How does one say goodbye to a place that you have called home for 3.5 years, and people whose lives who have been fused to our own in that time?
After our whirlwind of a journey through SE Asia, we returned to the safe, welcoming shores of New Zealand for but a twenty-four hour period to exchange our backpacks for suitcases, pack up a couple of boxes, and say goodbye to a few close friends back in Auckland.
Our time in NZ has been amazing. It’s hard to put words to what this experience has meant to us, or to understand fully how it has shaped us.
We can say, however, that the people we have encountered along the way, especially those whom we have journeyed closely with, have perhaps illuminated or brought out different facets of ourselves that we may not have known existed.
There have been many people who have enhanced our lives and helped bring a depth and richness to our time here.
It’s been such a privilege to journey with these quality human beings and share many great times and conversations together, often over meals.
Some friends we will likely reunite with sometime in the not so distant future. For others, it is hard to say when we will see each other again.
It is sad to come to the end of a chapter in our lives that has been so good, in so many ways.
To quote a friend (Tim Keel) who used to live in new Zealand but left, “The beauty of New Zealand wounds you.” That wound will likely scar over, but its mark on us will always be there.
Though we are excited to return to loved ones in our homeland of Canada, a part of our hearts will always be in New Zealand.
And now, a brief toast to the country who, with its beauty, simplicity, and grandeur, will be impossible to forget.
May you stay forever green and beautiful.
May you continue to embrace foreigners with open arms, alluring them with your stunning beaches, lush hillsides, and world class dairy.
May your people continue to wander, wonder, and explore.
May peace reside on your shores, and also on your majestic mountain tops.
May the All Blacks continue to triumph over all nations on the world rugby scene.
And may there remain an appreciation of life lived for that which is intangible.
So for now, this is goodbye, New Zealand! We shall never forget you.