No place like NZ;

NYE on Waiheke Island

As I sit here & write this back in Perth, I look back on my NZ trip with a big smile on my face. It was my 6th time back in 7 years & it was most definitely my favourite time too.

I spent 9 days with one of my closest friends, Kse; going on road trips, doing bush walks, doing group dinners & drinks, dancing our little hearts out, looking at christmas lights & of course, christmas & boxing day celebrations. Since I haven’t been back in 2 years, our 9 days together went past SO fast.

Once Kse left, I did a few road trips with other friends, spent the night out at Piha Beach, celebrated New Years Eve and just enjoyed every minute of my time in NZ. The weather was absolutely perfect this time as well (unlike my previous summer return where I got rain for 2 weeks!)

View from the Sky Tower

I ended my trip with a day spent with an old friend, some height satisfaction from being up the Sky Tower & then dinner + drinks in Ponsonby (my new favourite Auckland spot). As I waited for my taxi in the early morning, I did consider just missing my flight like I did the last time. On more than one occasion, I felt like I lived back in Auckland. Even after 7 years, I slotted myself back into things there & it felt like I had never left.

View northwest from the Sky Tower

Every trip back is so different but with the number of friends I really bonded with this time, it made me feel so blessed to have such amazing people in my life. Until next time NZ!

Taking it back;

This weekend I heard a song that took me back a good few years (7 or 8?) to a time when I was probably the most carefree…..and totally wreckless. Isn’t it funny how certain songs will bring back one particular memory? This song takes me back to New Zealand, a certain night with friends that I’d like to remember in 1o years time but judging by my brain capacity, I better write it down!

Anyone else remember this brilliant little number?

Living two different lives;

There’s half of me still in New Zealand. Every time I go back, I just pick up where I left off, drive around the places I grew up and say hi to friends & family. I’m constantly with my friends, we hardly even do anything other than talk, chill out & drift between each others houses in the winter and the beach houses/caravans in the summer. There’s never a moment of dullness because everyone has such vast ideas on how to pass time.

Then there’s the other half of me in Perth. This half works long hours and studies even longer. This half keeps to herself, the slightest social interaction requires recharging of the batteries at twice the time. This half has a few close friends, no big groups. Weeknights are usually spent at home (winter) or at the beach (summer).

What was originally only supposed to be a few months, has turned into a split between the two cities for the past 5 & a half years. I’m currently half way through my degree which excites me like nothing else. If I continue to keep my head down here in Perth, I could finish it in even less time but we’ll see how it goes.

Soon; my life will no longer be split between two cities.

Why I love winter;

Melinda at Mumma in Heels came up with a new idea for blog posts called ‘Let’s Write’. This weeks one is ‘What do you love about winter?’ and I couldn’t wait to write about it.

If my blog name (winterlust) doesn’t give you some sort of indication…I ADORE winter. I don’t know if it’s because I was born in Russia where I was surrounded by snow or the fact I grew up in New Zealand where it rained 90% of the time, but living in Perth has made me miss & constantly chase the chill.

Weird I know, since nearly everyone I know prefers the heat over the cold. I do enjoy summer, when I’m on holiday or it’s the weekend but when I’m driving & it’s hot, frustration rises. Or when I’m going between 16 degree offices and 35 degree heat waves outside….I do not enjoy that.

As soon as it’s slightly chilly, I’ll probably be the first to throw on a coat and boots. I don’t think it’s ever possible to own enough coats!  Short, long, tweed, trench…I’m obsessed! Then there’s the various types of knitwear and head wear and scarves.

And if the fashion isn’t enough, there’s the fireplaces, the cosy nights in, the hot baths and showers, hot chocolates and the overall alertness you feel in the colder months.

Maybe I feel like this because I don’t get enough cold weather, and it’s been 16 years since I lived in Russia, but I do hope to experience this again soon….for more than the 3 months I got last year.

If you love winter as much as Melinda & I, check out her pinterest board HERE.

I don’t like goodbyes.

I’ve been very fortunate in the past year that I’ve been able to see my best friend four times, considering we both work full time, I study half the year and we live 8 hours flight apart.

It was S’s fourth visit to Perth since I moved over here five years ago, three visits thanks to her work, Virgin Airlines. It was one of our shorter times together but we did plenty to make up for it.

The goodbyes never get any easier though. This time was a lot harder than usual because neither of us know when we’ll be visiting each others home turfs next. While S is in the process of relocating to the east coast of Australia this year, I’ve got a lot of thinking to do about my future movements.

If I want to move back to New Zealand in the future, I need to stop making trips back home 1-2 times a year because it comes at a cost of visiting other places. There’s so many places I’m still yet to visit like New York, Thailand and Rio before I can even think about going back to some of my favourite places such as Bali, LA and Berlin.

I’m racking my brain trying to think of ways I can work less yet be able to travel more. Any ideas?

NZ 11/12

Piha Beach, West Auckland

When I was in Auckland (my hometown), I went to my favourite beach Piha, hung out with friends, had drinks, dined out at cute cafes and restaurants, went to new bars and generally, just did a whole lot of relaxing.

Piha sunset

Boxing Day BBQ with my close friends

On our way to my leaving drinks with my best friend S

A cute new bar near the city called Neighbourhood Brew

It was good to be home, to see all my friends, and actually catch up with most one on one because the last time I went back in July, it was for a very short amount of time.

It’s been nearly 5 years since I moved to Perth and I’ve never gotten over that homesick feeling. I miss NZ everyday and always think about moving back. I’ll wait until I finish uni because there’s no point in moving half way through. I just don’t know how I will survive the next 3 years at uni being this homesick!

LA DE DA

The reason we all went down to Martinborough for new years was for a festival called ‘La De Da’. They had heaps of NZ acts I really wanted to see so I was very lucky to have a group to go with.

It’s the middle of summer so I had this cute outfit planned out. A few days before new years eve, it started raining and didn’t stop until the 2nd (when we left). Me and the girls I was staying with made a quick trip to the nearest department store and got gumboots and matching flannelette shirts….we were in the middle of a farming town after all.

Old me probably would of complained about the crap weather and even refused to enjoy myself but new me- loved it! I felt like I was at that UK festival Glastonbury where they all wear gumboots because of the UK’s crap weather (and I’ve always dreamed of going to that festival). But most importantly, it was really fun walking through the mud in gumboots.

At the start of the afternoon

Half way through, people started sliding around in the mud!

My friend K ended up leaving her shoes in the mud that day & walked around bare feet

I woke up the next day and I could barely walk. Every single muscle in my legs and butt were in pain. Awesome exercise if you ask me!