It has been about 7 weeks now since my family and I made our big move from Sydney, Australia to Waiheke Island, New Zealand.
Moving to Waiheke Island has been a long term dream for my husband and I and it feels amazing to fulfill this dream. I am very mindful in these early weeks that if our life here is going to be all we dreamed of we need to take responsibility to create our day to day routines in a way that honour those intentions.
For example one of my intentions for life on the island is to slow down, live life in a calmer way … less frenetic. Easier said than done as a business owner and Mum of 3 young daughters. So I am writing this post from my favourite café with my favourite view and next week I have penciled a whole “child free day” (4 hours) as a ME DAY. A day I will let go of feeling I “should” be conquering work tasks and instead will do whatever makes my heart sing that day. Walk, swim, go to a movie, read a book … whatever! I know it will really test me to actually follow through on this.
The kids have only recently started school/childcare so it is only now I feel I have some space to reflect and share how I am really settling in (they are settling really well which is great to see)
3 things I am loving so far
The sense of community – people are really friendly and inclusive here. Whether it be our neighbours welcoming us to our home with fresh scones, a family we met fishing exchanging numbers with us or being invited to join a big family on NYE who happened to be sitting at the same road side vantage point we had ventured to.
Being able to walk to the beach – totally awesome not having to load kids into the car to go to the beach. We can walk down anytime of day for swim, to collect shells or build sandcastles. So easy.
Our vegetable patch – I am a crap gardener, in fact my husband tells me a “weeded” some spinach he planted – oops. But I totally love being able to use fresh produce each day to inspire our meals. The kids really love helping pick things. Right now we are enjoying butter beans, cucumber, basil, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and a few blueberries. Soon I hope to have corn, pumpkin, strawberries and big tomatoes.
3 things I feel challenged by so far
Not having any friends (yet) – totally in line with expectations. I know you don’t just make friends the second you arrive somewhere new but it can feel a little lonely some days with only my (wonderful) husband to talk to. Thankfully I have an awesome mobile phone plan that allows me to ring friends and family back in Australia at no extra cost.
Having my husband work from home – On one hand this is lovely. It allows him to either do school drop off or childcare drop off. He can take small breaks in the day to progress a couple of jobs at home. He makes me coffee most days and he can finish work at 6pm and sit down to eat dinner with the family at 6.05pm.
However, I struggle with:
- all his conference calls. I bought him a headset for Christmas so I wouldn’t have to listen to both sides but he is yet to open the packet
- no longer having office space. I work from kitchen table and had to make a coaching call from my bedroom upstairs last week
- and that he often interrupts me when I am concentrating on completing a task … like this blog!
Hopefully we will find our groove in coming weeks but I am mindful I may have to set a few boundaries here.
Finding new routines – routines have always been very empowering for me. They simplify my day, they ensure there is space for all important things in my family, business and my self care. It is taking some time to find our new routines, to understand the new way of life, and to re-negotiate priorities. It will all fall into place soon but in the meantime I feel like I am missing out on making my own needs a priority.
3 things I look forward to
Exploring more walking (tramping) tracks – Waiheke Island is filled with little bush tracks cutting across hills and headlands, creating shortcuts for pedestrians to follow. There are also plenty of tracks to follow for longer hikes (or tramps as they say here in New Zealand)
Saying “Jandals” without thinking instead of “Thongs” – there are all sorts of words we are learning to use but 40 years of “Aussie” is a hard habit for me to break. I am working on saying ‘Jandals’ not ‘Thongs’, ‘Chilly Bin’ not ‘Eski’ and ‘Tramping’ not ‘Hiking’.
Winter walks on the beach – there is something really special about winter walks on the beach. Cold, blustery air and stormy seas. I am not sure if this is what winter is like here but I look forward to finding out.
Transitions take time and so far I think we are all doing pretty well with this one …