I’ve fallen in love 6,700+ miles away from my hometown.
The feeling is exhilarating.
Now, when I say love, it doesn’t necessarily have to be with someone of the opposite (or same) sex.
I’ve fallen in love with where I live: Wellington, New Zealand.
Thanks to Feedly (BEST visual RSS feed ever), I stumbled upon an interesting article via Jetset Times that resonated in me– my heart, my soul, my mind, my nerdy glasses, everything. It was written by another young traveler who discusses how to truly love who you are, as well as where you are… and most importantly, not care or worry about whether you have a “significant other” to also love.
Like Ms. Cooper, I knew I wanted to move abroad as a single, independent woman. Unlike Ms. Cooper, when it came to finally moving, I struggled to adapt to my new home and had no inner love for myself as a result.
Three months later, I’ve found the same tranquility, inner peace, and love that she speaks of… I’ve fallen in love with everything involving Wellington.
The cafe culture. The 40-minute walk home I do along the coast… with hardly anyone around me. The friendliness of Kiwis. The incredibly laid-back lifestyle. The beaches and bays everywhere. The insanely breathtaking views while hiking. The endless amounts of forestry. The bookstores. The quietude. The wildlife and bugs, all of which will never do any harm to you. The safety. The adorable pets (they love their cats and dogs here). The isolation of the islands. The paradise. The calmness. The natural beauty.
My perspective of New Zealand has changed rapidly over the last few months… in a great way. I’ve been at peace most when I grow on my own, which always means exploring on my own. I’ve channeled a lot of my hidden introverted-ness to be okay with where I am and how I’m living. I enjoy keeping to myself and not going hog wild in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I enjoy getting weekends just for me— not catered to anyone else’s schedule or penciling in appointments, like the California girl in me used to.
I finally love who I am, how I’m changing, why I’m here, and where I am… and the struggles along the way serve as the foundation for my life lessons.
This is why I moved: Wellington embodies my true love, my happiness, my peace.
With Valentine’s Day (ridiculously dumb, by many people’s standards, including mine) upon us, I end on this note: It’s always nice to love and to be loved, of course. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t take a step back from it all and learn to love yourself and your surroundings before fretting, swooning, or fantasizing over any one person.