I wrote this post early this week – we’re probably already on the plane!
I’ve been having a few anxiety moments. Then I realised we’re now on the brink of leaving: we depart this week. Four months ago, when we bought our tickets, it seemed like the day, the day we’d leave our home country, would never come. And yet, it’s coming nearer and nearer with every minute.
I’m excited. I love Japan, the food, the language, the fashion, the culture, Ghibli Studio, manga, and so much more. I can’t wait to get my hands on a pretty wagashi (Japanese traditional sweet).
But I’m also pretty nervous. I know my kids are super noisy (to Japanese standards), we’re noisy. We’re also big, we eat a lot, we’re tattooed. But that’s not really it.
The thing is I’m not feeling strange because we’re going to Japan. I’m feeling it because we’re leaving NZ, even if it’s just for a while.
It took a while for it to really hit me, and when it finally did, it hit hard. Really hard.
I was born in Brazil (all of us, except Coral), and I also lived in Japan and Spain. Yet I never really felt home. Until NZ.
This is the first place I felt like I belonged, and it’s not because I have tons of friends, I know everyone and everywhere and all that, because I don’t. It just feels like home when I’m here.
It isn’t a perfect country, and I don’t believe there’s such thing, but it fits me perfectly. It fits us, as a family. And I love it, with all my heart. I really do.
I can’t even explain. I just feel it: I’m relaxed, in peace and I can just be.
I love how I can let my kids run around the park without my knowing exactly where they are all the time. I love that I can let the older ones go ride their bikes around the neighborhood. I love the beautiful NZ accent – although it did take me a while to understand it. I love the mix of nature and city. I love how there are people from all over the world everywhere. I love how people are accepted the way they are here.
Oh, I hear it! The ‘why are you leaving, then?’. Well, we’re not really leaving, more like going for a trip. And I’d like to travel with my kids around the world. And how will I know how much long we have to do it?
If there’s one thing traveling has taught me is that fear doesn’t go away if you don’t face it. Once you do, you know, look at your fear in the eye, most likely you’ll see it’s unfunded, utter nonsense. That’s when you’ll get past it.
Now every time I feel agitated, restless, I know it’s because we’re leaving. What soothes me is the thought that we’ll come back. We’ll come back better people, hopefully.
Have you ever felt something like this?