I grew up in a small place in New Zealand and despite my very happy and fortunate childhood I spent my youth thinking about ways to escape.
Looking back it was the perfect place to grow up, the weather was good, we had wide open spaces to play in and we never had to worry about having money to do things. Yet I always had a sense that there was something bigger and better out there and I was itching to get to it whatever or wherever it may be.
When I was about five years old I would pack clothes and a banana into my little yellow handled red plastic suitcase, say my farewells to my teddy bears and walk to the end of the driveway. There I would stop and think further about my plan and where I was going to go. After five minutes of realising that I had no plan and that mum had not even noticed my absence, I would go straight back up the driveway.
When I was ten years old I got my first speed bike and I can still remember the feeling of freedom that bike gave me. I finally had mobility, a mode of transport that wasn’t my mum or dad´s car. I would wake my little sister up early, pack some food and plan to cycle as far away as our legs would take us. More often than not we would eat all of our food in the first 10 minutes, get tired after an hour and start to head home.
When I was 16 years old I pestered my mum to let me do an exchange abroad in France. I just had to get out of New Zealand, I would tell her. So then one morning when my mum came to tell me that our whole family were moving half way across the world, I was excited. It was what I had been waiting for- a way to get out and experience everything.
And then we actually left and it really hurt. I missed my friends, I missed being around people with the same accent, I missed the Pacific ocean, the culture, the bare-feet, the slang, the All Black rugby devotion. I missed everything about my country and my place in the world.
Though as time went on I adjusted. I made new friends, went to university, started a career and my concept of home and my place in the world began to change. But then not long after settling I started looking for the excitement again. So I went off to find it and I went through the whole cycle of moving and adjusting once more. I have repeated this cycle a few times in my life and I now find myself in Argentina.
Here I found an Argentine man that I love and I am making a home in Buenos Aires with him. He makes me happy and he gives me a sense of home, but yet just like my 5 year old self I still have urges to run away and to experience the new, the fresh and the exciting.
So now my challenge is to balance out that urge and to focus more on building a life here. If my travels have taught me one thing about myself it is that I don’t want a life of constant wandering.
What I do want is a full life. Full of friends from different cultures, different hobbies and loving relationships. I want a strong home base, frequent travel with some familiar comforts sprinkled in.
Now that I’m an adult I know that exciting things can be found right where I am and that I can be content sitting still. Life anywhere has the good and the bad and regardless of location its my responsibility to build the fulfilling life I want.