Auckland, New Zealand

“Are you excited?” is a question I’ve been asked frequently in the month leading up to my departure. Invariably I have struggled to answer it. The truth is that I’m not excited, I’m absolutely terrified. Jumping headfirst into a culture I know nothing about scares the shit out of me.

Accompanying the anxiety is sadness. Mourning the loss of a life that I’ve led happily in Auckland. My decision to leave has not been one based on unhappiness and this makes it very hard to pull up the roots and say goodbye, especially to the kids of my friends. The next time I see them they’ll be twice the size.

Dismantling each piece of the puzzle here has produced an ongoing procession of losses. Resignation from a job that I have loved dearly, giving notice of my departure to flatmates I have come to consider great friends, selling the motorcycle I learned to ride on and waving farewell to the wonderful collection of humans in my life. Each and every step is accompanied by a small package of pain, which I have been unable to justify with any certainty of what’s to come.

Despite the trepidation, I am looking forward to the journey, and there is some solace in remembering that if this move were comfortable then I couldn’t hope to grow as much from it. I moved to Auckland 5 years ago and have come to call it home. A home I hope to return to later in life. Until then I will miss it dearly.

Looking out over the Waitakere ranges from above Piano gully in Awhitu

Looking out over the Waitakere ranges from above Piano gully in Awhitu