Wednesday, October 4, 2017

What it’s like moving back to my hometown




I had a couple of blog readers asking how it felt moving back to my hometown, so I thought that would be a fun post topic for today.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that my husband, two cats and I moved from Auckland almost three months ago (it’s gone so quick!) to live in Hawke’s Bay.

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city with a population of 1.5 million.  Hawke’s Bay is rather less populated with less than 150,000 people.

Hawke’s Bay to me is the perfect mix of a thriving and prosperous community, and not too many people.  There are more roundabouts than traffic lights here, and rush hour is not stressful in the least.  Our four-acre country property is five minutes from town.  Our neighbours are within a two-minute walking distance but trees and paddocks give everyone space and privacy.

The images of this post are from my morning walks.  It's a nice change from my old-life city walks, I'll tell you.  One or two cars might pass me on their way to work, and the only other people around are sheep!  Walking past the grape-vines is very picturesque too.

Pretty much everyone I’ve dealt with here has been genuinely friendly, and people have the time to chat with you.  I’ve definitely noticed most are less stressed than their Auckland counterparts and there is a laid-back air to the place.

I didn’t mean to do an advert for small-town living, but there you are :)





I left Hawke’s Bay when I was twenty-ish, and moved back briefly for a couple of years before moving to Auckland, where I spent the past seventeen years.  I met my Auckland-born husband there so it was well worth the trip.

It’s changed a lot here since I grew up.  It is an agricultural and horticultural area with loads of apples, and now grapes.  It is the perfect climate for vines, so Hawke’s Bay is now a big wine-producing area.  There are also a lot of sheep and cows when you drive around the rural areas.

When I was young in the 1970s, Hawke’s Bay was a sleepy backwater you were glad to get away from and find fun in the big cities.  Now, people are flocking here because it’s grown up to be a sophisticated yet relaxed place to live.

I still have family here which is nice, but most of my friends live elsewhere.  Plus, as an introvert, I don’t need many friends!  I know it’s a terrible thing to say, but it’s true!

My husband is a total newbie here, and he’s loving it.  He said it is how Auckland was when he was growing up.  He starts his new job next week, so he is looking forward to meeting new people, because as much as he loves me and the cats, I think he might have been getting cabin fever as we got settled in!
 




The cool thing about where we live in Hawke’s Bay, is that it’s close-ish to where I grew up, but new to me.  So I have the familiarity of the region, but it’s a new place for my husband and I to make our own.

The cats didn’t visit here at Christmas-time and during the year of course, so it’s all new to them :)  They are learning how to be country cats, and I often see one of them tearing past, relishing the wide open spaces outside.  Nina was spotted in a paddock across the road this week, so she is definitely stretching her legs!

Please let me know if you have any specific questions about moving back to my hometown and I’ll answer them.

--Fiona--

17 comments:

  1. It sounds and looks just perfect Fiona! It's so beautiful and I can feel the peace and wholesomeness from your pictures and description. I've seen some Hawke's Bay wines in my local store. It always seems like wine country in most countries are very scenic with a wonderful climate and small-town quaintness, even here in California. The visuals of your cats "tearing past" cracks me up!

    I'm so glad you are all happy there :)

    D.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How cool is that, that you can taste a Hawke's Bay wine where you live! I love it. I hope you will give one a go :) If you need any tips, email me fiona at howtobechic dot com and maybe send a photo of the shelf/bottles and I can help you choose a good one - borrowing from my husband's wine knowledge of course :)

      Delete
  2. I think it is so nice you can work from home and have less stress, more time to think and enjoy the moments.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The photos are gorgeous. The energy of a city is thrilling, but it can be tiring after a while. It sounds like you have found a little piece of heaven.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean about the city! My husband and I just went to Manhattan for our anniversary for 2 1/2 days and I was sooooo ready to go home to my country home! It was neat but now I feel like ok, been there, done that!

