10 years have passed since I first left Scotland for New Zealand. Originally I had plans to complete a 5 month missionary school and then return home. Plans changed and only two weeks after arrival I dreamt of a life in New Zealand.

So strong was my pull to Aotearoa (NZ) that I began having nightmares of being deported back to the UK. My nightmares nearly came true after a trip to Fiji. Customs interrogated me because I was an overstayer and travelling a lot to “suspicious” countries (the problems of a missionary).

In the end I got to stay. I got married, had a kid (have), and now work as a pastor.

Back To England

We ventured back to England (where I was born) because a visit was long overdue. My family was desperate to meet Leigh and Jamie, I was itching to meet my family, and I missed BARR’s fresh cans of Irn-Bru.

On arrival I couldn’t contain my excitement. I was elated to use my British passport on home soil, and more importantly use the fast lane at immigration check points.

My first impression was how narrow the roads were, how dead the trees were, and how cold the air was. I loved it. After a decade detox I was ready to see the UK with fresh eyes. T. S. Elliot says it best:

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

Leigh told me she felt as though she was in a Pride and Prejudice movie set as we drove through the Cotswolds to Tewkesbury. This is where my mum now lives and where we would be based for our one month visit. In a few days we would head north to Scotland – my old stomping ground.

7 month old Jamie travelled well on the plane and quickly overcame jet lag. We then catapulted ourself into various activities. We started by visiting Tewkesbury Abbey and wondering into British supermarkets.

Family

My family came to visit us at my mums place and I met my niece for the first time ever! We hung out, ate meals together and the men went Go Karting (I was nearly banned for reckless driving). Afterwards I visited Englands famous cheese rolling hill and ran down it’s steep cliff face. Learn about cheese rolling here.

 

The next day we happened to stumble across Gloucester Cathedral which was used to shoot some of the Harry Potter films (probably due to it’s stunning gothic architecture).

With such a busy itinerary in only 4 days we’ve visited a handful of tourist hotspots. But that’s not why we’re here. We came to see family and catch up with friends, and that’s what we’ll do.

Next stop: Scotland!

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4 Responses

  1. PaisleyJade

    So excited to see your pics and hear how you guys are going! Looks amazing! I dream of travelling there oneday to explore the land of my ancestors!

    Reply

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