We were sitting on the beach in Omapere, New Zealand, on the Hokianga Harbour: the place where the Maori people first landed 800 years ago. Waves were crashing on the sandy beach and rocks. The sun was shining. Corey turned to me and asked, “Isn’t this one of the greatest place that we’ve stayed?”
We were staying in this lovely bach, the kiwi name for a family beach house/shack. You could feel the fun and love that had happened there, with the exorbitant number of beach towels, hammocks, dog leashes and the wabi sabi nature of the kitchen. This home that was well-loved like the Velveteen Rabbit, and maybe that’s why–yes–it definitely felt like one of the greatest places we’d stayed.
The week we stayed in the bach gave us a nice temporary release from being on the road. We had been traveling for nearly five months, and reflecting back on our journey, we’d moved fast. Aside from our longer stay in Israel, we rarely spent more than two or three nights in one place. Our accommodations ranged from a yurt, to a safari tent, to a 5-star luxury hotel, to a farmstay, to serene campsites, to a log cabin, to a sustainable gypsy caravan, to even the unfortunate flat on top of a very rowdy bar on a Friday night. And none of these places felt like home, despite all the ways we would try to make them.
Despite all of our traveling and freedom, we did still feel at least a little bit restless, with a new-found yearning for a home of our own. A place to raise our family. A place of sacredness. A place of warmth, fun and giggles. Maybe this is why we had to go on this journey as a family; to truly appreciate what home means.
On Christmas Day, we completed the last leg of our Around-the-World flights as we flew from Fiji to Los Angeles…home, for now…
We are still are adjusting to being back, and, as it happens, still looking for a home to live in (thanks for hosting us in the meantime, Anh and Adam!) But as we begin to look back and reflect on the adventures we just had, we are so grateful. Grateful for the opportunity we had to truly explore this incredible planet, grateful for the uninterrupted time as a family that we had, and grateful for all of the support and love we felt from near and far, all throughout. We are truly blessed.