      Delete
  4. As a fellow introvert, I find that I, too, do not need a passel of friends. I'm always reading that one should have several friends, and I always think, "How does a person with loads of friends get anything done? How do they get alone time?" Friends require "maintenance". I think I prefer the company of fellow introverts, who don't need a lot of face time either. Yes, I know how that sounds, but there you are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am an introvert as well and I too always hear that not having a network of friends is unhealthy, especially as we get older. I hear news reports that it shortens your life span and in general is bad for your health. I live in a very rural (remote) area and it is a 20 minute drive just to get to the nearest small town. I do not like to spend a lot of time in the car and I am perfectly content to stay home and "putter" cleaning, organizing, and just thinking. Those unscheduled days at home are the best! But I do worry that I should make more of an effort sometimes. Friends can be a lot of maintenance. It is nice to see that others feel the same way.

      Delete
    2. This is what I love about internet - I can develop amazing and wonderful e-friends! I am surrounded by great people and always will be as long as I have an internet connection (smile)!

      Delete
    3. Oh my goodness, I can't count how many times I've felt bad over the years because I've thought to myself 'I don't actually have that many close friends!' But I know now that I don't need that many.

      Yes to friends requiring maintenance! Thinking about it, the friends I do have are probably introverts too, so they don't want to catch up all the time either :)

      E-friends are the best!

      Delete
  5. It all sounds so calm and lovely. I enjoyed the update on how the cats are adapting as well!

    ReplyDelete
  6. While recuperating from a back injury last winter, I watched a lot more TV than I usually do & discovered all sorts of shows I'd never heard of before, one of my favorites being "My Kitchen Rules New Zealand". It's a competitive cooking show, with teams from all over NZ, and in the last set I watched, one of the teams was a Maori couple from Hawke's Bay. The show that focused on them at their home didn't show as much of the city or countryside as I'd have liked to see, but one thing sure stood out: the seafood is amazing! I live right on the Pacific coast here in Canada & thought our fish & seafood selection was good, but we have NOTHING on Hawke's Bay. Love reading about your adventures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How cool that you got to 'visit' Hawke's Bay!

      Delete
  7. Even your stories are peaceful! I know that now I can never go back to living in the city. I missed it terribly for a long time (before I met Leland). I always thought when my son graduated from high school that I would zoom back.Met Leland before that could happen (smile). Now when we vacation in relatively crowded places I can't wait to get back to our own peaceful place!

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a beautiful walk! It's great that the move has worked out so well; Hawke's Bay sounds just right for you and what's really nice is that it sounds like it has improved since you lived there earlier in life. That's rare and good. I wish so much I could say the same thing for my hometown, but I can't, and I'm pretty sure I'll never go back there to live. Yay for your husband to already have a new job in an industry he's excited about! Best wishes to him as he settles in.

    You know, I'm envious of you. Bet I'm not the only one. Luckily you're so lovely and kind that everything you have is deserved, and more! Another interesting post someday to consider is how to deal with others' envy. Your book 30 Chic Days has an excellent chapter on one's own envy of others - guess I'd better go reread ;-) But have you had to deal with much of envy of yourself? Just wondering aloud, so to speak. Anyway, many thanks for continuing to share your new life with us Fiona.

    Erina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm, that's an interesting though Erina. I find that when I feel envious of others, I try and re-focus on my life and what I can do to make it more like I desire.

      I'd feel quite presumptuous giving people advice on feeling envious of me, I think!!

      Delete
  9. You are very humble and would never flaunt your success, but people might be envious, it's true. That's OK... you are living proof they don't have to be jealous - if they decide what they want, they can plan and save and work toward it - and make their dreams come true. I think you might have more opportunities to inspire and encourage others now that you have accomplished this goal. Enjoy the wonderful life you have created and share your beautiful experiences with others. It's your gift to share.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I was very interested in this topic. I am almost 64 now and will be retiring in 2 years. I've lived in New York City for more than 40 years, all my adult life. My partner and I want to move to a small town in the mountains when I stop working, and even though we both feel we are ready, I wonder what the adjustments are going to be, given that we have both spent so many years with everything at our fingertips. I also loved your comments about being an introvert and not needing so many friends. My attitude is, the more people one surrounds oneself with, the greater the potential for unwanted drama!

    ReplyDelete

Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...