Housing Update!

My housing situation is once again settled.

So, I have some great news!

My housing situation is once again settled. I cannot say how appreciative I am to my landlords, Ian and Jenny. They have truly gone above and beyond in helping me deal with this little hiccup in my preparations for New Zealand. They have been incredibly helpful with the housing situation, and thanks to their connections and friends, I have found a place to stay until the construction on the Aulsebrook’s Apartment building is completed.

I will be renting a room in a 3 story villa from some friends of theirs in Aro Valley, a neighborhood just west of Te Aro, where the apartment is located. The house is actually just 2 km from the apartment, so I am still close to the Central Business District in Wellington, and walking distance to everything I will initially need access to in the city. The house is also very close to several bus stops, so when the weather is less than ideal, I can easily catch a bus.  It is definitely a great thing, and they are both very excited to host me. Julian is a former New Zealand Consul General to Hong Kong, and Joanna is actually a librarian in a local primary school in Wellington, so I look forward to learning from and with her, and I think the connections she will be able to help me facilitate will be very beneficial to my research project. Things do work out in mysterious ways!

Part of Aro Valley

Aro Valley is also home to The Garage Project, a lovely brewery that I am certain to enjoy (and it is less than 650 meters from the house!). Wellington’s Central Park will literally be in my backyard, so I am excited about strolling through the park and getting to know the unique ecology of my new home! You can learn more about Aro Valley and Te Aro if you are interested.

Staying with Julian and Joanna will also be a great introduction to Wellington for me, and I look forward to sharing meals and getting to know them and my new temporary home better while I am staying there. Going from knowing no one in the entire country (or hemisphere, actually!) to feeling like I am going to a place filled with friends absolutely makes the whole living abroad thing less stressful. I have been so lucky to have people reach out to me who know others, or have friends in New Zealand and have facilitated those connections for me to get to virtually “know” their people, and the Fulbright Alumni and my Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Networks have both been so great in figuring out logistics and details. I truly feel like I am getting ready to go and see friends, which is a blessing.

By the way – the countdown is certainly on – as of today,  I am 50 days away from taking off and heading to Wellington! I guess I should start packing, eh?


#Countdown ~ 48 days, 6 hours, 38 minutes


As the days tick down, my excitement grows. At this moment there are 48 days, 6 hours and 38 minutes until I will be sitting on a runway in Atlanta about to take off, heading to Europe for my great adventure. This is certainly going to be a memorable journey, visiting at least 10 countries (who knows where else I might wander with a rail pass in hand) and traveling more that 12,000 miles when it is all said and done. I have been dreaming of this trip for a lifetime, and planning it since November. I can hardly believe that it is all really coming together. I have my flight booked, a rail pass and some essential train reservations, lodging situated, and have even booked experiences like the Harry Potter Studio Tour, the Roman Baths in Bath, Isle of Wight, High Tea at Claridges, Dachau tour, access to the German Bundestag plenary for a special lecture and Reichstag Dome in Berlin, Anne Frank House and the Bernina Pass through Switzerland (not to mention everything that London, Brugges, Vienna, Munich and Paris have to offer). This blog will be a place to share thoughts, experiences, photos, videos and more as I travel through Europe and experience this fabulous trip! 0 miles completed!