Expat Returns: June 2017 update

Last month I reached my 2 years back in NZ and inspired by other bloggers, ideas of reflection and gratitude I’ve decided to try a monthly review here on kiwifootprints.com. Possibly not the best month to start this off and I honestly have been reconsidering doing it, but I thought it could also be good for me and I just need to suck it up and do it!

So, sit back, enjoy a cuppa and let me know what you think.


Getting my mojo back of planning long weekends, I’d organised two friends to join me in a bit of a road trip to a spot I’ve wanted to check out for some time.

It was a wine and cheese filled weekend. Lots of stunning autumn colours in the trees, bit chilly but relaxing. Downside was the epic drive back to Auckland, it’s really an awful destination to deal with traffic after a long weekend.

A friend suggested a bit of an adventure out to the Goldies Bush Walkway in the Waitakere Ranges one weekend too. I was very unprepared, thinking it was just a bush walk… so I wore my hiking boots, jeans and a jacket… it was a bit more of a bush/river walk/climb (and attempt not to fall over). It was stunning scenery though!


I had a few farewells this month. One of a good work friend who moved to the US, who I’m sure I’ll keep in touch with and another family member who passed away. It’s been a tough few weeks.


I’ve taken a few more steps in processing my grief and sadness I’ve felt over the last few months. I feel a few big waves have come back lately. But that’s okay. Others may not understand that, but I’m going at my own pace. I’m taking further steps in my health by taking a few vitamins to try avoid muscle injuries and also trying to experiment with a new healthy meal each week (last week was chicken and zucchini herb balls). I’ve managed to change my work hours to be 30mins earlier so some days my commute isn’t as bad as it was.

Work life

June has been a big month at work. We launched a new website, which felt like a long time in the making and had a lot of work from a lot of people go into it. A lot of people can struggle with change, but hopefully with time they’ll see what an improvement the website is.

My freelancing at designack.com hasn’t really kicked into gear yet because I’ve been a bit preoccupied.

What I’ve been reading

Books read/to be read

Books read/to be read

I finished reading ‘The Art of Happiness’ by the Dakar Kana and Howard C, Cutler. It really hit a few points of the head very well and gave me plenty of food for thought.

I also finished ‘The Miniaturist’ by Jessie Burton. This was an interesting different book with a good mix of hard reality, crime and a bit of fantasy.

Now I’m onto ‘Caraval’ by Stephanie Garber and really enjoying yet another different book! Feels a bit similar to Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

With my work having the annual charity book sale, my reading material has grown pretty well.


My blog this month has been recounting parts of my trip to the Great Barrier Reef at Easter, with more of a focus around Port Douglas and Kuranda.

A new blog that a friend has started up is called ‘How to have a Happy Homecoming’ and I’ve enjoyed the first post so far. It’s all about expats returning home and how they find it. Check it out at https://howtohaveahappyhomecoming.wordpress.com/.

What I’ve been listening to

The Good Life Project podcast. I’ve been enjoying this podcast when I take the train to work. It always has a bit of a different topic, but generally around the idea of ‘what makes a good life’. I tweet out the odd podcast when I hear a really good one, so feel free to follow me on twitter to catch those: https://twitter.com/ngaireackerley.

What I’m Grateful for this month

  • Friends to go on a long weekend adventure with.
  • The colours of Autumn leaves falling on the ground from trees.
  • The days I wake up without my back hurting.
  • The new walks to work with views of the harbour.

Current feelings about being back in NZ

The other day a photograph of the Plitvice Lakes got me thinking about my Europe travels. How easy it was to just pop over and how many destinations I would still like to visit there, like the Plitvice Lakes in Croatia. Could this be the beginning of a new Euro Trip dream?

Well, that’s all for my first of my Expat Return Monthly updates.

What did you think? Is there anything in particular you’d be interested in hearing about each month? Comment below!