gearing up for goodbyes.

Despite a week or two of some serious debating, in three weeks’ time I will officially be en route to Queenstown, via a lovely southern tour of Dunedin, Invercargill, and Stewart Island.

Like most things in life, the decision was a fast one. [I can see myself eloping one day, three hours before the ceremony at Town Hall, saying, “Call Mom and Dad – and make it quick!” Any other option will seriously give me too much to think about it.] But yeah… newspaper articles, advice from friends, general hear-say – none of it spoke positively about the situation in Queenstown. No flats, no jobs, no hope. Even though I had a few potential connections, I just hadn’t gotten around to looking into them. Finally on Monday night, after another long day at the office, I though, “Oh, what the heck,” and actually did something about it.

Arron’s dad manages a NZ chain of supermarkets here in Christchurch called Fresh Choice, and had at one point mentioned getting me a job at the Queenstown branch if I ended up moving down there. I sent him an email Monday and woke up Tuesday to a reply (and phone call!) saying he’d already spoken to the manager that morning and had work for me in Queenstown.

“Well, shoot…” I thought, and gave my landlord a call Tuesday night, as he’d also talked about owning a couple of homes in Queenstown. As life would have it, he has an 8-bedroom house TWO minutes’ walk from the Fresh Choice where he’s using a bedroom for himself, but after three weeks, it’s all mine. Really? Seriously? This is what I spent a week debating over? Within twenty-fours, life in Queenstown =  sorted.

When issues like accommodation and employment sort themselves out with that amount of ease, it’s probably wise to take notice. It’s not that I exactly want to leave Christchurch at the moment. Especially when my boss at the restaurant told me she’s looking for an assistant manager. On one hand, I could love nothing more than doing that, settling into this one city for a while. But I also know in that strange my-gut-is-telling-me kind of way, I have to go. I don’t want to look back on my year here and regret that I didn’t see or do more. Maybe if I had more time here, but with the deadline of next March always on the horizon, this is it.

And the thing is, I don’t – and might never – know if I’m making the right choice. When the door is yours to close, it’s a little harder letting go. One thing is for sure about this ever-transient lifestyle – you will always be leaving something behind, whether it’s a favorite pair of heels that are so obviously impractical to bring along, or someone you love. Missing things is a way of life. Wherever I am, people ask, “What do you miss most?” If I’m away, it’s what I miss about home; if I’m home, it’s what I miss about London or wherever. It’s like I’m never complete.

So this is good-bye to Christchurch – and I can’t forget the first part of that word. This is good, even if it is hard to leave. It’s always good to be on the move again, fighting the encroaching comfort zone and launching all on the hope that this is the right move to make.


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