Lately I’ve been reflecting back on my life. This is thanks to this blog, mostly. I’ve been thinking back on travel adventures, both recent and while growing up. This led me to think about my life in general and it’s been pretty good. In fact, I’ve been pretty lucky. I have a great support system which is my family.
This consists of :
- My awesome Dad, Jeff, who has always supported me and my siblings in everything we do, and has endless patience (except when it comes to his football). He also loves to tell us stories about our life (both past and present), and is a fantastic story teller. (My favourite is the one where he made me suddenly cry because he started screaming and jumping up and down when his football team won their match, and toddler me had toddled into the room with no idea what was about to happen.)
- My lovely Mum, Julie, who surprises me with random sweet messages and updates on either facebook, email or text every other week. She is also the reason why I now like to take photos everywhere I go, as she has thoroughly documented my life growing up with hundreds and hundreds of photos.
- My cool older sister, Jo, who has been my best friend growing up. We are only 16 months apart, so we were constantly together, playing, talking and being silly. Since we both moved out (and she went to Auckland) and have our respective lives going on (with our respective partners), it’s been harder to keep in as regular contact as we used to, but we try. Bonus shout out to Tibor, my stoic, soon to be brother-in-law (you’ve been engaged for like three years now, come on guys).
- My younger (and now taller) brother, Andrew, who completed the trio of siblings. He’s 6 years younger than me, so there was a bit of a gap, and we considered him the ‘annoying’ younger brother sometimes. But I still remember all the silly things we got up to as a trio, especially with our first ever digital camera. All those files are safely stored away on a hard drive, to make sure they never see the light of day unless we want to embarass each other.
- This last person has been a more recent addition to the family (and he’s not ‘techically’ family till the 25th), but my wonderful fiancé, Rory. We’ve been together for over 5 years now, and having someone like him be in my life and be my partner has been (and will continue to be) an incredible experience.
This is the most recent photos I could find of us, Mum and Dad took turns taking photos. This was during Christmas 2015.
Growing up, we were based mostly in New Zealand. We travelled down to Blenheim every two years for Christmas, to see my grandparents (on my dad’s side). Occasionally, we’d also visit other cities down south (like Kaikoura and Nelson). We also have taken road trips around the North Island to Taupo, Rotorua, Auckland, Napier…I’m sure there’s more, but you get the picture. We travelled around a fair few times.
From the age of 4-6, we also went overseas to the Philippines where my mum is from. Sad to say, that I have very limited and just vague memories of when I lived there. I know I went to kindergarten and first grade there. I apparently came first out of my kindergarten (it was a pretty big school) and had to do a speech in front of a thousand people. I don’t remember that, but I may have hit peak academia when I was 5.
Once coming back to New Zealand, we moved a few times between houses. By my count, we moved around 5 times. Each time was in a different suburb, and our stay ranged from a year to 5 years. We were moving a lot. I sometimes think if it would’ve been nice if we had just one house, like how many people talk about their ‘childhood home’. But then, I wouldn’t have all these memories about us moving, all the stories that came from these experiences, all the new places I got to see, and all the new bedrooms I got to decorate. It’s also helpful when telling stories, because by narrowing down which house we lived in at the time, I can remember how old I would’ve been.
Life is built on stories. Stories from experiences you have growing up, and experiences you have yet to have. Growing up, I’ve been very lucky to have mostly positive experiences, there were a few rough patches, as everyone gets hit with those. But for me, I always try to focus on the good. I consider myself a positive person, there’s a lot of bad things happening out there, and being aware of them is important, but dwelling on them isn’t. You need a healthy balance. Looking through pictures and videos is my favourite way of doing that. This blog helps me organize these even better, and I’ve had a blast writing them.
Anyway, that’s my rambling for today. Just wanted to gather my thoughts and share them here. Thanks for reading.