FiNZ 48&49 – There and Back Again

The past 2 weekends we actually didn’t leave Christchurch – unheard of! Keith went surfing on a nice Saturday and I ran over to the beach to meet him, but otherwise we’ve been chilling out and planning our crazy intense April – our LAST month in New Zealand!

With our stay in its final weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about coming “home.” Keith still turns to me on our weekend trips or evening hikes and says “Do we really live here?” It’s been a really amazing experience; I may have to sum it up again in a final blog post. But in a nutshell living in New Zealand for the past year has probably been one of the best decisions of our collective lives.

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In honour of leaving, and for the sake of writing a blog post, I starting to think about things I’ll miss about living in the south island of New Zealand. Obviously, I compiled an exhaustive list. So here it goes, the following includes a large, yet incomplete, list of things I’ll miss about living here:

  1. Generally all-around nice people –
    1. Every time I grocery shop the teenage cashier asks me about my plans for the week/night/weekend and genuinely wants an answer. I will miss you cheerful minimum wage employees.
    2. We’ve had absolutely wonderful experiences with all the airbnb’s or “book a baches” we’ve stayed at the past year. Owners are friendly, helpful, and have offered loads of advice.
    3. All the folks we’ve met hiking around the country
    4. … There’s plenty more but that would fill an entire post
  2. Being reminded of Birthdays a day ahead of time. When you’re living a day in the future, your facebook updates are that more useful.
  3. “Capsicums”
  4. Picking up hitchhikers. Nope, I don’t think I’d ever do this in the US, but it has been quite fun here!
  5. $1 and $2 coins. A pocket full of change?! #RICH
  6. Heaps of craft beer
  7. On that verbage note…using words like “heaps”, “keen”, “boot”, “torch”, “sweet as” in everyday conversation.
  8. WINERIES EVERYWHERE
  9. Driving coast to coast in 3 hours
  10. Spending time in multiple eco-systems over the course of one day
  11. COFFEE – a great flat white. (Keith noted to me today that he will NOT miss his long black coffees. He enjoys Dunkins far too much)
  12. Fiords
  13. Mighty mountains
  14. Winter with snow only in the areas you want it to be (i.e. ski slopes)
  15. World class hiking
    1. The Great Walks
    2. The porthills and banks peninsula in our backyard
  16. The government’s parental leave policy
  17. Citizens having far less than 6 degrees of separation to the cast of the Bachelor…or any reality TV show for that matter
  18. Rugby
  19. The shoeless people in the grocery store
  20. Easily paying individually at restaurants (way easier than splitting the bill)
  21. Taxes and tip included on every price
  22. Mixing up my date order DD MM? MM DD?
  23. 8 hour drives that are TRULY enjoyable (except for that long ride through Ashburton…)
  24. No traffic…except in Christchurch city between 5 and 5:30pm
  25. Using my “e” and “s” letters–“storey”, “organise”… even wordpress wants to autocorrect these…
  26. Ground floor and first floors as different levels.
  27. Sheep
  28. The fresh meat, fish, and eggs that you can feel good about eating
  29. Beaches everywhere
  30. The multitude of stars, even in the “city”
  31. The “she’ll be right” attitude
  32. The bird life. Keith and I have officially become an old married couple.
  33. The ridiculous things that make national news. The perks of a small population country.
  34. Seeing America from the outside looking in.
  35. The commonwealth comedy. Jono & Ben+Guy Williams, the Gap Year folks, Graham Norton. I don’t know what it is about comedy here, maybe things are just allowed to be politically incorrect maybe its the accent, but it’s quite entertaining.

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