Destinations, Musings, New Zealand, Tidbits About Us, Travel Plans

The Night Before Christmas: At the Auckland Airport

December 24, 2012

It’s been a kiwi Christmastime. This November and December, we’ve traversed the North and South Islands of New Zealand, and I’ve been soaking up the spunk and joy in the little things, like this Christmas video from my favorite shop in Auckland.

A Night before Christmas from Pauanesia | Filmed & Edited: Tama Jarman
Music: ‘Walk in the Park‘ by the Wellington Ukulele Orchestra

Tonight, the spunk and joy is accompanied by a bit of melancholy and a large dose of gratefulness.

I’m so close to winging my way home.

It’s Christmas Eve: a few hours before midnight on the 24th of December (a day that sounded so, so far away when we first departed Portland on January 5th). We’re sitting in a hotel room just down the road from Auckland International Airport.

This morning we flew up early from Christchurch to squeeze in a few more coffees with dear friends. The summertime sun set a while ago, we’ve said our last “goodbyes for now,” and the only thing left on our Christmas list is a good night’s sleep before tomorrow’s Christmas Day flights to Tokyo, Seattle, and Portland.

Pinch me. It’s real.

I’ve been mulling over stories and preparing to share posts from Asia and New Zealand (you’d laugh at the sheer number of adventures and photos still waiting to be illuminated in full RGB glory).

I do plan to fill this online space with more travel tales after we are back on Oregon soil, but I’ve also been mulling over the deeper themes of passing time and changing seasons.

Tonight, rather than sort the thoughts tumbling through my mind, I’ve decided to share a flashback from my old blog, when I first spent time living overseas and writing my way through the experience:

I’m not ready for farewells – 2 June 2004
The goodbyes have started…the academics are winding down…the realization in sinking in…the countdown continues.

Why can’t this door — this one that’s soon to be swinging shut behind me — be a revolving door instead? Can’t I just fly home, say hellos, eat some Tillamook Cheese, drink a real milkshake, give everyone a round of hugs and then catch the next flight back to New Zealand? Impractical, I know. But what am I going to do???

It is often said that life is in the little things. I think life is in the unique combinations, actually. Big and little things both. For every single moment, opportunity and circumstance are present in an unrepeatable blend, and the key is knowing when and how to seize those slivers of time and work diligently with the available conditions. I hope I’ve been faithful in wisely carrying that out!

I know that my experience here has been unique to this time and this place, and that the unrepeatable blend of people and events and weather and food and native plants and social dramas and strange accents and good music and (oops, sorry, getting a bit carried away) – anyway, the aforementioned unrepeatable blend assisted in generating my experience and, too, guarantees that it cannot be duplicated… Faintly sad, but beautiful, too.

Anyway, I’ll not quite say goodbye – not yet…but I know in a bittersweet way that once the plane door closes behind me, and once I’m again above the Pacific and on my way to a land above the equator, I’ll never again be able to return to this precious gift of here and now, today, this autumn in New Zealand.

Hmmm…as I say that, I’m reminded that each and every time the sun sets (every time the clock ticks, really!) another farewell is bade to an unrepeatable moment…another door closes and locks us out of the past… So yeah. While I strive to remain very much alive in and grateful for these remaining moments in my New Zealand world, you do the same wherever you are. Who knows how many trips around the sun we really have left? Take hold of the time you have – use it wisely…like it or not, there’s no going back…


This year winds to a close, and the future is wide with possibility.

Christmas Eve will soon be over, then our 45-hour Christmas Day begins. Breakfast, a coffee, and a walk through that security gate at Auckland International.

Like it or not, there’s no going back.

We’re so excited to see our family and friends this Christmastime. After a year of travel, the best gift we can imagine is the gift of time with people we love.

Ted and I both wish you and your loved ones the gift of time and the joy of celebration!

I’ll leave you with one last video that always brings a smile to my face. The story of Christmas as told by the children of St Paul’s Church, Auckland, New Zealand.

