Rain. These little droplets of water falling from above. Little round droplets as they pitter-patter. Breaking the silence. They might bounce back. They might melt in the ponds of water. They sprinkle your face. They make you feel fresh. Wet.
It is a rainy, grey, Kiwi winter day. Nevertheless, very inspiring. Had a walk in a beautiful park in Ponsonby.
Trees are just amazing here...
An amazing way to enjoy lunch on a Saturday - take away Fish & Chips on the beach with the view over Rangitoto volcano. Today's pick was Tarakihi and Hoki nicely wrapped up in a big paper with chips and tartare sauce. And Lemonade :)
Can you spot the fish on the seafood palette? :)
One week ago we were still in Europe. Unbelievable. I am not sure if I am fully aware of the situation yet. We really made it! We DID move to New Zealand!!! After all these months of dreaming, planning, preparing, here we are. Enjoying the views of the most beautiful beaches of the world.
The first days flew by. Arrival. Jet lag. Trying to sleep. Trying to sleep back. Traveling a bit. Organizing our new life. Getting around. Phone. Bank. And the others... And we still have some big challenges ahead - finding a car and a place to stay. To call it a new home. Far away from home...
“One’s destination is never a place but a new way of seeing things.”~ Henry Miller
I find this quote very relevant at this moment of my life. Traveling and moving to a new place opens your eyes, opens your soul. It gives you a new perspective. It gives you wings to fly, to discover. The world, the others, yourself... And... sooner or later, it also places you out of your comfort zone. To contemplate, meditate, reflect. And thus make you grow.
I have been traveling all my life. Moved to a new place, to a new country several times. I learned to cope with change, although it was very hard at the beginning. Changing homes, changing environments, changing lifestyles, changing school, changing work, changing colleagues, changing friends, changing basically everything. You leave things behind that make you feel secure. Not easy at all.
But it made me stronger. Now I just love it. In a way it sets me free. It makes me stretch my boundaries. And learn something new every day.
Settling in. Adjusting. It takes time. Energy. Effort. First joy and then pain (or vice versa). First, everything is super exciting, new, full of new impressions. Then comes the time when you realize you have a culture shock, you are homesick, you miss your environment that you are so used to. You get frustrated and don't find your place. It happens to everyone, I would think even to the most experienced travellers. Just a question of time.
Many people asked us how are we so brave (or "crazy") to make this big move. How on earth? To leave to the other end of the world. In kilometres and time. Far from home, family, friends. Plunging in to the unknown and insecure and undefined. Leaving a relatively comfortable life behind. With a small baby.
We just wanted to follow our dreams. Not to wait until we grow old and regret that we have never done it. We fell in love with this country some years ago. The nature, the laid back lifestyle, the love for outdoors, work-life balance, the people. And it is a perfect time in our life to make this move. Now or never. We planned it. Prepared it. Saved for it. Drew up the pros and cons. Weighed the scale and made some tough compromises. And yes, ultimately followed our dreams!!!
This moving really put me out of my comfort zone. I spent the last few days trying hard to reflect upon it... I knew it will be like that. And I wanted it. I just didn't think it will come so fast. Maybe it is because I am also traveling an inner journey of deeper self discovery. Maybe it is also because it is the first time that I am moving abroad as a wife and a mother, not as "me". Maybe it is because of the huge jet lag.
I wonder where this dream, this journey will take me. Exciting, isn't it?
All inspired by a cup of tea...
***Got inspired? So happy if you share ;)
I love pictures.
I love inspirational quotes.
I decided to combine them.
I will post them weekly.
Hope you will like them :)
So, 1 week has passed since our arrival to NZ and I gathered some funny, interesting or inspirational observations for you :) And also just for the record, as I still have the fresh perspective when everything is new and sometimes different :)
1. HEY THERE! This is how people say hi here. :) Or Kia Ora - meaning "be well/healthy” in Maori language. Beautiful, isn’t it?
2. It is winter. Winter meaning 10-15 degrees and mostly sunny - in Auckland at least. Sometimes some rain. BUT! The houses don’t really have radiators. At least not the regular, built in ones as we have back home. They are rather heaters. Which means their capacity to heat is pretty limited and it can get really cold at night. :( Luckily, there is a great invention, the electric bed heating blanket :) You just switch it on and in some minutes, you are all warmed up and cozy in your bed :))) AMAZING!!!
3. Kiwis are just tough cookies! Many of them wear flip-flops - aka jandals - even in winter! Ok, around the beach areas. And shorts! Even more, surfers just cruise around barefoot, even in the rain. And little kids on the playground - barefoot!!! Grrr I got goosebumps and respect!
4. I simply love the restroom signs here. They speak for themselves, the way they see things and what is important in their life!
5. Amazed by the surfing spirit and the love for waves and beaches. The quote of the day came from a guy in surfers’ paradise Raglan when I asked him naively if he surfed - “One doesn’t really have a choice if he grows up here…” :) I love it!
6. I learned that tides get more intense at full moon. The difference between low and high tide is somehow bigger. Surprise surprise, you can download an App to check out the tide schedules not to get soaked up in water. How cool is that! :D
7. Keep left! Yes, you drive on the left side. Pretty confusing especially when you have a jet lag, too :S Obviously, the bus stops on the other side of the street, too.
8. The sockets look like this. And there is a security button where you cut off the electricity. Pretty useful. The red dot indicates that it is in use.
9. It’s winter so we have winter sales :) I wish you a happy happy happy July! :)))
10. And last but not least > the Kiwi "accint". Hard to describe, but pretty "spicial". Check out these videos :) Enjoy!
Yesss! Here we are finally! Welcome to Auckland!
