Departure From The Heartland & Return To The Homeland (Just In Time For Christmas)

After weeks of flitting between happy and sad feels about returning to New Zealand, the day finally arrived and I had to pack my things and say ‘see you later’ to my love, my second family and Sri Lanka. The week before leaving was glorious. Nimantha took a few days off from work to look after me after the cerclage procedure (see previous blog post for an explanation as to what that gem means), so after a few weeks of chilling alone during the day, I had my man thing to talk to from wake ups to closing the ol’ eyes in e evening.

“I do”
After getting engaged a few months ago and talking about when and where we should get married, Nima and I decided to just go for it and did the deed on the 17th December at 11:11am. It was a quiet affair with just our witnesses there and after an hour of paper work, we made the vows and walked away with a spouse. Because we’re from different countries and for the obvious reasons of having just the one celebration is expensive for people travelling and a logistical nightmare, we’ll have 2 weddings. The New Zealand one will more than likely be in Napier on the beach with a Hoop style dress and the Sri Lankan one possibly on the beach in the Bentota area with a Sari of some description involved.

Sneaking an extra passenger on board the plane
I usually fly with Singapore Airlines but haven’t ever had a drama free flight with them, mainly because I request a vegan meal in all of the 5 million different ways they advise me to book the meal and still end up with no food for over 12 hours, so this time I went with China Southern Airlines and was not disappointed. The food was vegan the whole way through 16 hours of fly time, the staff were more than happy to keep me topped up on OJ, fresh fruit and warm water (A/C in airports and planes is ruthless and warm water helps to stop my throat from getting sore. Not sure if this works for everybody but if so, there’s a little tip for you) and the movie selection wasn’t bad. Although Singapore airport has lots of things to do such as the butterfly garden and movie theater, I enjoyed the airports international transit terminal in China much more because there is nothing to do so it’s quiet enough that you can read in peace and it’s so simple and easy to relax without being surrounded by hundreds of people. The flight also boarded and set off on time which has never happened in my experience with SA.

Overall the experience was as stress free as flying pregnant and sad about leaving your husband behind for XYZ amount of time can be and before I knew it I was home. It’s really great to see my parents and I have to say being outside here is a true joy. It’s summer but it’s New Zealand so it’s a little rainy, a little windy, a little cold and very sunny which is 1000% more comfortable to spend time in than the Aluthgama heat. It’s so nice to be back around familiar foods. As much as I love rice and curry, I was missing really good brown bread,  almond milk and berries. You can buy all of the above in SL but it’s really expensive and even though I’m missing tropical fruits, after eating so much locally grown goodness in tropical paradise, I probably won’t spend a thousand dollars per item imported and really under-ripe fruit this year. Locally grown and seasonal fruits and veg are where it’s at.

Family time and lots of typical Christmas films
It’s been glorious to spend some time with my mum and dad and as this only the second time in 8 years that we’ll spend the holiday season together, I’m soaking it all up. We’ve watched a different Christmas movie every night before bed and have an abundance of popcorn to snack on which has been glorious.

Christmas feels weird in New Zealand because I grew up in England where it’s a huge winter deal, everybody hopes for snow, the star of the show on the lunch table is a giant turkey and there’s always an overly brandied Christmas pudding somewhere. Here it’s more summer BBQ’s and beers and seeing as thought I’m vegan, my parents have semi adopted the lifestyle, we don’t really celebrate Christmas anymore the weatherman forecast rain, we’ll likely have a kitchen bench full of home made vegan snacks, treats, maybe a cake and a lot of fruits and vegetables to snack on while we all binge watch more Christmas-y films (Love Actually is a must) and hope the sun comes out so we can go for a long walk but the ocean. There’s no tree or single decoration in sight at the family home either which bring me so much joy for some reason.

I’m officially into the second trimester of my pregnancy so I’ll post an update soon about how the first one went overall and a general overview of how this hippie vegan nourished herself through nausea and no appetite.

Merry Christmas (if you’re into the whole pagan celebration), stay safe, don’t drive after drinking and play that drinking game where you all drink a glass of water every couple of hours to stay healthy and hydrated.

Have a wonderful day

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