You know that moment when your mom stops being just your mom and you begin to build a friendship? You get to a certain point where you can see one another for who they really are and love them as a human being instead of simply as family.
I haven’t yet mastered this newfound friendship with Mom, at times I still act like a child, I’m impatient and I say things in anger that I would never say to a friend. But, the more time we spend together, the more I feel like our relationship is becoming both family and friendship.
A 30 day trip through the heart of New Zealand’s South Island is one heck of a bonding experience. Mom flew from Minnesota all the way to New Zealand to visit me, her favorite oldest daughter, and left understanding why I am becoming so attached to this island in the middle of nowhere.
Our adventure started in my home of Nelson and wound down to Queenstown, over to Oamaru, onto the rugged Catlins and finally through Fjordland. We didn’t plan our days too much, just made sure we had enough petrol in the car to make it to the next station. Along the way, we hiked mountains, squealed over penguins, stood in awe at the beauty of nature and enjoyed being able to hug one another again.
I can’t begin to count the number of times that I stare with envy at the mothers and daughters who come into the restaurant and simply enjoy a cup of tea together. For one whole month I soaked in the glory of being in the same country as my mom. It was a trip that we will both remember for a lifetime, filled with adventures and love.