Coming Home

On 1 December, after 630 days, 35 countries, 156,106 miles travelled by air, 37,154 photos, nearly a hundred shows, 281 posts, and one court appearance, I came home.

Paul and I at Auckland Airport, seconds after getting off the plane.

I was worried that little old Auckland would feel like a small pond after the crazy pace of London, and it does. But there are good things about that.

For starters, I can afford to live in a flat that’s larger than a garden shed. And I’ve already found a job that I’m quite excited about starting in the new year. Though I may have to get over my allergy to exercise… I’m the new Marketing Manager for a very energetic fitness brand!

Mince and Cheese pies are also a great reason to be home. Plus sherbet fizz, Whittaker’s chocolate, pineapple lumps, grapefruit frujus and being able to refer to someone’s deck without people laughing.

But the best thing about coming home, perhaps predictably, was that first moment of reunion with family and friends. I felt dizzy looking at the back of the automatic doors at Arrivals after I’d passed through customs. That moment had been the subject of my thoughts and dreams for nearly two years… and now that it had arrived, it didn’t seem real. It felt too easy – in my dreams something always went wrong.

My heart was pounding, and my legs felt like jelly as the doors started to open. Soon, I was running. I have no idea where my trolley ended up – all I wanted to do was catch up on nearly two years’ worth of hugs.

When we got home, my sister had a surprise for me. She had painstakingly recreated one of my favourite travel photos – taken in Porto in July – and named it “Coming Home”.

The original photo.
Hannah’s incredible painting.
It’s good to be back.