Nomadic Limbo – Reminiscing In Kerikeri New Zealand

Heather Markel, Writer, Speaker, Photographer, Traveler, Business Strategist

It’s a poignant experience when nomadic life brings you emotional attachments…

There’s a twang to her voice. I hear “feck” instead of “fuck”, “mo-wa” instead of “mower” (and, every time, hope I’m about to see the now extinct moa bird running around…) and “keery-keery” instead of “kerry-kerry” as the pronunciation of the town I’m in. Then there are the expressions, “Good on ya, mate!” “She’ll be right!” “My shout” “hanging out for it”…I often have no idea what they mean, but all these sounds and words are how I know I am in New Zealand, still. They are the sounds and expressions I will no longer hear when I one day leave, so they become more precious to my ears. Today, I tried to get to The Kemp House, New Zealand’s oldest building. I lived 5 minutes walk from it for 9 months, and never made it there! So, today, with the beautiful sun shining, I thought I’d check it off the list. I googled it online, and learned they were open till 5. I headed over at 3pm, only to learn the website still has the summer hours listed. (New Zealand tends to be pretty laid back and if you want the most accurate information on a site, you’re best asking the source, rather than Google.) I’ll have to come back another day for a morning tour.

Also on my list is Te Ahurea. Previously known as Rewa’s village, it’s undergone a huge transformation and I’m looking forward to seeing it. Over the summer, I walked through the construction and it looked intriguing. I’ve noticed a lot more men with ta moko, full-facial tattoos some Maori men wear, and am curious if this new village is the reason more of them are in Kerikeri. The ta moko is a visual reminder for me that I am still in New Zealand – another site I imagine I will see very little of once I depart.

penguins in Ushuaia

A distant view of the new Te Ahurea.

The local cinema is making a movie night out of Cruella this evening. It’s a fun event they do here – wine and snacks while you’re watching the flick. There are many movie evenings arranged, and you can even do a “dinner and a movie” night – eat a great meal at Cafe Cinema and head next door to Cathay Cinemas for the  movie of your choice.

A few days ago I said hello to my former colleagues and friends at The St John’s Op Shop. I was intending to buy some gym clothes for my dip in the sulfur springs nearby. Instead I was offered my old job back! So, I’ll be back there on Friday afternoons, reminiscing and appreciating passerby as I get to ring them up on the till and chat, some of my favorite activities!

“Everything has taken on a nostalgic quality.”

A view from my table at The Plough And Feather. Photo by Heather Markel, Copyright 2021, All Rights Reserved.

I’m intrigued by the animals and, even more so, the insects, that have blessed my path while in New Zealand. A little over a year ago I had to make a tough decision about whether to stay or go. I chose to stay, and a praying mantis blessed my choice, staying on my window for a while as if to let me know it was watching over me. I’m in the midst of a lot of work on some new projects and a wise ladybug just ventured over. Looking up the symbolism, it appears I can expect happines and a blessing in abundance as my projects come to fruition. 🙂

I was delighted to find more red kiwifruit at The Packhouse market last weekend. I’m eating feijoa and holding out for a rose apple that should be ready for me any day. The amount of fruit and vegetables I’ve discovered in New Zealand that are like nothing else I’ve seen in the world astond me. The Hass avocados are splendid. They come from New Zealand instead of Mexico. They’re creamier, and richer-tasting. Perhaps because they are picked from the tree at a later point, so they’ve had more time to flavor since they don’t need to be exported. I also stopped off at my favorite honey shop in Kerikeri to stock up before I leave.

I relish in the call of the Tui which I hear throughout the day. I admire the pukeko that walk nearby along with ducks and geese, especially by The Honey House cafe. I am often at Cafe Zest enjoying a flat white, and finishing up a hat, just as the weather begins to turn cold, from the wool I got at All You Needle, my favorite craft shop in Kerikeri. I want to remember each day here, as I get myself ready for the eventuality of moving along, whenever that will be.

I still have plans to get to Kawakawa for a few hours, check out the Hunterwasser toilets and roam around. I may yet rent a car just to have that experience now that I have an actual New Zealand driver’s license!

I still love seeing the kids walk barefoot, from the time they can walk! Inside, outside, everywhere!

Photograph by Heather Markel. Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved.

I’ve got a delightful group of friends through Latin Fit and we went to a salsa jazz event last night. I was speaking with one of them about nomadic life. It’s difficult, at times, to find yourself emotionally connected to a place and to people, and also know that your heart is still pulling you into the world. As much as I love everything here, I know my home, the world I have yet to discover, is still awaiting me. I am filling my heart with things I cherish, as I prepare to once again put on my nomadic shoes.

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