So as I wrote my last post about leaving the comfort of my home, it got me thinking a lot about the day I left New Zealand. That day is so clear in my mind – it was sunny yet a bit chilly and I did not go into work for obvious reasons, though by bestests friends did, also for obvious reasons. I stayed at home, did last minute shuffling [“hmm i think if i take out this Target tank top I could fit another bottle of wine in here!”], tried to eat [though i certainly wasn’t hungry] and tried to chill the F out and stop crying. I sat outside in the sunshine, journaled, watched the tide roll in and enjoyed the views for one last sunny morning.


Then the time came for goodbyes. I don’t do well with goodbyes – this is something I’ve somewhat recently put my finger on. I’ve always felt something hurt inside when I say goodbye, but I’ve been able to push it away in most situations. And I’m not even talking about dramatic goodbyes like the loss of your other 1/2, though I think it goes without saying that that one is not easy. No, right now I’m talking about saying goodbye to things like your paperback copies of Harry Potter [while you still have the hardcover copies in your bookcase…] or your first car when it is totaled due to a rust hole in the gas tank. And of course those pangs of sadness and loss are magnified when it becomes your childhood cat or of course, something far more earth shattering than all of that. [Can anyone relate with me on this stuff?? Or am I just wacky?]


Part of why I haven’t done as much writing about New Zealand as one may expect given the fact that I took over 10,000 photographs [i know, right?!?!] is because the memories of what I left behind are so happy and special but also a bit painful and hard. I created a life for myself in New Zealand and it was a life I loved. I met amazing people, I had amazing jobs, I saw amazing things and I walked in amazing places. I was taken care of by some of the kindest people I’ve ever met and forever will be grateful.

_MG_8016Life was slower. Life was mellow. Life was filled with what we wanted to fill it with… Though that life always had an expiration date, I chose to ignore it for the bulk of my trip.

The goodbyes leading up to the final day were rough but I always clung to ‘one more week’ or ‘one more day.’ So when that last day came, I was a puddle of tears and a bundle of smiles for, I think, very valid reasons. I was so mixed up in my emotions because I couldn’t believe that I would be seeing my US family, friends and The Girls so soon, but I also couldn’t believe I would never be right back where I was. Ever again. Not in that same situation with those same jobs and those same friends and that same life.

I was thankful that on that last day the sun was shining and that my final wishes were carried out  … I got to have one last pint at my FAVORITE pub on my way to the airport.


… Pretty sure my nose is running in this shot because I’d been crying so much. Awesome, Jess.

So there was that and then there was the hardest goodbye of all with this guy up above ^^ . He was my bestest friend and helpful with my “I don’t know what I’m doing in life, but I sure know I’m tired of feeling so sad all the time so I’m going to do something about it” goals. It’s hard to summarize the several months he let me live with him, so I’ll just say that I laughed more than I cried and I learned more about life than I ever expected to learn on this self prescribed adventure.

… I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this post? Maybe just that I felt it was time to share some of the roller coaster that comes with my style of traveling and my style of life. I have made this decision to pick up my life and move it around from time to time which apparently is hard on my heart. But I think the positives of all of this outweigh the negatives. I am so sick of feeling sad and having my heart hurt so much, but I also know that it’s just as much of a gamble to stay put; you never know what will happen tomorrow so you should probably do something about that today. Cliché? Sure. But I also believe in it.

And while leaving somewhere I’ve set down roots and had experiences is likely always going to be hard, coming home to my favorite folks is always going to help swing that emotional pendulum the other direction.



^^ dad and i at MSP after 24 hours of travel back from New Zealand ^^