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New Zealand memories

If you know me a little bit or if you’ve been reading these posts sometime over the past ten years, you have probably figured out I’m a nostalgic kinda woman. The past fascinates me. I love dipping my toes in puddles of memories. Sometimes I slip and swim in them for days, that's very possible. Looking at old pictures, reading notebooks filled up during my travels and taking a walk down Memory Lane is indubitably my favourite way to spend an afternoon. Especially now winter is starting and fluffy blankets and cups of tea are part of my daily siesta ritual.

The past week I’ve really been savouring the cosiness of the season, landing back home in my Valencian nest after a journey south. My mind has been lingering on these past 9 months and all that has happened since moving to Spain. Sweet visits from friends and family, falling in love with the city more every time I experience this place through the eyes of loved ones. Falling in love with Valencians too, of course. Trips to Belgium to see my favourite faces in our favourite places. It’s been a huge heart warming bowl of goodness, to be honest.

Ever since I moved to Valencia, I’ve been feeling so loved. Meeting wonderful friends, spending quality time together and by myself. This living alone thing is still pretty new and it has given me so much. Peace of mind, freedom, creation. My safe haven in the middle of the city. The bike rides, concerts, dance classes, nightlife, some kind of pleasant structure and maybe even a sense of stability… Things I was missing in my New Zealand life. Which reminds me: it has been exactly one year since I stepped on a plane in Auckland to fly home to Brussels. One whole year!

On one hand, it feels like 20 years ago I lived in a van with Hanno, waking up at sunrise for an ocean dip. Working nights shifts in a kiwifruit packhouse and then as a baker in beach cafe. My car being broken into every five seconds. My fabulous crew of friends keeping me sane. Hot pools, glow worms, psychedelic forest walks, camping under the stars. Such a different life.

On the other hand, I remember it all so vividly as if it was just yesterday. The morning swim with the fam before the flight, the warm, teary hugs and hectic covid security at the airport. My last month in Mount Maunganui, celebrating life’s journeys, friendship and love to the fullest. The beautiful connections made that will continue all through this lifetime one way or another, watching, cheering, supporting and holding each other from afar.

Something I have learned throughout my travels, is that love knows no distance. I have met such great friends that I consider a part of my worldwide family. Saying goodbye is never easy, that’s why I say ‘see you in life’ instead. We send letters, sweet words, voice messages, pictures, memories, dreams or plans to come visit one another, that's how the love continues to blossom season after season.

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