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An unexpected journey

Apologies for our absence over the last couple of months. I last wrote a post from our campervan on a trip around the top of the South Island. We had nothing planned for the afternoon and I was getting into the habit of filling moments of downtime with BYS action – something I had struggled with since stepping away from medicine. This should have been predictable really; pressure has always been my best motivator. No stranger to all-night essay writing, I. Finally, though, I was getting into a rhythm I could maintain even if we were away from home.

And then we got some news from the UK that made us pause. Paul had a two-month hiatus between a long-term locum and a permanent job, we managed to get a golden ticket for quarantine in NZ and found flights that didn’t quite require the sale of an organ. The already teetering scales tipped and we decided to head back for 6 weeks.

We had the best of intentions for work when we were back. There was no shortage of downtime given the restrictions imposed by lockdown and only being able to see friends outdoors. However, we both quickly realised we were just not in the right headspace. NZ and BYS felt like a universe away. I won’t linger here, everyone has had their own challenges over the past year, but it was certainly a healthy dose of perspective for us. We made a conscious decision to simply focus on the people we love. We made the most of more family time than we have had in years and obliterated our step goal daily on socially–distanced walks in sub-zero temperatures. We played games, we baked, we ran, mum taught us to knit.

Hotel quarantine continued in much the same vein – though sadly with no baking, running only in circles around a carpark and family time now happening over Zoom. We did start to get back into the groove of work in luxury prison – our final website design is nearly in the bag and I finally transcribed all of the interviews I had conducted over the past few months.

We are now, finally, home. It is a new home – we bought a house in Hawke’s Bay just before we left for the UK and managed to find a short-term tenant while we were away. So, after a week of nesting, we are both at our desks today. Real-life is back on the agenda! We look forward to sharing lots of new case studies with you in the weeks to come and holding ourselves accountable to our little but lovely community. Thank you for bearing with us!

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