Perhaps this is a cultural story about moving from the States to New Zealand.
Perhaps this is a universal story about moving from a large city to a small town.
Perhaps this is a journal to help my family remember our time in New Zealand.
Perhaps it’s all of the above.
Only the story really knows, so I better get busy writing it.
Now is probably a great time to admit that with the evolution of social media I have become a lazy writer. I have been letting pictures tell my stories. This time I realized maybe words should get to tell the story again. Like the olden days.
“Should we just move to New Zealand for a while?”
A flippant suggestion tossed out in the wind. I’ve no idea which one of us said it, but it unfolded into reality over several months until all of a sudden we were renting our house and selling our belongings on Craigslist.
My husband, Tony, was born and raised in New Zealand and we met in our late twenties at the Holy Grail (a bar, of course, where all good marriages start) in Christchurch, NZ. He was in the New Zealand Air Force supporting the US Antarctic Program’s flights to the southernmost continent. I was headed to work at the South Pole Station in my first year as a contractor. We liked each other immediately and immensely. We spent the next eight years or so flitting about together between Antarctic contracts, traveling around, and sleeping in on Tuesdays (when not on contract).
One day the most amazing thing happened. Team Hunter grew by one person, Mason! Now our mission in life was clear. We buckled down in Denver and got jobs, got a house, and got bored. The cure? Change your geography, change your attitude. Plus, Mason would get some quality time with his New Zealand grandparents.
So we flew away one day, just like that (after several months and thousands of dollars in planning and paperwork). Mason was three-and-a-half and already in love with traveling. He was packed, ready, and game for an adventure. We would be living with my in-laws in Blenheim so at least that part didn’t require much thought. My boss unexpectedly approved remote work status for me, so we would have income during the transition. In some ways I was looking forward to leaving my job and becoming a nobody worker at an easy job halfway around the world, but a paycheck in the hand is worth two in the bush. Now that we are in our forties and responsible for another human, we pack a few more safety nets than we previously may have.
Nets intact, we boarded a plane to New Zealand for a couple years sabbatical with just our son and a few suitcases.