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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Gallier

NZ Adventure Conclusion: Coming Home

It’s been almost 10 months since I left New Zealand in November 2018, and only 5 days since I’ve been back. While in many ways leaving my home country and coming back to New Zealand to live permanently has felt a lot like leaving, it’s also felt a lot like coming home.

You see, after endless late night and early morning video calls, one Texas road trip, and too much time apart, my Kiwi boyfriend and I decided to look for ways to be together again. Lucky for us, New Zealand has a Partner of a New Zealander work visa that does not require couples to be married. Two chest X-rays, a few dozen needle stabs (I got a newbie taking my blood), letters from friends and family, a bunch of paperwork, and one expensive plane ticket later I was on my way.

While leaving home and exploring new countries is second nature to me, this experience is already very different. Although the excitement of exploring new places in New Zealand is still very present, this experience is less ‘leaving home’ and more ‘creating home’. Instead of the ‘this will do for now’ attitude I adopt when traveling, I now ask, “how do I make this feel more like home?”

Although I’m still working on the answer to that question, I’m excited about building my life here. When I wrote the previous chapter of this series, it felt incomplete. It didn’t feel like the end. However, as I start building my life here and seeing New Zealand through this new lens, I feel like the story of me as just a ‘traveler’ in NZ is over. It’s time for a new story. A story about being in love, building a home in a place very far away from your old one, and seeing a country from a new perspective.

So, thank you for following along on my journey and stay tuned for stories about this new one. Although chapters end, journeys are a little more stubborn. As Ryszard Kapuscinski said,

“A journey, after all, neither begins in the instant we set out, nor ends when we have reached our doorstep once again. It starts much earlier and is really never over, because the film of memory continues running on inside of us long after we have come to a physical standstill. Indeed, there exists something like a contagion of travel, and the disease is essentially incurable.”**

**Note: I know I’ve used this quote before, but it’s a good one! Deal with it lol.

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