Letters to a Friend: The End of (this) Road

30.09.14: Wanaka, New Zealand (Katharine to Caroline)

Dear Caroline,

It’s been great to hear your voice again over the last few days. I’m so looking forward to our Wednesdays recounting adventures, alongside the laughter of our children and a glass of pinot. We’re homeward bound, and yes I am happy we’ve had such a wonderful adventure. As Hanz sums it up: “We’ve had a summer holiday and we’ve skied!”

Working out the work-life balance has seen me find a calm place where I’ve been noticeably more engaged. It’s an unfamiliar pace of life yet one that is without an anxious panic and increased heart rate. I sleep eight hours a night and feel less rushed; there are no lists to complete. Ironically as I reluctantly prepare for our journey home life here has also become more cemented; Coco has found her groove at day-care and tells me with tears she’ll miss her friends, my heart skips a beat. We’ve started to meet people, who I know if we lived here, I could easily become friends with, and we’ve established routines.

I’ve been pondering your questions on how I bring the calm and uncluttered way we’ve been living back to Auckland for some time now. Family time and living in the moment has been an important part of my journey. The moment is often heading up the mountain to ski. This is where I am at my best, serene and calm, surrounded by nature’s white cloak with a smile on my face. I don’t recognise this feeling in Auckland, despite Piha, and all the other offerings I have in my life there. Is it being so close to nature; the freedom, energy, fresh air? I can’t pinpoint it or bottle it up and bring it home. But there are things I can bring with me (well at least I hope so).

If only I could bottle it

If only I could bottle it

Happy place - Cardrona, Wanaka

Happy place – Cardrona, Wanaka

I want to continue with yoga and make this a regular practice in my life. Easy! I’ve found a studio just down the road from work with a class that fits with my timetable, and I’m keen to check out Rebecca’s The Centre. Watch out downward dog!

I’m going to have a tech free weekend (I hear you girlfriend but we must rid ourselves of these beastly contraptions). So the second weekend of every month I’m handing over my iPhone and iPad to Hanz (yes he will be checking just so we don’t become complete social piranahas). These devices just suck us in; they are the ultimate time wasters.

Less consumerism! Haha I hear you laugh but really my wardrobe has one of everything that is on the hanger this spring/summer. Living without all my wearables has made me re-think what I actually need. I’m not giving it up (that would be a crazy ask) but less is more. I’m excited about revisiting my wardrobe, who knows what I will find.

Toi tois and view

One of the joys of living in Wanaka has been the great outdoors. I’m not an adventurer, in fact I’m still a city girl at heart, but I have so appreciated the beauty of living in a small town surrounded by majestic views, where outdoor activities are a natural extension of everyday life. I will miss the lakeside view and the mountains, the leisurely walks into town, stopping to admire the change of seasons, the colours: yellow kowhai, aqua blue lake, pure white snow, pink cherry blossom. For some reason living close to nature has slowed me down. So I am going to stop rushing. When I go walking I am going to admire the view and let my senses overload. I’m going to be more impulsive, say ‘yes’ rather than be tied to the lists of things I think we should do.

Hanz and Trudy wine and cheese Lake-side

Hanz and Trudy wine and cheese Lake-side

And lastly my dear friend I’m going to miss my family (don’t fret, I’m not leaving them, instead it’s back to work and daycare full time). I’ve realised in three months Hanz and I have had only one night apart and the only other time is when I go to yoga or do some exercise or he has a chiropractor appointment. On average that’s less than an hour a day. Wow! I guess he’s the one, (now that makes me smile). To quote that extract you sent me from Paula Morrison’s ‘The Mexican’:

“It feels as though you’ve invented him, as though you’ve invented each other. It feels as though you’ve never been in love before.”

To footnote here, it hasn’t all been a bed of roses. I’m still prone to outbursts of vitriol that roll out of my mouth at a high speed. There are no brakes only the spillage as it hits the target. Fortunately I am forgiven – so no, it’s not perfect – but yes he has been invented just for me!


I wipe away a tear as I say goodbye to Coco’s day care teacher and then again out walking along the Lake for the last time. As we drive passed Mt Iron heading North, I know we will again someday call this place home.

See you at the end of this road.




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