Friday, 28 April 2017

#52Stories, Week 17, Where are your roots ? Do you feel strong ties to a particular place, either because of your own personal experiences or your ancestry ?

Where are my roots ? 

Definitely not in Auckland.

There is some thing about the "Tron" (Hamilton) but I think really it is just it's familiarity; growing up there and returning for holidays to visit people after we moved. Then moving back for a couple of years as a young Mum after returning from Australia.

Welly ? It is probably some of the same. When I came back from overseas, flying in to land in Wellington always felt like coming home. But actually ? Although I probably have spent the majority of my life living there, and I have some great friends (who I don't see nearly as much of as I would like) it doesn't have the same pull that it used to anymore.

Christchurch ? I LOVE this city, I really enjoyed my brief time living there and I love visiting. It has family connections too (grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents...) Great drives north to Blenheim along the coast (before the earthquake), and south to Dunedin, inland to Tekapo or over to the West Coast. It doesn't quite have the pull to make me want to return and stay - just yet. Maybe one day.

There are plenty of other places that I like to visit in New Zealand; Matamata, Thames, Cambridge, Blenheim, Motueka, Kaikoura, Dunedin... But I'm a city girl and I think the idea of an idyllic life in a small town or city would wear thin pretty fast for me. New Zealand doesn't do provincial towns well compared to what I have seen in other countries.

Sydney is always exciting to visit and it still has that pull drawing me back. I love it's familiarity, the ease of getting from place to place by ferry, bus or train. It does still have a bit of a feeling of coming home, and it is always hard to say goodbye.

Brisbane, not so much. It has some great points, don't get me wrong, but it never really had that "home" feeling for me. I don't know why.

Adelaide is a bit the same. I liked living there, the architecture and the ease of getting around. Maybe that has something to do with why I like Christchurch too - they were designed by the same person (Colonel Light) with squares and parklands and an easy to navigate grid like layout. Streets inside the parklands, roads and long avenues outside of them. The weather was a bit extreme 40+ in the summer and snow on the hills in winter. For me though, at the time, it felt a l-o-n-g way from home. I've been back once and found the quiet pace a bit too slow for me.

Melbourne, not a city I have lived in, but definitely a city I COULD live in, or try to live in. Something about the vibe, and all the green in the inner city. The walks along the river and the public transport.

Canberra, a new city I have recently discovered and one which holds a certain amount of interest for me. I could live there, there is a lot of artsy stuff going on and they have proper weather. I could fly back to Wellington without having to drive, train or fly to Sydney first. I'm just not so sure there are enough work opportunities.

Other places in Oz ? Bendigo, Tamworth, Port Macquarie, Forster, Wollongong, Kiama, Goulburn...I've only lived (briefly) in Forster and in even smaller Werris Creek (near Tamworth) but these are all towns I have enjoyed visiting, so who knows.

Utah, the friendliest and most surprising state from last year's whirlwind tour. All of the states which were part of the holiday were unexpected surprises. But the friendliness and welcoming nature of people encountered in Utah was a stand-out. The landscape offers plains and prairies and enormous mountains with ski resorts. Anyone up for a timeshare ? I think I could be. The only negatives are the getting a green card palaver...and the current administration. 3 years 265 days to go (at most).

England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Europe. It is almost ten years since I first travelled to the UK and arriving there just felt like I belonged. Returning three years ago with big plans (which faltered and failed) that feeling was still there. Like my bones and my soul know. From a distance I still yearn for it, Somerset, London, East Anglia, West Midlands, the Marches, Wales, Scotland. In fact every inch of it. The villages, the cities, the people, the scenery, the history. I don't think there was anywhere that I didn't really like. Circumstance made some places seem a bit unappealing, but not enough to not go and try again, sometime. Ireland is one country I haven't been to yet, along with most of Europe - but one day I am sure they will draw me back - and hopefully let me stay.

So, where are my roots ? I don't think there is any one place yet, I just don't think I have found that exact place just yet. 

But I do know, it ain't here. Auckland, you're on notice. Your time is nearly up.


  1. When I was first in England I was on the way elsewhere but it was immediately familiar and although I wasn't expecting it that term homeland, or motherland, used to describe it in NZ was surprisingly poignant. People here still regularly query "why would I choose to live in the shires when surely NZ has so much more? "

  2. I KNOW !! It's in our DNA, and so close in our histories. I WILL be back though, just got to work out a plan.