I left a California winter for a New Zealand summer. Two mates and I for three weeks. I visited my little sister, and the places I'd grown up in. I hadn't been home in six years.
I stepped off the airplane and my lungs filled with the pure air of NZ. We walked through the tunnel and there were full size photographs lining the walls guiding us to the customs desk. The photos were iconic New Zealand photos, and I already started to notice all the rich greens in them. There were sound effects built into each picture. At first I thought it tacky but I soon become overwhelmed. The photos, the air, and now the sound of birds and waterfalls, of wind blowing sand around on the beach. We arrived to a large sign, artfully displayed, "Welcome Home to Aotearoa." I felt freedom course through me, as from that moment on I was free to be myself, I felt light and powerful in my own force. In my childhood home.
The people I met during this trip all helped me remember a little bit about myself. Not the self I have been creating but the self inherent in me.
Every person we met on our travels told us we had a place to stay if we ever needed. The hospitality was refreshing. Although not unheard of in L.A. it was rare to meet someone and instantly become friends, or even to slowly become friends, truly.