I believe we travel for two reasons. The first reason is a public one, a common one — we want to meet different people, see different sights, taste different foods. Certainly there is delight in it, & pleasure. The second reason we travel is a private one — to look out with the same eyes into a mirror & encounter a stranger looking back: to change. We long to expand our minds & our souls, & to never be the same again. And, by far, (I have discovered) the greatest country to do that in is New Zealand.

My family & I only spent 11 days in New Zealand, a tip of a tip of the iceberg of the time you spent there, but it was enough to reach out & touch Heaven. And this coming from an atheist! So odds are, you would not have been as altered have you traveled for as long around, say Eastern or Western Europe, or United States (where I live), or Africa. Or would have been changed differently. The point is (and I do have a point) you have changed dramatically & irrevocably, & all who stayed behind did NOT. And as loving & supportive as they may be, you are simply not seeing the world the same way nor want the same things from it. That’s just natural.

But the life you will now build for yourself will be different, as well, and it will be up to your specs. & yours alone. “A mind expanded will never go back to its original shape.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

Good luck to you. And if you a minute or three, check out my blog on my New Zealand obsession. I’m telling you, there is something about those two islands…

Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.

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