Some thoughts on distance.

I’ve just finished packing in preparation for a small weekend away. I hate packing but I am feeling excited to visit a part of my country that I’ve not seen before and to see how my Father lives since he moved away from my area a while back. His partner has a place closer to here that they stay at sometimes so it’s not that I haven’t seen him, just, not at his place! This makes me reflect on our relationship a bit and family relationships in general.

I was on a boat entering the Marlborough Sounds.

I was on a boat entering the Marlborough Sounds. An old, bad phone photo from 2016.

It seems that we are all forced to make choices about where to live because of what we can afford and the kind of life we think we can make for ourselves. It feels like things really changed in the Victorian Era and have continued to do so in more fragmented ways ever since.

From looking into my family tree I’ve learned that there are parts of my family that stayed in the same general locale for many generations. I can look on a map of Dorset for example and see all the areas referred to in my family’s records and how reasonably close together they are.

BUT, in 1841, after the Census, one branch of my family set sail for New Zealand.

I wonder (and I hope to learn) why such a big leap was taken. The family were recorded as agricultural labourers in the Census and I guess NZ seemed like an opportunity. I wonder how it was pitched to them? There was a bit of back and forth between here and Australia in a few parts of my family. I have family from Leicester, Yorkshire, Limerick, Dorset, Midlothian and there are many parts of my family I am yet to understand or learn about.

But the thing that they all have in common is that they all left home and came to this land. They came to a land that they had not seen, that was the other side of the world.

And I am sitting here from my relatively comfortable life and think it terribly dreadful how far apart I live from many members of my family, which in comparison, is at least the same country. But, I cannot just pop and see people freely, I can’t do so without budgeting for it and lots of travelling.

Driving will help somewhat. We tried to start my car today. The battery is dead! Oh dear.

Proximity to family is an important factor for My Love and I as we embark on starting our life together and our own family. Obviously as a new mother, having family close to advise and help out sometimes will be very advantageous. So we’re having to think about what the best compromise is going to be between the kind of property we can buy and the distance from those people who matter to us, for support as we start a family and just simply to keep those relationships near.

We’ve been busy lately on weekends with quite a few family events. And I want to keep this up but the thing is that it still never quite feels enough yet I also feel the lack of down time all the travel requires.

I feel blessed that I have been made to feel very welcome in My Love’s family and it is like I have another whole family which is a very nice feeling for me.

DSC_0085

My Love’s Parents’ Dog Angus, May 2018

It is my brother’s birthday this weekend too. He lives in the South Island of NZ and thus we don’t see each other in person very often, though we have been doing FaceTime in the last year!

How do other people stay close to their family? In this age of the internet which makes it easier than before to stay in touch, it still seems hard. Family is important to me and life feels so hectic, so often that it feels hard to balance it all!

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