Parallel Worlds

I looked across the sea, as if the waves would tell me their story. How voyagers from far and wide found their way to these islands. Some would settle to stay, others just to explore. Here we are thousands of years later, and we still are doing the same thing. Only this time, we live in a world that claims your country of origin is somehow more important than who you are as a person.

Living across the sea this time has been quite different. Life moves at an easy pace here, and as the whim of the day comes, so we choose to decide where to explore. In the home where Fern grew up, I have found a new sense of peace. In the safety of the arms of a second family, I find myself settling into the rhythms of New Zealand life. Where everything ends “ie”, like chippies (chips), bickies (cookies), and chockies (chocolate). We head out for walks to the shops, watch the mums bustle around with tiny humans speaking in their native accent, and watch the clouds move with the gusting winds that can swirl trees around like a dance.

As I look out towards the hills, there is little sign of people upon it. The houses lie in the valley, with few climbing up the sides of the hills to reach higher points. Too windy on the top of a ridge to be standing for too long, but the view is absolutely astounding.

I have always found it hard to feel at home in a place, but here it somehow does. There are many great things to see in this world, but I at least know there will always be a place where life moves at the pace I can healthily go. Where I can sit and enjoy a soy mocha that is only an 8oz (the regular size here), and watch the wind blow through the trees. Where I come from, life moves fast. The seasons change before you’ve noticed the trees changing color, and if you lack a schedule, you’re failing at life.

We all need direction in some form for life to keep moving, but it is nice to not have the pressure of a schedule, and I can work and live at a pace that keeps me healthy. It is Autumn here, as many of the trees are shifting to a gentle shade of orange and red. Some weeks it pours down rain with no end, while other days bring the intense heat of the sun. Either way the weather sways, the time here moves in gentle waves.

This last week we got tickets to The Food Show in Wellington, which had a flurry of samples. For five hours we walked around and spoke to the different vendors to try wine, beer, cider, sausages, soups, smoothies, crackers, chippies, chockies, teas, and sauces. My stomach was thoroughly full and terribly confused. Despite the slight stomach ache afterwards, I thoroughly enjoyed have the opportunity to try out all the different local vendors in the area for a more rounded view of the food here.

It is interesting to me how parallel the worlds are here. How Fern and I both grew in the suburbs outside a major port town, and lived life in a similar manner before ever crossing onto the same path. How astounding a world we live in that is uniquely international, yet we all hold a special place in our hearts for where we have come from. If anything travel has taught me, it is to appreciate the heritage I come from, and to lovingly understand the heritage of others.

Wherever you live in the world, there is someone else living a parallel to it. Whether you’re a solo traveler or a mom with kids, we are all living the pattern of life that suits our culture, our individual personality, and our intended lifestyle. Living in New Zealand really is not all that different to back home, but it holds different people that are already dear to my heart.

Love and Light,

Bethany Jane

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