Wanderer



Oh the wind in my hair
it sings my song
to be a wanderer and to go home

The song Wanderer by Mogli has been trailing my journey home to New Zealand over these past couple of weeks. To be a wanderer and to go home. I am a wanderer and home is in many places. Some people ask me if I am lost. Don’t you feel rootless? They ask. 
Rootless? No, I feel more rooted than ever before! I stand with my roots on both sides of the earth - north and south - Sweden and New Zealand. In 1992, I was born during a snowstorm in the capital city of Sweden. Stockholm hadn’t seen any snow all winter until the day I was born on the 15th of February. Growing up, I always loved the story of Ronja the Robber’s Daughter by Astrid Lindgren because Ronja was also born during a storm and loves the woods just as much as I do. 
When I was four years old, my mum and I travelled to Aotearoa, New Zealand, where mum fell in love and we ended up staying for over twelve years. First we lived in the small beach town of Mount Maunganui, where I grew up at the foot of Mauao, an extinct volcano commonly known as The Mount. After a few years, we moved inland to start an organic avocado orchard outside of Katikati, a small town surrounded by rolling hills and nestled between the coastline and the Kaimai Ranges. 
Now I'm back at the orchard and the avocado trees have grown so much since I was last here. On a clear night, the stars out here are breath-taking. As a kid, my dad and I would go outside and lie on the trampoline with a blanket, watching the stars. Now there is a spa pool for star-watching and I must say – nothing beats sitting in a hot spa pool, looking up at the Milky Way!
Growing up, we often take so much for granted. Now, returning to New Zealand after 10 years on the other side of the world, I am seeing my childhood home with new eyes. It is such a blessing to return to sanctuaries of old and appreciate the beauty of this land in a new way. Being here again has really made me realise the true meaning of family and how this land will always be a part of my roots. 
Here are some of the photos captured from these past few weeks in the North Island of New Zealand, mostly from the Bay of Plenty and the Waikato region. 

A waterfall close to where I grew up

The Kaimai Mamaku Forest

A kauri tree thought to be over 600 years old.

Koru

Ohope Beach with Whale Island in the distance

The Waihou Blue Springs

The Waihou Blue Springs

The Waihou Blue Springs

Mount Maunganui

Walking up the Mount

View from the top of the Mount.

Looking out at Matakana Island

Karangahake Gorge

Karangahake Gorge

Karangahake Gorge

Orokawa Bay

Waihi Beach


Comments

  1. Stina, I have not read this blog post for over a year, and I can now understand from a different perspective of what NZ means to both of us as daughters of this beautiful land. Thank you so much for encapsulating a truly authentic and genuine picture of what Aotearoa is, so people all over the world can understand truly what it means to us <3 Kia ora tuahine!

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