Last week we visited Disneyland. We rode the classic rides, ate ice creams the size of our heads and watched incredible parades and shows. It was all we imagined it would be and more and was well worth the sacrifices we had to make to get there (which I will write about soon!) I keep humming the Disney music from the parade and feeling excited just to know we were even there!
We then flew into London and spent two action packed days seeing the sights: Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the Tower which was also very special. It has been a fabulous trip so far, one in which we have made many memories that I know we will revisit again and again over the years to come.
Now we are in our old home town and it is just as magical. We are blessed to be able to spend time with our family and friends and to revisit some of the places we loved to be when we lived here. When you have lived on the other side of the world for 4 years, just walking down the street looking at familiar shops you had forgotten about is exciting. Walking round the supermarket is a source of joy as you rediscover your favourite snacks. It seems incredible that we can be here again, almost like a dream.
It reminds me that this place will always be my home.
I have spent lots of time thinking about where we are supposed to be. Sometimes I feel homesick for our old life here but I also know I would miss our lovely life in Auckland if we left that behind too. We have more than one home and are blessed to belong in two places.
When I first dreamed of moving to the other side of the world, I had no idea how much it would change us all. How brave we would become and how strong. I am so grateful for the chances we have been given and for the friendship, love, support and kindness we have been shown by our family and friends and everyone we have met as our adventure continues to unfold.
For me, the magic of Disneyland lies in the connections made to the classic stories. There is the promise that good will triumph over bad, the power of friendship, being true to yourself and knowing that love will always win in the end. Perhaps the reason these stories are so popular is that they echo real life. When we are faced with challenging times, when we feel insecure and lost, if we need courage or strength, we need only remember that this same magic is there in the real world as well. Good will always triumph in the end and all you need is love.
As we finish our once in a lifetime holiday, catching up with our family and friends here and experiencing the magic of our home town, I know that I will always feel grateful for this special time. After four years living away, it is magical to see our girls playing with their cousins, to cuddle my nanny and grandad and spend time with our oldest and dearest friends. It is also amazing to me that we have been able to make a new life for ourselves and have been made so welcome in a community on the opposite side of the world. It is proof that life really is a magical exciting adventure and reminds me of one of my all time favourite quotes from Walt Disney about the power of dreams.