My place in the world…

Do I have a “place in the world“? One special place that defines me? Do I have a place that tugs at my heart-strings? One place that I dream about? Am I town or country? Am I homebody or nomad?….

So let me look at the last statement first. I am definitely a nomad. My earliest memory is as a 4-5 year old persuading a little friend to come with me and find the seaside. We wandered off, direction unknown. Of course I got lost (another life long tradition established). Frantic parents, neighbours and police sent out search parties and eventually we were found. I got a smack and sent to bed, my friend was smothered in hugs and kisses!!!

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My accent betrays the fact that I was born and spent a happy childhood in Hull, a large city in England. But living on the outer suburbs and only a short walk, or later, bike ride to the open fields and lanes of the country I yearned to live in the country. So chose farming as my lifestyle.

So that answers the next statement. I am a country girl.

But I still longed to travel. The thought of distant countries stirred in my nomadic heart.

Just one of 250 cows to be milked twice a day.

Then I met a man and at age 18 I followed him to New Zealand and then married over there. We had a family and I immersed myself in the country and a lifestyle of dairy-farming. I loved New Zealand. I had found my place.

But times change. We separated. But I still loved New Zealand. I had made many friends and I was to stay there for almost 40 years.

Land of mist and mountains and rolling green pasture.

It does tug at my heartstrings. But the years roll by. Children grow up and leave home and start families of their own and my gypsy genes feel the urge to wander. Then I meet another man. He is a kindred spirit, nesting time is well and truly over for both of us, we are free to roam and roam we do. The next decade we travel, the world is our oyster. Always on a limited budget, coming and going from New Zealand to all points of the compass. It is so exciting to visit new places but still it is always good to see that iconic long white cloud appear under the plane wing as we came home between trips.

Jack had a very strong sense of his place in the world. After 30 years living and working in New Zealand, when he reached retirement age he wanted to go back to that place…

Australia, the country he was born in….

It was not an easy decision for me. My heart was in New Zealand, my children with their families, my grand children all lived in New Zealand.

But my adventurous spirit said “just do it”.

So in 1998 we moved to Australia. Gradually this immense country has worked its magic spell on me. It is a land of huge distances and contrasts, from rainforest to the ocean, from desert to wide brown plains, from mountains to lakes and rivers. The vast sky, often a clear cerulean blue. Then its frightening tempests when it flings rain, hail, fire, wind and storms at the land. It is always unpredictable. We have spent years travelling around, discovering its hidden beauty and capricious nature. Though I still harbour a love for New Zealand, now there is no where else I would call my “place in the world”beach painter sunset 037_5184x3888

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41 comments

  1. It’s funny how life unfolds, Pauline, isn’t it, and sometimes we hardly have a hand in writing the script. But I always have a strong sense of contentment from your posts. You’ve done so much of what you wanted to, and are happy in each other’s company. Long may it continue, hon. 🙂 🙂

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  2. I was born in NZ Pauline, but I have lived in Australia (married to an Australian) for over 40years. I love Australia, but a part of me is always reserved for the beautiful country of my birth. Those photos of NZ make me nostalgic!

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  3. I have never been totally unhappy in any place where I have lived as I tend to live in the moment. With the possible exception of Johannesburg as I was never really happy there. But whether that was due to place or due to circumstances or a bit of both, I don’t really know. I’m a bit like the song “Wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home”. You have led a very interesting life Pauline and as Jo says, you always sound so very content. Long may you and Jack enjoy your ‘retirement’ together.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree with you Jude, living in the moment and making the best of what life hands you is the only way. Yes circumstances surrounding you can alter your perception of a place too. Hope your shoulder is getting better

      Liked by 1 person

    • People ask me where I come from Gilly, and I say the Gold Coast. Of course they don’t mean now (I know that!!!) they hear my accent, often they will guess where I’m from

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  4. It must be SO nice to be able to adapt. I will always be trapped not only in the longing for my place, but also in my time. I can never get either back. I think that I could accept that the the 1970s are over if only I could get my place back; but it is not possible. It has become some of the most expensive real estate in the World. There are more than a million people there competing for what I took for granted. My kind are not welcome.

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