So hard to believe, but we leave lovely New Zealand next Tuesday April 25th. After 5 months in this great country, it is time for us to say farewell for now and begin the next leg of our journey.
As we return camping gear that we have borrowed, and start to consolidate our gear, I’ve found myself reflecting on what we have lost, what we have replaced and what we have gained over the past 5 months. Of course losing things while you travel is normal, and our kids have outgrown certain things, but I am ever so thankful for the things we have gained…
flip flops…(too numerous to count), t-shirts (mostly Jamey), underwear (again mostly Jamey) , teeth (that would be Becca) and a car…
a few t-shirts (Jamey, see above), underwear for growing kids, 2 wrist watches, some batteries for our headlamps, new running shoes for Jamey and Evan (not growing but replaced his hiking sandals), a bathing suit for me and new socks thanks to my sister in law Este, and 2 rear tires for our current ride…
sunglasses, scooters for Jamey and Becca, a new tent and some weight (ha!)…but these are just things, and while necessary, they too can be replaced.
What I am most thankful for are the experiences we have had, the friendships we have strengthened, the deep appreciation we have now for Evan’s homeland.
We have memories of spending Christmas in New Zealand with my sister’s and their families. Jamey and Becca have gained New Zealand passports, thanks to Nana (Evan’s mom). Our kids have bonded with their New Zealand cousins Daniel (10), Matthew(8) and Tristan(4) and forged a friendship that will never be forgotten. We will always remember sharing Easter celebrations together with Damon and Este, my brother and sister in law and their boys. We have gained the resilience to carry food and a tent and our sleeping bags into the woods, hike for miles and get to the destination with smiles on our faces. We have seen and experienced what mother nature can do and understand why we need to be good citizens of the earth. We have been treated with generosity and kindness by Evan’s numerous friends who are so dear they feel like family. 8 months into our journey, I continue to gain a deeper and deeper understanding of who my children are and for that I am forever grateful.
There are days that Jamey and Becca wish to be home, there are days that I wish to be home, but if we were home we wouldn’t have had all of these incredible experiences. Thank you New Zealand, what a special place. We will be back.
some pics from the last few weeks of our stay…
Next post will likely be from Istanbul, where we are heading for 12 days on April 25th, 2017. Again thanks for reading, thanks for keeping us in your thoughts. We miss you all!