A new adventure

So, I thought it was about time that I told you my (non-sciencey) news… Very, very soon, I’ll be bidding farewell to London. Myself and this wonderful city have gotten to know each other pretty well in the past 11+ years, and I’ve written about it extensively. I see it as the city that I truly ‘grew up’ in, where I first found my feet, and where I came to realise what I was really capable of. It also served as the inspiration for my book, something that has changed my life.

But, it is time for a new adventure. So myself and my partner are off to the other side of the world…New Zealand, here we come!

Most of our worldly belongings have already left – it takes 2+ months for a cargo ship to make the journey and for everything to get through quarantine – and we follow in a few weeks. To be frank, I’m anxious about the move, worried about how I’ll cope without the huge circle of family and friends that I’m lucky enough to have, and scared about ‘starting again’ in my career. I’m pretty resilient, but I know this is going to be tough. The good news is that I’m not doing it alone. As well as being my rock and my best friend, Richard is also an NZ native, which will help us navigate the more unfamiliar aspects of Wellington life, and we’ll have his family (and friends) nearby too. We’ll have more space than we do in London, and a better quality of living too, no doubt. I’ve been granted a partner visa, which gives me the right to work and live anywhere in NZ for two years. Beyond that? Well, we’ll just wait and see. Richard has already been offered a fantastic job, and while I haven’t yet, I am chatting to lots of people. I’m going over there with a great portfolio, so fingers crossed, I’ll find something awesome. And, obviously, I’ll keep writing! I have an idea for Book #2, so I’ll be working on the proposal in Dec / Jan.

londonwelly

Above anything else, I’m hoping that this move helps me to regroup, to regain a balance between work and life that I haven’t had for the last 3 years, and for us to figure out what comes next. London just kind of sweeps you along in its chaotic rhythm, and while I’ve thrived in it, now that i’m in my thirties, I’m ready to stop the train and get off! I am also ridiculously excited about exploring more of NZ – I’ve long had a fascination with the country (so much so, that when I first met Rich, my family joked about how “convenient” it was that I’d fallen for a Kiwi!) – and I gotta admit, as a huge fan of rugby, that’s another draw (did anyone say Lions tour?!). Wellington is also a very cool city, small, but perfectly formed. And despite its size, NZ pumps out some truly remarkable research, which I can’t wait to get my teeth into.

Do I feel ready to leave London? Honestly, not really. I reckon I’m about 70% of the way there, which is probably enough. It means that I’ll be leaving while I still love the city, which I am very happy about 🙂 And between all of the changes happening at NPL, publishing my (first?) book and the fiasco that is Brexit, it’s definitely the right time for us to go. Over the next few weeks, we’ll gradually say goodbye to the city, but to our friends and family, it’ll only be ‘au revoir’ – I’m already planning a trip back in Aug/Sep! I will miss everyone terribly, and I suspect that even with our best efforts, Christmas will be very weird. But the internet has, genuinely, made the world smaller, and I’ll be making the most of it! New Zealand is an amazing country, and I’m confident that, with a little bit of time, we’ll settle in beautifully…and then take it by storm 🙂