If I put myself with a few of my things around me in any given room of any given house in any given town, I'll feel as though I belong, somehow. I'll feel a strange patriotism, a collusion with a place I have no real roots. For travelling, this is great; it gives a certain sense of ease and safety and homliness. I'll make a place my home rather than wait for it to accept me.
Although, this never happened with the Mount.
We came to Mount Maunganui straight off the plane from India. We had a job lined up, and people we'd let down if we put off any longer. So we didn't see any of NZ before we arrived at our home-to-be for the next four months. There was a beach, it was greenish and blueish and hottish and safe, we'd be fine.
But toes-in-the-sand, now we are settled. We paid a bond on a room. We bought utensils, and a pin board. And then.. oh. There's life to fill in. Theres spaces in the colouring book where friends coming round and family dinners and late night gym classes and mundane errands and local knowledge and events and all those things we had back home should be. Being free is never a burden, but sometimes it feels a little empty.
Mainly, I have felt rootless. I spent an hour today considering whether to buy a pet mouse. (Hamsters are illegal in NZ, otherwise we'd have a new baby.) I need something to affix me to this situation, something more than just a job, a contract and a sense of loyalty.
I climb The Mount as often as I can and look down on the ant people on the beach and the toy ships ferrying logs off to China. I know I am lucky to be travelling, but I miss the intricacies and lateness and fullness of a messy, interwoven, everyday life. I feel a little peripheral.
The view from the top is amazing, but after all, it is just a view.