I decided to return to New Zealand for the first time in New Zealand purely for family. I had two weeks between the end of the semester and my summer job, and since I honestly wasn’t sure when I’d have that time again, I made the impulsive decision to go–I didn’t want to ever regret not taking that chance.

I didn’t quite expected how emotional it would be, just how attached I am. I’ve thought a lot about ‘home’ in the past ten years, so it surprised me that booking a flight to Auckland meant I was going home. But it really was. I innately kept thinking “I’m going home.”

I truly have the most incredible family, and really awesome friends who I could see myself falling so easily in with. While it was so lovely catching up with everyone, I truly wished that I lived nearby and could catch up every week. So much love.

Christchurch in particular was crazy to see. I spent my first afternoon home walking around this city that had once felt so huge to me and wondering at how tiny it was and at how much construction was occurring following the 2011 earthquakes. I adored a lot of the graffiti all over–from “I always knew you would come back” to “Try not to think about it” the adornments were mostly poignant. When I had first moved there from Invercargill, it had seemed so big and so cosmopolitan. While it’s as gorgeous and the parks are as lovely as I remembered, it really reminded me that New Zealand is tiny.

But home is home. I’m a kiwi. Nothing more need be said.