Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Twenty One Years Together

Of all the (many) anniversaries I commemorate on this blog, this one is still the biggest of them all. November 2, 1995 was the day I arrived in New Zealand to stay, and that meant Nigel and I began our life together. They’re both big deals in their own right.

Over the years, those two strands have woven through this blog, my podcast, and even my YouTube videos, because they’re all about living in a country I wasn’t born in, New Zealand, as well as about the USA, or the life that Nigel and I have together.

In fact, all of that is why I bother with blogging, podcasting, and so on, at all: This story is unusual, and special. Some of what I talk about may be of use to others directly—people thinking about moving countries, for example, or maybe to New Zealand specifically. Some people may just want to see an example of what can be—reassurance that they, too, can find happiness, or maybe just a positive reflection of what life can be like or of their own lives. There’s enough in this story for many messages to be gleaned.

Our story isn’t common, but there are plenty of others with stories that are are at least similar, more or less. Sometimes I’ve even been able to share some of those other stories. I really like the diversity of experiences I’ve heard about because of all this, and seeing how ours is similar as well as different. I imagine others may feel that way about our story, too.

All of that sprang from this day 21 years ago, and while both aspects are important, my arrival here was only ever about Nigel and me and our life together, and everything else flowed on from that. So, that’s why I’ve often called this “the day that mattered”, as I did back in 2012, because it did—and still does.

Today marks twenty-one years in New Zealand, twenty-one years building our life together, and all the stories I’ve had to tell because of both. It all began on November 2, 1995.

And, as I said last year, “I’ll keep celebrating this anniversary because of everything it means.”

Posts from previous years:
Twenty Years Together (2015)
Surreal 19th Expataversary (2014)
Eighteen (2013)
The day that really mattered (2012)
Sweet sixteen (2011)
Fifteen (2010)
Fourteen (2009)
Lucky 13: Expataversary and more (2008)
Twelfth Anniversary (2007)
Eleven Years an Expat (2006)

Ex, but not ex- – A 2006 post about being an expat
Changing policies and lives – A 2011 post about becoming a permanent resident
12 years a citizen – A 2014 post about becoming a NZ citizen
Foreign-born human – A 2015 post re-examining the word “expat”

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