Friday, October 30, 2009

Wind, Surfing and Southerly's...

Wellington is a windy city. I'm sure that if Chicago wasn't dubbed the 'windy city' (which I would definitely not consider windy compared to Welly...) that Wellington would rightfully own the title. It's actually the 'city of harbours' (yep...everything with an 'or' ending gets spelled with a 'u' here...why? I'm not sure). Today was windy and cold with a bit of sunshine. Today's wind and coldness was from a Southerly. Wellington is plagued by these huff, puff, blow your house down Southerly/Northerly winds. It's crazy how powerful they can that Spring is here people are busting out the flip flops and shorts, but when a Northerly or Southerly hits the layers come right back out!! Despite the chill I decided to tag along with one of my flatmates, Brodie, and his friend Simon (who is dating an American fella!!) to Lyall Bay, a popular surf spot here in Wellington. I brought my camera to see if I could get a few good action shots. There were a few guys out with their surf boards and I managed to get some pictures of them. Brodie and Simon were kayak surfing so they are the ones with the paddles. There were also some windsurfers kickin' it out there off in the distance. It was a lot of fun to watch these guys battle the waves and I'm looking forward to trying it myself when the weather and the water are a bit warmer!! Enjoy...

P.S. I've had requests for pictures featuring yours truly. I've been playing photographer and have sort of forgotten to put myself in front of the camera along with the beautiful scenery for a few. I'll work on it and post some soon!!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My story... you know, I'm on the other side of the world. I still can't believe it sometimes when I'm just walking around that I'm actually here. What's even more amazing to me when I think about it is the fact that getting here took very little effort on my part.

Really. Here's my story...

It all started about 2 years ago when I saw a band play in Nashville. I found out afterwards that they were from New Zealand. The second I heard 'New Zealand', something clicked. Have you ever had that? Where you hear something, see something, read something, or meet someone and instantly know that it's different? It just clicks with you, it resonates and you can't ignore it? For me, I've had two hugely defining 'click' moments in my life, and one of them was moving to New Zealand. In fact, one of my best friends, Trish, can attest to this one. I called her the day after seeing this band and stated very bluntly, "I'm going to move to New Zealand when I'm 24." At this point I was 22, had only been in Nashville for a year and had just started a great new job. From there, life went on, I fell in love with Nashville and my "I'm only going to stay for a year" turned into two years, then three years, then 'this is home'.

To be honest I didn't think about New Zealand much at all during this time and there were moments I wasn't sure it was ever really going to happen. Regardless, the idea of moving over here had cozied itself up somewhere in my heart and even when I wasn't thinking about it or didn't think it would happen, it still never left.

Then last November I went along on a dental mission trip to the Dominican Republic. It was great in so many ways, but one thing that really flipped the switch on about moving was that I met a few amazing people from the states, my age, living and working in the DR. I remember talking with them about their experience and thinking how amazing it was that they were there, living out an experience they will never, ever regret having stepped out of their comfort zone to be a part of. This was a huge turning point for me and I started thinking about New Zealand again, this time more seriously.

Come March of this year, I found myself at a standstill. I needed to make some changes in my life which required me to step back, take a good look and make some decisions. I prayed, and thought, and prayed, and contemplated. The only thing that seemed to make sense for this season of my life was to pursue my dream of living abroad. The timing finally lined up, I applied for my Visa and once I was accepted picked a 'go' date and bought a ticket! From here, things literally came together like, well, like it was meant to be. I started meeting people with connections/friends/family over when I arrived I had a warm welcome and a place to stay. I also had lots of coffee meet-ups with the other people I managed to connect with via email or facebook while in Nash. Before I left I was only able to get the technical stuff lined up, I hadn't actually secured a job or a place to live permanently. But I had this crazy amount of faith that this was all going to be taken care of so I wasn't worried in the slightest. Not. At. All. Within 2-3 weeks of arriving, I found a place to live and was offered a job for exactly what I was looking for...working for a loving family a few days a week as their Nanny! I met some awesome new people and started going to a really great little church Sunday evenings. Easy I've lived here my whole life! Two months in and I bump into someone I know every time I'm out and about in the city!

All of these things are wonderful and I'm having an incredible time. But, of all that has happened, what I've learned the most is what Obedience and Faith really mean. This whole thing pretty much landed in my lap...all I had to do was go when the light turned green. God worked everything out for me, I just packed my bags and got on the plane. Thinking about it from this side now it just seems so crazy. To pick up and move across the world with just a few bags and a smile. Oh, but when you give up the weight of the world to a God who can lift it with His pinky, all you need is to follow in the direction He's pointing and smile. I wonder if God is up in heaven looking down at us humming from John Hiatt's song the line "Have a little faith in me..." If only we did more boldly and more often.