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New Zealand, the home of my problems and answers [Day 1 of Thankfulness]

currently: listening to 'Not a One' by The Young Wild

Hello 2016. I'm going to be thankful.

Everyone often thinks of goals at the start of a new year. They're focused on 'how will I be a better/smarter/skinnier/fitter version of myself in 365 days'. But how often do we think 'life's given me a lot to be grateful for already'?

This month, I want to start my year being reminded about the good things in my life, and the things in my life I can be thankful and proud of (as a part of my Happiness Project). Because I want to be honest - I don't stop enough and just think about how blessed I am. Starting with living in this beautiful country - New Zealand.


I spent a good portion of last year watching friends, family, workmates and such leave for their big overseas vacations. As they posted their envy-inducing photos to their Facebook feed, all I did was yearn for the same. I wanted a vacation; to vacate from life's problems. I didn't want to deal with work, or chores, or being an adult. In fact, does anyone in life actually want to deal with those things?

So when I went to the Gold Coast late last year - I thought it was going to paradise. Great weather, great shopping, a great apartment we were staying in - it felt perfect. I would sit by myself at the windowsill of our apartment with a cup of water, watching the waves on Surfers Paradise crash towards the shore on and on again. I'd think, breathe, meditate and just simply exist in the early hours of Gold Coast's sunrise. It was bliss. I didn't have to be 9am-5pm me and deal with the problems I had back here.

However, even though I was a three hour plane ride away, and three hours behind New Zealand, the thoughts I had sitting there were always about home. I'd think about my friends, my family, my workmates, and my responsibilities I had left behind. At first I thought it was cause I was being a control freak... But it was more because I just cared about them, and missed them.

The fact is, no matter how far I want to run and escape my life - my life is about the people I care about. And they're all home in New Zealand.

My favourite place in the world (other than the comfort of my bedroom) is my local beach. In no other place do I go somewhere to ask God all my questions and give him all my thanks.

I've had a lot of memories there. I've spent my childhood building sandcastles with my family, flying kites on the sand with my dad. During summer or winter, whether we were 10 years old or 20, my friends and I would spend hours play on the playground. I've had countless walks with friends, family, or my boyfriend as the tide moved, or we'd just sitting in cars drinking hot chocolate and talking about our futures. I cried there when I got rejected from university, felt peace as my boyfriend and I would catch a glimpse of the sunset from the top of the hill, laughed as my friends would dig themselves ridiculously looking sand sculptures.

I can feel calm just standing on the shore of this country, staring out into the ocean. I never feel anxious. Just at ease and comfort.

The fact is, New Zealand isn't my favourite place because I can avoid my problems. New Zealand is the place I go there to seek answers and seek peace with my own life. How many places in the world provide that sort of return?

New Zealand is more than a few islands clustered together at the bottom of the world. Unlike the rest of the world where I go to run from my problems, New Zealand is where I find my answers and I find my thankfulness.

For the month of January 2016, I'm writing 31 personal stories about things in my life I'm thankful for. See all my posts during my month of thankfulness here.

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