Where the gypsy-ing began…
To explain a bit about how my gypsy-ing began, I’m probably best going back to 2006…. It began as a bit of a disastrous year for me – actually, that’s possibly quite an understatement. It ended though as one of my most memorable years for all the right reasons.
My “life plan” – (set in stone from an early age) had been hijacked.
At the ripe old age of 25 I had successfully ticked many boxes – graduated University, gained a teaching qualification, worked my way up to Head of Department, met a nice man, married & bought a house. Perfect was apparently achievable & as such, I felt quietly pleased with myself.
But then slowly it started to sink in that despite meeting “the plan’s” criteria, I was miserable….. & confused.
“The plan” it turned out, was not the recipe for happiness for me. Things were not going well. Naturally, I handled the whole confronting reality pretty badly (many, many lessons learnt…..). But I eventually accepted that change was needed & with this, the horrifying truth about how many people would get hurt in the process.
The reality was however, that in trying to create my perfect life, I’d lost myself along the way. And I didn’t even like myself very much anymore. So this became one of those moments in life where you have a choice.
I chose me.
…. And the results were – well, extraordinarily more difficult than I’d naively anticipated.
By early 2006, I had quit my job, left a marriage, moved home, and knew I needed to find from within, who I really was & what I wanted my life to encompass.
I was essentially starting again.
Despite unfailing support from many friends who to this day I can never thank enough, I had still misunderstood a number of relationships. It wasn’t long before I felt completely isolated…& yet simultaneously suffocated in my home town of Auckland, New Zealand.
Starting afresh at home, was not going to be possible. So I left for South East Asia & my love affair with the region began.
A month or so in once I’d touched the edges of Thailand & already fallen for Vietnam, I reached Cambodia & knew I was “home”. So I stayed & that’s what it became to me for most of the following year.
And as it turns out – Phnom Penh was just the first of many new places I would come to call home.
Eat, Pray, Love… well, a more condensed version…
Phnom Penh became for me, a place where I could make a bunch of mistakes & learn a whole lot from them. I had a lot of adventures, met the most beautiful people & soaked up every confrontational ounce of difference the country offered & felt grateful for it all.
Cambodia posed challenges on almost every level, yet over my time there & once I left (it took a while!), I learnt more than I expected to. I gained new understandings about who I am & the kind of person I want to be; what I want to live my life by & best of all – how important it is that I keep learning & keep reflecting.
And so here I am still learning every single day …… & I am still making mistakes.
But I guess the main difference is that I really love the life in which all this is happening & the person I am, in living it. My time in Cambodia taught me about the capacity I had within myself; what it is to live more consciously & that all of this is part of my own personal journey.
And that this journey is mine alone.
Since 2006, a lot has changed…..I have been blessed beyond imaginings & feel as though, in many ways, I got a second chance at life. And my journey has only just begun.
I am still gypsy-ing my way around the place…. I just have an additional three doing it with me.
Whilst in Cambodia, I met my husband Kevin & we soon moved to Spain…then back to New Zealand…then back to Spain…to San Diego… to New Zealand again … & currently we reside in California, the Bay Area to be precise.
In the midst of our seven international moves, we added Ethan (4) & Mylo (2) to our team & together we more or less follow Kevin’s career in the America’s Cup (a yachting race) as a sail designer & have an awfully big adventure doing so.
I very much hope you decide to follow our journey – what has been & what is to come, might be something worth a read ….life amongst the Cup, life surrounded by three boys, life relocating time & again, life with few plans beyond the coming 6 months & life that is all about learning.
Every. Single. Day.