My jet lag is gradually clearing after the long flight back to my adopted country of New Zealand, following a return visit to my native country of England.
Unlike many other expats, I am fortunate enough to be able to make this journey every year.
My annual expedition requires lots of forward planning, and is not so much a relaxing holiday as an intensive round of both joys and challenges. It is always different and always worthwhile. And it always highlights the fact that life is full of paradoxes, that we cannot ‘have it all’ but often need to find a compromise between opposing choices.
Some decisions are basically trivial: Whether to stock up on clothes from Marks and Spencer, or keep my suitcase light? Whether to go for the convenience of staying in one central base, or make the extra effort of traveling round the country?
Then there are the deeper dilemmas: Whether to attempt the near-impossible and exhausting ideal of visiting all of my friends and relatives each year, knowing there are some I may never see again? Whether to stay long enough to make the trip really worthwhile, although it means being away from my husband and family in Auckland?
The Bach flower remedies Scleranthus for indecision, and Honeysuckle for nostalgia, might be helpful for some of these issues but none can solve the underlying question – where is really home? I appreciate the privileges of having citizenship of two countries which I love equally, and of being able to spend time in both. It is just rather unfortunate that they are nearly 12,000 miles apart. One day I may have to choose, or find that fate has chosen for me.