All That You Can’t Leave Behind

“Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best.” {Source unknown}

Wellington - the city I've called home for most of 2015.
Wellington – the city I’ve called home for most of 2015.

A week ago I packed my backpack, boarded a plane and wiped away tears as I left New Zealand with no idea when or if I would ever be back. It’s up there with the hardest moments of my life thus far. Not only was I saying goodbye to a land that has frustrated, upset and yet enticed me, I also left behind someone I’ve come to care about deeply. Both were intense relationships – and like a typical girl who can’t help herself I kept coming back for more. I mean, you can’t beat that Kiwi accent…

Months ago it had seemed to make sense that I should leave New Zealand and fly home to spend Christmas in England, the country I called home for the first 25 years of my life. Yet as I had one last pre-departure cider in the southern hemisphere summer I had absolutely no recollection of why I thought leaving was a good idea. I cursed my past self for acting on an intuitive whim (as always). However, the right thing to do in life often isn’t the easiest. Such is our struggle; a life worth living was never found by always taking the easy way out.

Flying like a Tui, new favourite native bird in New Zealand.
Flying away like a Tui, my favourite native bird from New Zealand.

“Welcome home!”

My plane touched down on Australian soil and my phone beeped with the above message from several friends. Cleverly, I’d booked myself a few days in my old stomping ground, Melbourne, to ease the pain of moving away from one of the most beautiful countries on earth. The warm welcome I received was exceptional and made the post-departure blues so much easier to handle. As expected, Melbourne made me happy – and thus confused me all over again. I racked my brains as to the reasons why I wasn’t living here… and came up blank. As wonderful as my year in New Zealand has been, I simply never had a group of friends like my Melbourne crew. We drank beers, we “talked shit” and laughed about all the crazy things we used to get up to a couple of years ago. And every single person asked me: “Why don’t you move back to Australia?”

If the universe was sending me a sign – I got it. It came in loud and clear. Tentative plans to put down roots in England were almost abandoned overnight as animated talk of a Melbourne comeback ensued. I haven’t even touched down on home ground and I’m already thinking of my next move. I can’t honestly remember a time in my life when I have felt more confused about my future and what my next move should be.

Will I be returning to the most liveable city in the world next year?
Will I be returning to the most liveable city in the world next year?

2016 is looming and I have absolutely no idea where it will take me. It’s at once a truly terrifying and utterly liberating thought. Up until now my future travel plans and dreams have always been mapped out. I even add the weather forecasts of future destinations months in advance onto my phone for inspiration (and help with wardrobe planning). Now it simply reads a list of my past haunts: Lincolnshire and London, England; Wellington, New Zealand; Melbourne, Australia and Dubai – my current destination.

I don’t know much, but I have an overwhelming feeling I won’t be adding to that list anytime soon. For now I’m doing my best to not think too hard, not obsess about the past year or the future one. My prerogative is to enjoy the few weeks left of 2015 and what will be, will be.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Be grateful, make the most of your corner of the world and smile 🙂

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