I arrived home from Adelaide at 3am on Monday morning, desperate to see my babies and husband, and delighted to slip quietly into my own bed.
But oh, what a trip.
Moments of doubled-over-in-laughter, great joy at seeing two lovely people get married, of wandering around unfamiliar and beautiful streets. Little things, like having the time (and a reason) to paint my nails, lingering over meals, uninterrupted conversations, friendships so old and true that no explanations or back stories are ever required, having the head space to notice and enjoy the difference between Australian and New Zealand architecture, time alone at airports spent reading a book.
My two travelling companions and I once counted Europe as our stomping ground and had many, many adventures with our group of friends. We now live in different parts of New Zealand, so not only was it great to spend so much time in each other’s company, but it was wonderful to put on our explorer hats together again. In terms of tourist stuff, we didn’t ‘do’ much. A great deal of our time was just spent wandering the streets of Adelaide, a city I have decided I could easily live in; and Hahndorf, a picturesque village just outside Adelaide. As we walked around the leafy streets of Hahndorf each one of us could feel the busyness of our normal lives melting away. We had nothing more pressing to do than walk, look, and find a good place to have an ice cold cider.
Being ‘Mum’ to two little tots is hands down the most joyful thing I’ve ever done, but it is also the hardest and most exhausting. It’s easy to lose yourself in the chaos of your children’s early years when ‘me’ time feels like an impossible dream, and all you want is to eat lunch or go to the loo in peace. It was wonderful to simply be Angela for a few days, and to do anything I wanted to. During moments of solitude I was reminded of the need to take care of myself more, to tend to my own soul while I am taking care of my children. I know I am a better mother when I do. I am less tired, less resentful, less hurried. I am more patient, more kind, more fun.
But as I watched my friend marry the love of her life, I was reminded of my loves that waited for me at home. Of how much richer my life is for having D and our two children in it. Of how I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. I will dine out on the memories of my trip, and all those little things that tended to the garden of my soul; but I will also try to be more grateful for the chaos of our daily life in Tawhero, and paint my nails every once in a while.
Big thanks to D, Nang Nang, Grandpa, Oma and Auntie C for taking care of my tots while I was gone. Without your support, my trip would not have been possible.