Tuesday, 29 October 2013

:: moving on ::

One of the harder parts of being married to someone from another country is that, when you choose where to live, there will always be one who has to live far away from family, friends and everything that is so familiar in culture, language and ways of doing things. On the flipside it is a wonderful way to live, to experience the richness that these differences offer, but there is always much sacrifice.

One day recently I was missing the smallest things!  I think it started with the blog post written by a friend who had recently moved back to Switzerland, describing some familiar Swiss foods and surroundings. Then there was the salad I ate at dinner-time which made me miss Thomy Salad Sauce, and the recipe I had read the day before that called for gruy√®re cheese. As well as spotting the wonky wine bottle in a friend's early-family-Christmas photo from England that reminded me of the time that we bought the same wine simply because of the wonky bottle...which made me miss our French supermarket. These memories that lead on to others - those fond, favoured and memorable ones - gave me a pang of homesickness for my second home. I sent Eti a text that day, saying "La Suisse me manque aujourd'hui!" and he replied "I miss Switzerland every day!" Suddenly I was confronted with the reality that, as I missed my family and a lot about New Zealand when we lived in Switzerland, Eti rarely mentions it, but he misses the same things now.

I think it might also be our upcoming move to a new home this week, that coincides with the date that marks a full year of living here, that has brought up a lot of feelings of nostalgia and pangs of homesickness for all that we/I treasured in our other home country.

As we pack up those belongings that we fit into the eight suitcases that accompanied us from Switzerland, and those we have acquired since, I remember all that we sold and gave away and can't help missing it all! Yesterday, I confess, we got on a roll...
"I miss our 'Killy' car!"

"I miss our table and chairs!"

"I miss our Nespresso machine!!"

"I miss my food processor!"

"I miss our wrought iron bed!"

"I miss our wardrobe!!!"

"I miss IKEA!!!!!"

And so it went. I think, even though it was terribly materialistic, it helped us just to voice those thoughts of what we really miss, no matter how small or trivial, and then to move on. It probably would have cost us the amount of a house deposit to bring it all with us anyway (or more so to bring IKEA!), so in reality it was most likely the best option to let go of these things in the way we did. We made the choice to move here in faith that Eti will realise his helicopter pilot dream.

It has been an absolute blessing to live so close to my family again after more than 10 years of us not living in the same place. I honestly would not have wanted to live elsewhere during this past year. We're in the right place and there is so much to enjoy and be thankful for about being here. The nature of our marriage, as so many of our friends know well, is that we cannot have both and all. There will always be family, friends and treasured things several (as in 25) hours by flight away. Our children will always grow up with half of their family on the other side of the world. But they will have access to two (three, counting France) languages, beautiful countries and a wide-open option of future study opportunities and careers...if not more, as God leads them. The world is their oyster.

So, this weekend we move on. We will say a sad goodbye to this simple, wonky-edged, little kiwi house, with it's incredibly stunning view. It's been such a gift to spend the last 9 months living here! And we will say hi to our new farm cottage surrounded by lush green fields, cows, sheep and a nomadic flock of turkeys. We move with anticipation and thankfulness for a new place that holds the promises and possibilities of establishing ourselves into a small community where our girls have loved going to playgroup, Mainly Music and church (though very rarely getting there until now!), and of making new friends. We still don't know if Eti's dream will become a reality. We need to wait for his permanent residency to come through before he's eligible to take a student loan to help with the huge cost of becoming a helicopter pilot. But we continue forward with our faith eyes open. Trying not to spend too much time lingering behind at what we don't have any longer (as hard as that can be at times!) but around us in this present time that is rich and full of people and things to be thankful for, and ahead with a great hope of what's to come.


  1. I love the way you write, I love the photos you take... I have an afar crush! all the best for the move xxx

  2. Beautifully written - feel for you guys - will never be easy but you'll have each other always :) Good luck with the move! x

  3. Oh wow! All the best for this weekend! I hope you have all the strength, energy and love for your new home that you need xx

  4. I totally understand all the emotions you write about here! I like the little saying you mention 'we cannot have both and all' - a good one for me to remember on days when I am yearning for NZ. All the best with your move this weekend!

  5. This is such a great post - and reading it last week as we were just about to head home from England was so poignant. I echo so many of your thoughts as it is such a pull on the heart strings to always be halfway around the world from part of the family. Hope you are settling in to the new place well xx

  6. Ah I completely relate to your post as I returned to NZ after almost five years in England. Five years of being appallingly homesick. Though crazily I miss London now from time to time. Now my English husband has joined us in Auckland I know he is going through these pangs himself. Vix.