I always knew this would be one of the most difficult decisions I would ever have to make.
Living in London has been truly incredible, I have experienced so many new things, explored so many new places and had professional experiences and opportunities that two years ago I never would have thought I would get in my twenties. I am immensely grateful for all of this, but I am most grateful of all for the relationships I have formed in my time here. I have strengthened existing relationships with family and friends from both sides of the planet while here in London, and made some incredible new friends here who I hand on heart hope are friends for life – you definitely put the Great in Great Britain – thank you for making the decision to leave so difficult.
Those who know me best will know though, that proximity to family and friends are incredibly important, and being so far away out here has definitely been tough at times. I certainly have had moments where I’ve really missed the quieter lifestyle and being able to spend time with my parents, brothers and friends in Christchurch. I think I’ve always known since being here that New Zealand is my home, which has also made for some difficult decisions here. Sad as I am to leave, I think I know deep down I need to start building the foundations of my life in the place I intend to stay long term.
Therefore, when the opportunity to take on a new study in Christchurch building on the work I’ve been doing here in the UK came up, I felt quite torn.
Rest assured, the work that I’ve been involved with at CLAPA will continue this year, (and I too will continue to have some involvement with the project throughout 2020), and more details about what the next steps of the project will look like will come from CLAPA in due course. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at CLAPA and my external partners for all they have put into this – you have been so incredibly awesome to work with, I am so proud of what we’ve achieved together and I will miss you.
Of course, I am not turning my back on the UK. Britain, and London, will always have a special place in my heart and the impression people here have made on me will not fade, and I will be back to visit and spend more time here without a doubt. Similarly, I hope to see many of my new British friends in New Zealand, it goes without saying you’re welcome anytime.
I will leave the UK for New Zealand on Thursday 13 February 2020; I hope to share some time with you before then. ❤️