2020 has been a chaotic year for us all. Nothing has quite gone to plan, and of the hand I’ve been dealt this year ‘start a blog’ is probably the least shocking, but that says more about my year rather than my desire to start to write. Forgive me if this is a bit all over the place, I’m learning as I go on this one; thanks for joining me.

For anyone that has spoken to me in the last, almost, 2 years they will know the fact I lived in New Zealand for 16 months is pretty much a personality trait of my mine now; I really won’t shut up about it. 

Within my first few weeks of living there I was walking home from a night of meeting new friends and listening to Dolly Alderton’s Love Stories podcast. This particular episode was with Matt Haig and he read his list of “Things that I have enjoyed since the time I wasn’t sure I would ever enjoy anything again” from his book Reasons to stay alive. It was such a moving and rousing list that it prompted me later to write my own of a similar vein.

So, here we have, my list of things that have brought me joy in New Zealand (written in July 2019):

-meeting new people that instantly feel like friends

-roadtrips with good music

-swimming in lakes

-swimming in rivers

-swimming in the sea

-learning to surf on a black sand beach

-the feeling of the sun on your face when you close your eyes

-waking up to the sound of birds

-soup when you feel ill

-seeing your friends in love

-seeing your friends get married

-dancing to a live band at a wedding

-dancing to a live band in an Irish bar

-dancing in the kitchen

-tomatoes picked straight from the garden

-lemon trees

-golden light that touches the world

-a good sunrise

-a good sunset

-warm evenings feeling invincible

-art galleries

-feeling inspired

-being believed in by people that hardly know you

-making a trick shot in a game of beer pong

-sharing a bed and talking until you fall asleep

-Duck Island ice-cream

-playing scrabble under the grapefruit tree

-a touch of home when you need it most

-reading in the park

-reading in bed on a lazy morning

-reading at the beach

-carrying on when you weren’t sure you could

-the view from the top of the Hakaramitas

-saying yes to everything

-seeing the same three cows and one horse daily

-the fluffy cat at the end of the road

-seeing new birds for the first time

-the sound of the stream when walking to the supermarket

-coming to a secluded beach on what felt like a failed run

-the sound of popcorn made on the stove

-the film Bohemian Rhapsody

-watching David Attenborough at 4am with someone you just met

-the shower after getting off the plane

-showering after being at the beach all day

-a hot shower when you are freezing cold

-being made dinner by a friend

-communal dinners

-sharing secrets with people you haven’t known long

-honest talks during Uber rides

-feeling weightless as you walk home realising you’re in love with New Zealand

Just a few of my happy memories from a country and a group of people that gave me so much.


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