I have some exciting personal news to share with you guys. I’m moving to Christchurch!
More specifically, I’m moving to Lyttelton, Christchurch’s quirky harbor town. And even more specifically, I’m moving out to one of the stunning bays on the Banks Peninsula near Lyttelton.
My current mood is a beautiful combination of giddy excitement that meets unsettled panic. What am I doing? If you asked me a year ago if I would ever move to Christchurch for a guy, I would have laughed so hard!
Not only could I have ever imagined moving to the big smoke, but I could also have never believed I would fall so hard in love that I was willing to open up my very private and reclusive life to share with another person moving to Christchurch.
Just when you think you have life figured out, it flips you on your head!
After six years in my beloved Wanaka, I’m about to embark on an entirely new chapter in my life moving to Christchurch. A chapter that I will admit I dreamed of deep down but never thought would actually happen. Love.
No, I’m not pregnant (mom), but I did fall in love with an old friend, Giulio Sturla. Swoon! Vomit!
Our story is a serendipitous one that I can’t wait to tell you in full one day, but for now, I’ll keep it short and straightforward.
Giulio is an Italian – Chilean chef who has been living in New Zealand for over a decade and trained at Mugaritz in Spain, one of the best restaurants on the planet. And Giulio is not just any chef, and he was named New Zealand’s best chef last year, as well as running Roots, one of the best restaurants in the country. No big deal, eh? For a girl who loves to eat, I’ve died and gone to heaven!
We’ve been friends for years after he fed me on a trip to Canterbury before it blossomed into something more.
But the best part isn’t that he is a superbly talented chef, creative or that we have so much in common. Giulio is, in fact, the kindest, most patient person I’ve ever met, and he’s my match. He’s my person, my other half. It’s so crazy; I still can’t quite believe it!
After so many failed, wrong relationships, who would have thought you could so easily recognize the right person when they come along? It’s magic!
After a lifetime of self-doubt and an inherent belief that my travel lifestyle was incompatible with true love, I gave up on meeting someone. I quietly accepted my fate as a cat lady meets librarian, which I would still happily embrace (just so we’re clear).
At the beginning of 2019, I walked away from a relationship that just wasn’t right, that I clung to for too long because I didn’t think I deserved any better. Resigned, I finally came to terms with the belief that I would rather be alone than with the wrong person, a rather adult realization that surprised even myself.
As a solitary person, I don’t mind being alone, but deep down, I felt a quiet, profound sadness for my lot in life.
But we all know that fate loves a good laugh, and before I knew what was happening to me, a blissful, storybook love came out of nowhere and knocked me on my ass! Moving to Christchurch was something I could have never imagined when I first translocated to New Zealand.
All those cliche rom-com phrases describe my relationship with Giulio perfectly, and my deeply cynical frosty heart has softened considerably over this past year.
It’s so funny because everyone has told me that that is how it always happens – you give up on love, and then you find it. Eyeroll.
But in some ways, I can really see how I had a hand in manifesting this love too. Since my story with the whales on Stewart Island a year ago, I’ve been forced to confront a lot of deep emotional issues and complex inner stories I’ve told myself.
Through therapy and a lot of life coaching with Kait Rich, I’ve been able to grow and do a lot of work on myself to be able to communicate better and really understand what I want and how to get there.
This hard work has pulled me up from rock bottom (again), and I know for a fact I wouldn’t have been able to have such a beautiful relationship if I hadn’t been able to grow the way I have. And what makes it even more amazing is that in many ways, Giulio has done the same thing.
With love comes change.
As the perpetual third wheel to all my friends, no one hates hearing more about love than me, but here we are. As I am beginning this new era of sharing and partnership, as an only child who’s never lived with a partner before or had roommates in 6 years, have any life advice for me because I’m freaking the fuck out over here.
I’m so incredibly excited about this new era of my life to begin, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared too.
My go-to situation has always been to be alone. I’ve learned to look after myself, and as a profoundly introverted human, my comfortable place is quiet and lonely. How do I navigate that as I now begin to share my life with someone else?
Our house is large and comes with a puppy (OMG) as well as two beautiful kids (aged 5 and 8), and is a massive change from what I’m used to. Any advice for someone like me stepping into a new role?
How do I continue to be myself and preserve my independent identity but also navigate a partnership in a new place? I don’t even know how to compromise, haha!
While I’m still keeping close ties to Wanaka (including keeping my magical flat which I rent out to friends and visitors), I’m now starting fresh in Christchurch, where I have approximately two friends. So, who here lives in Canterbury?
And of course, where can I start exploring here?
Have any tips for a newbie like me? Does anyone want to be my friend? Please send any advice or leave a comment for me below.