I've been sitting here for weeks trying to find the words and muster up the courage to get raw and real with you guys. To tell you that I am happy and more in love than ever. To tell you that I've found a passion for life, that I wasn't sure existed. To tell you that I finally found my something, and that my heart is breaking with every letter of this goodbye because of it.
I arrived in New Zealand quite sad, hesitant, and heartbroken after a devastating break up with my first love, Australia. I was hopeful, and headstrong, but utterly convinced that it would not and could not compare to my first year abroad. But because the country was so unbelievably stunning, I decided to make a pit stop (for 10 months...) on my way home to the good 'ol USA. I would hike some hikes, lay on some beaches, and hopefully work (and I use that term loosely) for a really nice family. But that was all I really expected from this place.
And I don't say this often...
But I was wrong. SO very wrong.
Instead, I've built a life in New Zealand that makes me feel happy, purposeful, and alive. I've traveled often, worked hard, and saved more money than I ever could have imagined. I've made great friends, established many lifelong connections, and have even partnered with 3 wonderful people to turn a simple idea into my very first business (more on this later). I've also had big adventures, small adventures, and those (not-so-special, but so incredibly special) everyday adventures.
From jumping out of planes, many spontaneous road trips, and climbing many mountains. From paddle boarding, snorkeling, and swimming with dolphins in the wild. From play dates, and car pooling, and cuddles from my favorite littlest people. It's a beautiful life. And the one I've always wanted. Crazy and simple, and everything in between.
I love the way that new friends become best friends, strangers become family, and the way that Mondays feel like a blessing wrapped in the gift of another new week ahead. I love the ease of kiwi life, the cafe culture, and the way the big city feels small somehow. I love the way that I have become unguarded, undeniably soft, and get emotional when the sushi guy gives me extra tuna rolls just because. And I love the way that the house is a constant mess, that I am always tired, and that the two kids responsible for both, own every bit of my heart because of it.
To everyone I've met here and this beautiful country: You are my home away from home. Forever and for always.
Until we meet again.
With all of my love,
Jerrica from America