The first several weeks in Wellington were filled with dancing among strangers, long walks around town, going to interviews, reading books at the waterfront, attending art exhibitions, hiking up hills, going to the cinema, networking with different people, listening to live gigs, and going to events. I loved this description here describing Wellington like the town in Kiki’s Delivery Service “Anyone new to Wellington can relate to Kiki. Bumpy landing into a charming city by the sea…” Which is an accurate description when you’re sitting on the plane in a rocky turbulence, minus the broomstick. After the first two weeks, it already felt like home. There were so many cats lurking around every street corner, and even more cafes to spend hours in reading to your hearts content.
As a country girl at heart, the beauty of Wellington is how many awesome hiking tracks there are, and the short walk towards the sea. The lovely weekend markets, feeling of community and ease of walking everywhere. The town opened its arms wide open into a warm summers hug. Smiling at other runners, finding the best vegan smoothies and listening to live jazz. Living with the best flatmates after only meeting them via video whilst I was still in Auckland and strangers turning into friends are some of the highlights. As I was born and raised in Auckland, the first thing I really felt was the very laid back nature of Wellington, slower pace of life and how people tend to make more eye contact, have random conversations and smile at one another.
Til now, it still takes time getting used to bumping into people I’ve met or know. Nearly every time I was in town I would bump into someone I met at a networking event, a friend, a friend of a friend, someone I went on a date with, or people I’ve met briefly in Wellington. I love the different creatives making crafts, clothing, art, music, theatre and film. I love the crazy hills and even the wind that becomes background noise over time. I love that there is an awareness of sustainability and supporting local businesses. I love how active the city is as you go out for a jog. There’s always many other people out for a jog as well, going for a bike, swimming in the ocean, taking a walk, hiking up a mountain, kayaking, roller-blading or skating.
Some other loves are the waterfront, te papa museum, singing at bars, live music, fix and fogg peanut butter, browsing markets, dressing in whatever you feel like, and the view from the top of the mountains. It’s been 6 months since settling into the coolest capital in the world. There’s definitely been difficult times and challenges, as life naturally has, but overall it’s been amazing. It’s an incredibly compact city, as I recall using Google maps for the first two weeks trying to make my way around, but now the town is like a map on the back of my hand. The wonderful thrift stores, kind people, art work on buildings, simplicity in life, and a nice vibe. If you love walking as much as I do, it’s the perfect place to walk around and it’s very pedestrian friendly. Every city has its pros and cons, and I’m yet to embrace winter, but for now it’s home.
Art by Yuliya