Home isn't always a set place. "Home" can be wherever you are at any given instant, as long as you feel at home there. For the past month and a half, my home has been on the roads of New Zealand; in busses and hostels with other travelers from all over the world. Home has been walking barefoot on a quiet street in Hawaii, and atop a mountain ridge on horseback with wind biting at my face. It's been paddling in kayaks and going on treks and sipping tea at night and window shopping. Each new town became home; for the hour, the day, the week.
Leaving New Zealand behind is bittersweet. Bitter because this place has come to mean and represent so much to me throughout the years. But sweet because I've learned so much about myself here. And I've learned that home is not always a place, it's a mindset. Look for joy and happiness wherever you are. Smile at people. Say hello to someone. Appreciate little things. If you do this, you will feel at home wherever you are.
So I'm leaving home to return home, to California.
I can't wait for what joys and adventures I might find there, now that I've learned to look for them.
Haere rā, Aotearoa.