About a month ago it started to sink in that we will soon be uprooting ourselves as our visas near their expiry date. We have just shy of a month left before we head back to the US and make Portland, Oregon our new home. It took me about 4 months to really start to feel settled here, slowly various things, people, and places became familiar and the norm. I learned to live without things I had previously taken for granted or just hadn't thought of living without, like central heating and a clothes dryer, and to incorporate new things into my daily life that I have come to love, like bike/walk/bus commuting and having an electric bed heater! There are other things I will miss about this place too. Things like:
* good friends
* amazing coffee
* my jobs (tutoring sociology and anthropology at Uni. of Otago and tour guiding at Cadbury's chocolate factory - a post to come on work)
* camping and being able to keep food in or near the tent (no bears here, though some care must be taken for a couple types of birds that will steal your food!)
* cheap healthcare (every accident is covered in NZ through the ACC)
I experience little bits of sadness thinking about leaving these things behind, and then at the same time I experience little bits of excitement at all the lovely things we have ahead of us too. I am now learning to bid farewell to all the little things I have come to love about living here in Dunedin and to look ahead to all the things I have missed since we've been here. Things like:
* other good friends and family
* Kayan (our dog)
* my kitchen gadgets, though I have become an expert at hand whipping cream and egg whites!
* cheap books, food, shoes, etc.
* and something to look forward to, city stuff: 80's dancing at the crystal ballroom, NIA, good beer, yummy food, etc., and exploring the mountains and beaches around the PNW!
So, when I list it out like this, it looks like a fair exchange. Plus, this place and the things I love about it will nearly all still be here for some time to come and I can always come and visit or remake this place home once again.