We survived all the 30 hours of flying through the entire world, managed to make it to all the connections in time, made some new (big & small) friends, and only missing one item that will hopefully catch up with us tomorrow. And yes, we are in desperate need for a nice long sleep! :)
It's winter here! 15 degrees. Summer rain in the morning, sunshine. More rain later. Wind. I think I can live with that :) although it is a bit chilly after the hot European summer days... But I don't mind that much, as we will have 2 summers this year :)
People are cool. Helpful. They look different. In outlooks and style, too. I always loved to observe this. They are helpful. Service is great. Amazing compared to Paris. (Really funny but we even bumped into a French bakery just some blocks away from our place. )
It smells good. Smells green. Smells ocean. Of course we headed to check out the beach as soon as we could. The North Shore has the best ones in town. Impressive, long, wide, beautiful beach. We are in love!!!
It's done, no way back! Our life is in boxes! Small boxes, big boxes, many boxes. They are off to the sea and will be traveling for 3 months until they get to our new home. This is our biggest moving ever - in terms of volume and distance as well. I am sooo relieved, words are not enough to express!
These big packings and movings have always made me feel incredibly excited - the date of traveling & new adventures approaching :) -, yet stressed, too.
So to make movings smoother, and even more fun than stress, I gathered my years of experience below for you! Hope you will find some good tips that will make your life easier when packing :D
1. Write a check list with the To Dos and cross them out once they are done.
It will visualize your results and make you feel successful :) Everything you need to organize, starting from buying tickets, insurance, checking validity of passports, applying for visa if needed, to paying your last bills, shutting down accounts, transferring money, cancelling your rent, selling your car/flat/furniture, looking for a new place to live.
2. Hire a moving company, let them take care of everything for you, and you just pay, sit back and relax!
Ok I know, this costs money, especially if you are relocating privately and it is not a company paying for it. And you still have to send and fill out all the necessary documents for the shipping, insurance, customs, etc.
But it is worth to think of this option if you want to save a lot of time - they usually pack up a complete household in a day! You also don't have to worry about disassembling furniture, wrapping fragile items carefully, getting boxes, etc.
Just make sure you start getting those quotes way in advance (2-3 months before an overseas move), and preferably from several companies. This will give you options, allow you to compare prices, service and pick the best that suits your needs.
3. Get boxes and cartons to pack your stuff.
In time. Before you want to start the actual packing. :) You can either purchase them or if you want to stay green you can tour the bigger stores or shopping malls and ask for remaining cartons that they won't use anymore and would probably end up as waste.
Make sure you prepare an inventory while packing - mark and number every box or package and write their content in your notebook/phone. And keep the notes with you. This will save you a lot of hassle when you are looking for your... forks.
Imagine you opened already several boxes and you got the hairdryer, the books, the pillows but you still cannot eat your dinner and you are really hungry. :)
4. Get rid of the things you don't need.
This is sometimes hard, I know :) but if you haven't used it for a year and just takes the space, it is worth considering to free up some space. Organize a Garage Sales, advertise on eBay, give it for charity or to friends or those in need. But remember, this also needs time. So don't leave it for the last moment, unless you don't mind throwing away those precious (unused) things.
Trust me, it is not so bad to have a nice rest and sleep, or a last walk to visit your favourite places just before you leave without worrying about what time you should wake up to squeeze in some more things in your bags. ;)
5. Start in time. And double it!
Let's say you planned to start packing 1 week in advance prior to your move - double it to 2 weeks. There will always be a last minute happening, farewells, something you forgot or comes unexpectedly that will cause a delay.
This will allow you more time than necessary and if you happen to gain some extra time at the end, you will feel in heaven that you have accomplished everything you wanted - prior to your plans. :)
+1 for people moving to New Zealand
Keep in mind and respect very strict biosecurity measures!
This is one of the few countries in the world where very strict rules apply in terms of what can you take with you and what not. As New Zealand is an island, and it has a very special flora and fauna, the authorities do their best to conserve and protect this truly unique environment.
Watch out for anything that is made of plants or animals, live or dead, let it be food, traditional Chinese herbal medicine, handcrafted wooden ornaments, necklaces that contain shells, or items that have been in touch with plants or animals - hiking boots, bikes, vacuum cleaner, gardening equipment, water sports equipment. These are absolutely NO GO or have to be cleaned and declared - and if needed, inspected, fumigated, destroyed or shipped back - on your costs!
Make sure you check with the Customs for all the details to avoid surprises, as they are really really strict and you don't want to be fined or your container to be quarantined...
Only 4 days to go... Should be packing BIG TIME! Instead, I felt like... Beach mood. :D
You know this feeling when you just got out of the water after a good swim and the sun caresses your skin until you dry? Yes, it IS amazing!
I love summer. I love beaches. I love water around me. So here is one of my top favourites in New Zealand.
The place is called Torrent Bay, it is located in the Abel Tasman National Park on the South Island. People usually go there to enjoy solitude in the nature and backpack for several days. I think it is one of the most beautiful places in the world! And you hardly cross anyone but fish and birds. Amazing colours, breathtaking wilderness, amazing white sand beaches.
You have to cross the bay by foot during a limited period of time when it is low tide to get to this amazing, absolutely spectacular and isolated little paradise. No road access, no electricity, just the nature and you. And pure blue-green turquoise dreamland.
Easy option: You can get there by boat as well if you are not up for a big walk and carrying all your things in your backpack. :)
It is a pretty exciting trip to reach the other end of the bay as you are not sure how big the distance really is when you enter it descending from the surrounding hills and you are also not exactly sure how much time you have got left until the bay fills up again with water, especially at dawn. :) Will you make it in time? Or will you get stuck in the middle of the water? The excitement and the picturesque surrounding gives you a boost of adrenalin and at the same time fills your heart with peace and joy.
You just never want to leave again...
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