On Love, London and Leaving New Zealand

When the song comes on I’m sat in my parent’s kitchen in England, drinking green tea at the long wooden table in the middle of the room.

I’ve got my iPod on shuffle while I type away at my laptop and all of a sudden a song comes on that immediately pulls me back to Auckland.

Mount Eden, Auckland

I’m in bed, the covers are blue and white, and the room is cold.  I’ve tried heating it up with the small electric heater but the ceiling’s too high, the window too old to retain any warmth.

A month beforehand I’d been sharing this hostel bed with someone else.  Now the entire bed is mine.

I stay up late, sometimes scared to turn off the light and let the darkness consume my mind.

I know tomorrow will be the same.  I’ll dress for an Auckland winter and sit in the lounge to apply for jobs and write until the friends I’ve made come back from work and we’ll cook and chat and maybe drink.

I am anything but happy but I try to enjoy myself because I don’t have anyone to fall back on.  I don’t have that luxury of being a couple who travels together anymore, where sometimes less effort is made with new people because you always have each other.

I say yes to as much as I can, even if it’s the last thing I feel like doing.

Moving on

I continued trying to say yes to as much as I could for the entire year I was in New Zealand.

Not only did it help secure friendships with people but being busy helped occupy my mind.

I got an apartment with one of my new friends and went on road trips around New Zealand with other new friends.

A random wedding in Tauranga

A random wedding in Tauranga

Christmas was celebrated in Auckland, I saw the new year in in Taupo, I randomly went to a wedding in Tauranga, I tried black water rafting at Waitomo.

I filled that year with as much as I could.  Determined to not let a break-up ruin a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel and work in New Zealand.

Somehow, I ended up having more fun and meeting more people during one year in New Zealand than I did during two years in Australia.  Somehow, being alone gave me a huge confidence boost.

I look back at moments that would normally seem insignificant.

Moments like watching the sun set from my balcony, visiting a geothermal park with a new year’s day hangover or my friends and I taking stupid pictures of each other on a boat at Milford Sound.

Looking back, I realise that I probably wouldn’t have laughed that hard or invested so much of myself in those moments if I hadn’t been on my own.

To me, those moments aren’t insignificant.  They helped me rebuild myself, when before I’d been completely broken.

But I was still in the same city.  I still couldn’t walk down the street without feeling self-conscious, wondering if he was there.

I’d walk into bars with my friends and quickly scan the room.  I’d go to a popular event in the city and worry about seeing something, or someone, that I didn’t want to see.

Auckland sunset

Sunset from my balcony

I still had fun; I laughed a lot, probably drank a bit much, stayed out late.  Being single brought with it a sense of freedom that I hadn’t felt since my days at university and that helped me move on as much as I could.

Coming home

When the essential skills visa I’d applied for was declined and I found out that I’d have to leave New Zealand I was devastated.

I packed up my apartment and said goodbye to my friends, wondering how I could possibly live in England again after being away for three years.

I didn’t realise that when those tyres hit the tarmac at Heathrow I’d be grinning like a maniac, realising that leaving New Zealand was exactly what I needed.  Distance was what I needed.

All of a sudden I was detached and starting again.

Almost overnight, that distance propelled me forward.

Since I’ve been home, I’ve been living in that strange place in between finishing one chapter and starting the next.

Now the next chapter’s about the start; I’m moving to London to start a new job in online PR!

Chinatown, London

Chinatown, London, as seen via Instagram

Am I going to stop blogging?  No way!  I still have so much to write about New Zealand and Australia, I’ll be using my weekends to travel to new places and of course, I’ll be sharing my experiences in London.

Last November I was pretty much still a mess.

This November I’m moving to a new city on my own and, despite having what seems like a million things to do before then, I couldn’t be more excited


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    • says

      Thank you Helen :) I’ve often found that something much much better is around the corner, and times heals a lot of things too. Would love to see you at an event in London soon!

    • says

      Thank you darling! I also have faith that wonderful things are going to happen, and I’m feeling really positive about moving forward and making things happen for myself :) Would love to see you both in London in the future if you travel here!

    • says

      Thanks, hun! It would be brilliant to see you in London, and I’m sure we can go and find you some fish and chips somewhere (even better by the beach than in London 😉 )

  1. says

    Congratulations on the new job! It’s amazing what can happen in the space of a year, isn’t it? Even in the space of a month. September was pretty insane for me, and the past week has seen me make a major decision. I’m happy that you’re moving forward. We all have blips and, while they often seem insurmountable at the time, we learn from them and hopefully get pushed in the right direction.
    Tom @ Waegook Tom recently posted..Why I’m A Bad Budget TravellerMy Profile

    • says

      New Zealanders definitely are a friendly bunch! Most of my friends over there were English but the Kiwis I worked with and met outside of work were so so lovely :)

  2. says

    I’m really glad you’re feeling positive about moving back. I feel a bit lost at the moment as I try to find work in Sydney and decide whether or not I want to do the farm work so I can stay a second year. I’m actually surprised by how much I miss London (although a week or two in the shitty weather and I’d probably be begging to be flown back over here!). Good luck with the new job!
    Arianwen recently posted..Highlights of New ZealandMy Profile

  3. says

    I’m hopelessly behind on reading blogs, but I’m trying to catch up. I’ve been following your progress on Facebook, and I’m so excited for you and your new job & life in London.

    New Zealand gave me many gifts as well, and I was only there for a month. Getting declined for the visa must have been painful, but everything works out for a reason, I guess :-)
    Erik recently posted..Europe 2013- Iceland Day 3- A Long, Bloody HistoryMy Profile