Mixed feelings .... Leaving Home

Trip Start Sep 07, 2008
Trip End Dec 10, 2008

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Sunday, September 7, 2008

After months of planning, selling up everything, and living like Nomads (while waiting for visas!), the time of truth has arrived, and here we sit at Auckland airport, saying good-bye to those that have supported our dream (in other words 'put up with us') as we have contemplated our future over the last few months .... . that was a journey all of its own ......

We decided to live in Spain - not really for any good reason, apart from the fact that it's warmer, and we're sick to death of Auckland rain, but couldn't possibly consider moving anywhere else in New Zealand, because cold isn't an option!  Definitely beach people.   Beautiful beaches in New Zealand, but unfortunately, the weather doesn't do the position justice.  So, time for a change ... where do we go?????

Of course we considered Australia (and even made an exploratory trip over to have a look) - but it's not Europe.  And with 5 kids, we really wanted to be accessible to as many countries as possible, without having to take out a mortgage every time we wanted to hop on a plane.  So, for the history, the culture, the people, the weather, the beaches, the food, the wine, cost of living, lifestyle (not necessarily in that order) we thought Spain sounded good.  In fact, as I sit here now, contemplating everything ahead of us, (yes, even in the scary moments), Spain sounds fantastic.

Next is the plan - and as I say 80 percent of it is in the planning.  It's one thing to talk about it, but to execute it requires a definite goal and a plan. I'm also a great believer in a deadline. Goal posts can be shifted if absolutely necessary but a date is a must.  For us, this meant selling up everything, including our business and our home  (the same home we thought we would live in forever, and the same home that we've had all the parties, family gatherings, birthday, anniversary's .. even funerals at).  But, you can't take the house with you, but the memories are for keeps.   The other thing I've learnt, is you never quite get rid of that dreaded travel bug.   That need to explore, to learn, to discover, to experience, to meet new people, to touch their lives, the craving to see it all ... those feelings, they never leave you.  

After visiting Spain in May 2007, (for the sole purpose of 'checking it out') we made a plan to 'touch up the house' for sale, and put the business on the market.  We sold our hospitality business in Sept (a long 4 month process), and sold our home in October, after only 3 weeks on the market.   We consider ourselves very blessed, and for us it was a confirmation that it was time to move on.   Life is full of seasons, (some are longer than others), but never-the-less, seasons come and go, and it was our time for a new season.

We started our visa process, but without boring you with tedious details, let's just say that the Spanish 'red tape',burecratic system, is everything promised.  We heard from the Spanish consulate in December 2007, so of course we had our hopes up, but nothing eventuated, until July 2008. I would like to add at this stage, that although obstacles can get in the way, perserverance will prevail and in hindsight, those 7 months of  'waiting' were meant to be, (for a number of reasons, family, economics, rest etc) - God's timing is everything, we don't always know until later why things happen they way they do .... but that's another whole book!!   

As our plans for Spain came together, we promised the kids a trip to Disneyland on the way ... and as goes the selective memory for children, they forget their chores, but never those sort of promises.  So, it started as a trip to LA (on the way)  and has ended up being a 3 month road trip of the U.S. and Canada.  We just felt that, if we don't get the chance to come back this way, we don't want to regret not taking the time to see it.  And we'd often talked about travelling around in a campervan as a family (of course, the dream was that we'd billionaires and never have to work again, but hey, you can't have everything).  

So our plan to get to Spain has been 'delayed' 3 months, while we fulfill this travel bug, and of course no trip across the waters is complete without a trip to our '2nd home' in Fiji.   Just a couple of days there as we start, would be enough to say 'good-bye' to this side of the world, and a chance for us to say thank you to our parents , and spend some quality time with them.  They put up with all of us for so many months, living in their home, as we all waited ...   but patience is a virtue and it has its rewards.   

To New Zealand:  "Good-bye and thank you"
To our Family and Friends: "We'll miss you heaps, and we'll see you in Spain!"
To Travel Bloggers: "Don't let anyone stop you living your dream"
To America, Canada, Spain & beyond:  "Watch out ...  here we come!"
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