Another Unexpected Journey – Here we go again!…

I’m back! What better reason to bring new life to the blog after a 1-1/2 year hiatus then…

GOING BACK TO NEW ZEALAND!

That’s right, not one, but both Flanders are heading back to Christchurch for a 6(+?) month stint. It’s been a roller coaster of a year–deciding we wanted to try to make this happen back in August, and then trying to make it work for several months. The stars finally aligned and Keith was able to transfer within his company to the Christchurch office (which happens to be within a mile of my Christchurch office) and my company gave me the opportunity to travel back.

We could not be more thrilled to get to have this experience together. I’m pretty sure Keith was easily swayed by my great tales of adventure in Hobbit-land as well as the work opportunities in a city ready to rebuild. It wasn’t too hard to convince either of us we should take the opportunity to go if we could make it work.

To add to that, check out all the world-wide press Christchurch has received over the past year:

#2 of the “52 places to visit in 2014” (New York Times)

#1 “Destination on the Rise” – South Pacific (Trip Advisor)

#6 “Places to Travel from 2013” (Lonely Planet)

* any friends/family that want to visit are welcome to stay with us 😉 *

“THE PLAN”–

Luckily(?) we’ve been planning this for some time so we can jump out of our month to month lease and store the few items we have in storage. Continuing with our tradition (especially this year), we are driving back to Massachusetts for the Boston Marathon in April. Keith is running again so come on out and we will cheer him on! We’ll both be in the New England area for that weekend and most of the following week (most likely have a fun “going away” gathering, stay tuned!), then jetting off to start work in the southern hemisphere.

Dreaming on top of Sugarloaf Mountain

Dreaming on top of Sugarloaf Mountain

“WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR US” –

  • Keep us in your thoughts/prayers. Luckily I won’t find myself in too many dangerous buildings anymore with the rebuild in full swing. Christchurch is still a high seismic zone but we’re experts in how to react in an earthquake! (Well Keith isn’t yet, but I will teach him…). More recently, I’ve had to convince the naysayers that the Boeing 777 IS supposed to be a very safe aircraft… (NZ001 is still my favorite plane and flight experience!).
  • Read the blog. I will still attempt the once-a-week posts (even if they are accounts of a typical work week). Maybe I’ll even get Keith to post sometimes 🙂
  • Send snail mail or email or just comment on the blog to say “hi”. Message me for the New Zealand mailing address – jenniferaflanders@gmail.com . Favorite goods are anything with New England or American charm. 😉
  • Feel free to request a postcard, marmite, or manuka honey – love sending mail as much as receiving it!

CLOSING COMMENTS:

1) During my Bridging The Gap down-time, I wrote a guest post for my great WPI friend Erin’s “Traveling Techies” blog. Check it out. Hint – it’s all about New Zealand!

2) The parentals are always looking for new ways to figure out the time zone difference. I wanted to share that xkcd has put it all into perspective per usual.

3) Here is a closing shot of Christchurch previous to the February 2011 quake (left) and what the central city looks like now (right). The empty lots are prevalent.

Christchurch Before & Now

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4 thoughts on “Another Unexpected Journey – Here we go again!…

  1. Jen, I had dinner with your Mom the other night and she told me of your exciting news! I’ll keep working on her and your Dad to make the trip of a lifetime! Safe travels Jen and Keith!

  2. Ed Coyle says:

    You sound so excited, Jennifer. I’d be, too, to be honest. I’m very happy for you and Keith… and so jealous of the opportunity you’ve been blessed with. All the best

    • himma2 says:

      Thanks Ed, the excitement can only be shared in this post so well. Look — between you, Bonnie, Nancy, & my mom, I think I can safely say the MTA is my biggest blog fan!

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