There’s this crazy thing about travel that has been on my mind lately.
It changes you. The changes are good, even needed. Yet so separate from people you love and know back home.
Consider these my reflections about us…about the changes…what I’d tell you if we were having coffee or a glass of wine face to face. It’s a short glimpse into our journey at the moment. Reflections from the halfway(ish) point.
We want to embrace a slower, more intentional pace of life.
Maybe it’s the size of New Zealand or the rural places we’ve lived, but the majority of the kiwis we’ve lived with have made time for things that matter. Long meals, good conversations, time outside and space for neighbors to just stop over for a meal or cup of tea. We loved our lives in Minneapolis before NZ, but we’ve realized that less plans might free us up for more of the spontaneity of everyday life and give us an ability to be more present to the unexpected.
We want to cook well and eat better.
Working in the garden and eating food fresh from the dirt has changed us more than we expected. We feel strongly committed to eating fresh, local, unprocessed food whenever possible and want to really focus on eating for long-term health, not to mention cooking meals we really love.
We want to work to live, not live to work.
Kiwis in general, have a chilled-out approach to life and work … and seemingly are more relaxed, less stressed and, dare I say, happier and more content (based on those we’ve met). We left great jobs in Minneapolis and though we have no idea what will happen when we return, we feel strongly about working in careers we love and not over-committing.
We want to make travel a priority in our lives.
Meeting people from other parts of the world throughout NZ has sparked more interest in us for a life of travel. We want to make an effort to continue to see new places, learn from other people and keep our minds open to others’ ways of living. We have a lot of work to do in improving our geography and global awareness.
I think we want kids.
This discussion has been one that Cole and I have been having…wondering if we will ever really “feel” ready for the challenge/reward of parenting. At the moment, we’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that we just might not and that 9 months of pregnancy are the prep that expecting parents need to warm up to the idea. And just in case you are curious, NO, I am not expecting. Or trying.
We want to be generous.
People have opened their homes to us, cooked, payed for our gas and lodging at times and been undeservedly generous to us. It has surprised and humbled us and makes us want to be more like that.
We want to be close to people we love.
This is not a new revelation for us, but one that has been cemented in our minds since we left. People matter to us in a big way and we want to continue to orient our lives around the family and friends that give us life and challenge us.