Sunday, 16 November 2008

Leaving New Zealand

I've been wanting to write this for such a long time but haven't been able to find the time or the inspiration. I have always found that with me, inspiration comes when I am away from home. Sitting here on the deck of a bach twenty meters away from the Pukehina Beach sands with a glass of wine and what would be complete silence were it not for the waves breaking before me as they are lit up by the low afternoon sun, I suddenly feel the urge to write.

After I am done thanking the god of laptops and cordless devices (alas, no power points in sight out on the deck) I begin to think that I couldn't have asked for a better setting to write this article. A weekend away with friends in a quiet place by the beach, good wine, good food, good chats and good laughs. And I am thinking this is exactly why I fell in love with New Zealand in the first place: the quiet, laid back life style, the beautiful scenery, and how easy it is to just get away from city life whenever you feel the need to.

Now I am leaving New Zealand and it makes me sad despite all the new adventures waiting for me abroad. It's more of a mix of wanting to go but not wanting to leave. Five years ago when I was preparing to leave Brazil for a new life half way around the world I couldn't have pictured, in my wildest dreams, that things would have turned out the way they did.

New Zealand has been good to me.

Here I found a job that I truly enjoy, where I have friends, peers, heroes, and followers. Aside from the professional growth and all the opportunities given to me, Olympic has been key in supporting all other aspects in my life in New Zealand, from friendships to travels to personal development.

Here I found true friends. People I deeply care about, and who also care about me. Friends who I'll keep in touch for years and years to come, and will certainly get to catch up with many times in our travels around the world.

Here I found places to go. It goes without saying that New Zealand has wonderful scenery. But it's a funny thing, living abroad. You get to spend the first year or so living as a tourist and end up seeing more of the country than most locals. Then you start to settle, routine kicks in, and you experience the life of a local.

Here I found a new take on life. My short stay here couldn't have been further from my original plan. And it could hardly have been any better. Now I am finding it much harder to leave New Zealand than it was to leave Brazil. Which only goes to show how much more at home I feel here, amongst this myriad of cultures, religions, and ethnic food. My roots are in Brazil, and so is my family. But a good chunk of my heart is here.

Pause here. I just went over the text again and realised I am struggling to find the right words. I suppose all that I am trying to say is that I am very grateful for all that's happened in the last five years. And I already miss everyone and everything about New Zealand.

I need to be going now. The sun has set and it's getting cold out here. In the distance I can see a storm coming. But mostly, the laptop battery is running out and inside the house everyone is gathering around the table because Sheba's home made curry is about to be served. I couldn't have thought of a better ending myself.

I will so miss you all.

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