One Year in New Zealand

One year ago, I embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. It’s a massive milestone that’s come at a rather crazy time.

Two weeks ago, I unexpectedly made a trip home to Chicago to attend my grandfather’s funeral. I was very lucky to have the support of work and Pete, which allowed me to drop everything and go home. It was a gift to have that time with family and close friends and helped me process the loss and say goodbye.

The journey was brutal; getting to Chicago took three layovers, totaling 27 hours of travel time and the flight home added an 11-hour layover in Sydney to the mix. Normally I’d have taken advantage of the long layover to explore a new city, but as it happened, I’d come down with a nasty bug while in Chicago and was in no state to leave the terminal. Landing at 1:00am on Monday morning, I was back at work by noon that day trying to catch up on everything I’d missed.

It has been challenging to refocus after such an unexpected trip. My brain needs a second to reboot but I’m lucky to work alongside an amazing team that has supported my reintegration into the day to day mishegas.

Wedding plans have also continued to take up a fair bit of headspace. January is creeping up on us and there are a million details to sort out: set lists, decorations, seating plans, flower arrangements, writing vows…the list goes on. I’m excited for the big day but mostly I’m just excited to be married. I’m sure the next two months will fly by and before we know it, we’ll be off to Bali for our honeymoon!

Thanksgiving is on Thursday and happens to fall on our 5 year anniversary this year. To celebrate, we’ll be packing 12 people into our wee house to eat, drink, and celebrate everything we have to be thankful for this year.

It feels like a million years since I wrote about our first kiwi thanksgiving. I had no idea how quickly New Zealand would start to feel like home. Life just sort of fell into place. I found my dream job two weeks in, the pup survived the long journey over and is thriving in her role as HBIC, and the house gets homier every day – I think if I buy one more house plant, Pete may revolt…

This year I’m filled with gratitude when I reflect on the strong foundation Pete and I have built together, which we will take into our marriage. I’m thankful for the friendships we’ve fostered and the life we have built together in Christchurch. I am grateful to have a job that allows me to do good in the world and which still leaves me some time to share all my adventures with you.

I can’t even imagine what the next year will hold but I look forward to telling you all about it. As always, thanks for stopping by AwP. Wishing you a happy turkey day!

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