A Bittersweet Goodbye

This article was written a couple of weeks ago, when we were busy moving out of our apartment and packing for our trip to Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands. I never got to publish it, but now that we have settled down a bit in Jeddah and Maria is asleep, I finally had some time to finish it.

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As the boxes are piling up, the apartment is slowly getting emptier. With each box we fill we become more aware that we are closing yet another chapter. Sure, we will come back to New Zealand and Hamilton, but we will not return to this apartment  – the place where Maria was born and spent the first 19 months of her life.

Maria is aware that something big is about to happen as well. She is extremely emotional these days. When one of us leaves the apartment, she begins to cry hysterically, as if she is afraid we won’t return. The walls in her room are empty, and where are the letters that spell out her name on her bedroom door?

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Cliché as it sounds, it is a bittersweet goodbye. We are excited to visit our family and friends back home, to break away from the routine, to visit new places. But we are sad to leave Hamilton and miss big part of the spring and summer, to say goodbye to dear friends here as well as to the activities we enjoy doing every week: Playcentre, music class, playground trips, yoga practice.

I tell myself it’s a good thing I am sad to leave. It means that in less than two years, I could establish a life here and meet new friends. I am grateful that I have things and people to look forward to when we come back in three months’ time. I just need to take a deep breath, be aware of all the blessings in my life, and leap into this adventure that will take us to the places we once called home for the next three months.

Meanwhile, it will give me hopefully lots of stuff to write about and photos to show, so keep an eye on this space. Bon Voyage!

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