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  • Reply Kim December 25, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Such an adventure you’ve had! Thank you for sharing your wonderful adventures and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 3, 2013 at 6:55 am

      Aw, thanks Kim. I’m surprised by how many déjà vu moments are popping up at the beginning of 2013… Much the same as last January, we’re in the early stages of a wide open year. I can’t wait to find out what happens next, either!

  • Reply Paul December 25, 2012 at 12:17 am

    T+b // I think that everyone can relate with what you’re saying. The rhythm of life seems a succession of the moments you express here; rich experience punctuated by an hour or two of clarity as we catch a glimpse of ourselves as the little fluttering things that we are.

    At least I relate.

    I hope I speak for your blog’s readers in general, and for your close friends in particular, in saying that you two have been generous to share your little moments with us. And some big ones too, of course.

    Safe travels back to Portland. We wish we could be there when you land. See you on the other side.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 3, 2013 at 7:01 am

      You guys are the best. Thank you so much for the words of understanding *and* for the awesome welcome home package waiting for us when we finally arrived in Oregon and dropped our bags. We’re excited for the day when we’re all back in the same territory : )

  • Reply Andi of My Beautiful Adventures December 25, 2012 at 3:54 am

    Enjoy every moment you have with them! Merry Xmas my friends!!!

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 3, 2013 at 7:03 am

      Hope you are having a wonderful beginning to 2013 in your beloved Buenos Aires! xoxo

  • Reply Stephanie - The Travel Chica December 25, 2012 at 5:49 am

    Safe travels home! That is a LONG travel day.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 3, 2013 at 7:07 am

      Thanks, Stephanie. I think I’m finally, finally returning to normal after that long stretch of flights + adrenaline + fatigue + Christmas/New Years festivities… It’s great to be back in Oregon. And we’ve even been gifted with bright, sunshiney winter days to ease us back in to the northern hemisphere winter ; )

  • Reply Emily December 26, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Safe travels and Merry Christmas my friends!

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 3, 2013 at 7:11 am

      I’ve already told you this – but you’re the best! Thanks so much for sending your love and welcome home messages all the way to Oregon to greet us when we arrived : ) Not quite the same as seeing you in person, but every bit as sweet to know we’re back in the same country. xoxo

  • Reply Olivia December 27, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Thank you so much for posting our video guys! I work at Pauanesia and my boyfriend (Tama Jarman) and I made it for the shop. I just read your post on the North Island and am so stoked you had the best time and now completely curious to visit Oregon. Portland has been on the ‘one day I’ll see’ list for awhile I must admit! Thank you again!

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 3, 2013 at 7:28 am

      Olivia, so cool to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by and for reading about a few of our New Zealand adventures : ) I loved stumbling across Pauanesia – and watching the video you two created just made me giddy. I love the piece you picked from the Wellington Ukelele Orchestra.

      I bet you’d really enjoy spending some time in Oregon – please look us up if you find yourself in the area! We love introducing friends to our part of the world.

      All the best! xx Bethany

  • Reply TammyOnTheMove January 2, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    I hope you made it back safely and am looking forwrd to read the remaining posts from your adventures!

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 3, 2013 at 7:35 am

      Tammy, thanks so much : ) It’s been sweet to be home this past week, resting from on-line life and spending time with dear, dear friends and family. I’m excited, too, to share more stories from our journey as 2013 unfolds.

      Wishing you and Chris a terrific beginning to the new year!

  • Reply Colleen - Colleen gets lost January 9, 2013 at 6:08 am

    Congrats on making it through the year, and best wishes for whatever your post-trip future holds. I found you all a few months ago, just before I started my own RTW trip, starting in Oregon. I can totally relate to your wish for the revolving door. While I’m not homesick yet, I’m starting to wish I could teleport home (to Los Angeles and Eugene) for a few hours, hug my family and friends, have a microbrew, and go for a run on my favorite trail.

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