed me to clear my mind and just sleep in the sun with a book in hand. There are so many pleasures in life, but I find a good nap on the beach with the sun bringing out your freckles and the wind tickling your legs is pretty hard to beat.
So all in all, we slept in the sun, swam in the sea, paddled boarded our hearts out, and ate more dessert than I thought was humanly possible. I was able to see one of my best camp friends, Taylor, and it was so lovely to catch up with her carefree lifestyle on this beautiful island. She has and always will be one of my favorite friends who is always a call away with unending warmth and laughter.
It was also such fun to explore Auckland with my family and relax together. We don’t get much time together, so it’s always such a treat to be around them. I also love long walks with my mom, because she is so wise and helps me sort through my emotions, thoughts, and feelings. We went up to the Sky Tower, which freaked me out to no end, and then walked through the War Memorial Museum. We were also fortunate enough to see the famous Auckland glow worms in the caves! We took a boat through this really dark cave and had to be extremely quiet in order to make sure the worms weren’t spooked. They were such a brilliant blue and it was like Avatar in real life!!
It felt as though I was laying all my little silly burdens in the sand and leaving them in New Zealand to embrace a better, clearer version of myself in 2019. Hopefully I am able to finally settle down in London, develop a good group of friends, and find my niche in my dream city. Cross your fingers that it all works out!