A 10-week house-sit brought me back to Auckland in January. Auckland is my hometown and I settled quickly – I knew the people and I knew the places. I was so comfortable that I forgot to ‘explore’. I became afraid this comfortable “warm bath” feeling may become the norm and I would really “settle”.
While in Auckland, I found a job to top up the bank account. The job was a short-term contract with the University of Auckland and I continued to house sit in Auckland – getting more comfortable and into a rhythm.
Then … in March I was offered a house sit in Switzerland – three months over Christmas. I leaped out of my warm bath and started planning. My philosophy has been to allow house-sits to choose where I go and here I am in Germany house sitting. My bath is no longer warm – I don’t speak (or read) German, the supermarket shelves are challenging, the television/radio is in German, but I am out of my comfort zone and experiencing the world, which incidentally New Zealand is such a tiny, though precious, piece.
Two things to remember – get out of the warm bath (especially if you have been there for a while) and remember the people …
I met wonderful people at the UoA (and from my house sits). It takes time for me to develop relationships and learn about people’s dreams, aspirations, and their priorities. I did this with some UoA people I met on my commuting buses e.g. the 550 (Jenny), 625 (Helena) and 972 (Margaret, Alice, Kate) bus. The Pizza afternoon also gave an opportunity to laugh and participate and I did not expect the singing. From the shared and vegan lunches of the “fun’ side, I was able to learn more.
Thank you UoA people for the farewell, the morning tea, the afternoon pizza – it was awesome, but I did not capture those moments. Another lesson … take photos – I had many opportunities during my last week at UoA to take photos and I regret I did not. Please, Finance gather around your whiteboard (or whatever) and send me a picture. And the “fun” side send me a group pic too. I will post them to this blog.