Zest-zone New Zealand

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Is it coincidence that zest is related to orange and to a life full of energy, passion and enthusiasm? And that these zestful oranges grow so well in New Zealand?  I don’t think so.

New Zealand is made for zestful living and most New Zealanders definitely seem to do so.   According to the OECD happy life index more then 83% of New Zealanders say they have more positive then negative experiences every day in life.

And how could you not. Unemployment is very low, and although wages are not the highest in the world, money certainly can’t buy everything. Life expectancy is higher then the OECD average, and there are so many things to enjoy for free!  Go on hikes or mountain bike trails of any difficulty level, go fishing in rivers and the ocean, identify the Southern Cross in the brightest starry nights you have ever seen, explore active and dormant volcanoes, discover the shy but very cute native birds and marvel at trees as big as a large apartment building. The climate is great for the biggest part of the year to be able to enjoy the great outdoors. Even if it rains, it generally doesn’t last too long as clouds just fly over the fairly thin New Zealand land mass between the two oceans.

So no, I really don’t think it is a coincidence that you see so much Zest here.  New Zealand is just one big Zest zone.

No place like home(s)

 

one of the places I am lucky enough to call home

one of the places I am lucky enough to call home

So what’s your home? Can you only have one? I have many many homes and am very happy to take up more.

Home for me can be the fale in Fiji where I’m staying in for the week, where I have unpacked my suitcase, enjoy the company, eat my dinners and feel happy and comfortable. Home is New Zealand, where I currently live and when I travel internationally I am excited to fly back home to New Zealand. I’m also going home when I am visiting my family back in the Netherlands, where I grew up, where everything feels so normal even if I have been away for ages.

Home is Manly, Sydney, where I lived for 6 years before coming to New Zealand. Beautiful Manly, with its rockpools, local snorkelling spots, beach volleyball courts where we smashed lots of weekend hours away and where I made many friends. And of course Auckland is home, but so is the suburb within Auckland where I live. The local harbour beaches, cafés and people I know from the bus stop and walking the dog, they make me feel like home. And as soon as I drive north from Auckland, and turn of State Highway 1 towards Paparoa, I feel like I’m coming home again. Home to the trees, the stream, the neighbours horses and the vegetable plots on our 10 acre block.

Home is where I live and feel happy. So indeed, No place like home!