Twenty years ago today, I hopped on a plane with my best bud Leon and we flew from Wellington to London. It was exciting. I’d never been overseas before.
I came back several years later, after exploring Europe and the Middle East and North America, and living long enough in Edinburgh that I still think of it as my other home.
I wanted to feel the size of the world. The more I travelled, the bigger it all felt, because every place I reached also revealed countless more places in between. But it also ended up feeling not quite so big as all that, because it turns out the world is made of people, and now I have friends scattered all over the globe, and the shape of my life was powerfully changed by these friendships.
The other important thing I learned is that the right place for me to be in that world is here, home again in Aotearoa New Zealand, on the banks of Te Awa Kairangi.
I hope to go see other places again, and visit all my friends out there. I am so glad I met all of you. You make the world feel just the right size.