}

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Ten years ago the visit began

Ten years ago today, my long-time friend Jason arrived in New Zealand for a visit, his first to this part of the world. He was also the last overseas visitor to stay with us (so far). All of which makes today a special day.

We saw and did a lot over the three weeks he was here, including some things I hadn’t seen in the decade I’d been living in New Zealand. So, it was a great sightseeing trip for me, too. I haven’t been back to most of those places since.

Jason planned on a return trip to New Zealand, but so far hasn’t been back. Similarly, Nigel and I also haven't been back to the USA in the years since. So, the rarity of visits in either direction is another thing that makes that trip ten years ago so special.

In my early years in New Zealand—maybe even for as much as a decade—it sometimes bothered me how family and friends in the USA didn’t come to visit. It also sometimes bothered me that we couldn’t go back to the USA as often as I would have liked. But time marches on. I don’t know that one ever gets used to the reality of the scarcity of visits, but, out of necessity, one certainly learns to cope. That has to be enough.

It would be nice if the time, distance and cost of travel weren’t so great, or if they could hurry up and invent Star Trek-style transporters. But it seems unlikely that anything will change the reality that living on the other side of the world from one’s homeland means separation.

And that’s why visits like Jason’s ten years ago are something to be treasured and remembered fondly, not just for their rarity, but mainly for their importance. And so I remember that day ten years ago, and the rest of the days over that three-week visit and I celebrate them.

And, I always will.

I took the photo above ten years ago today, and used it the blog post I linked to. It may look somewhat familiar, since I've used it a lot over the years.

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