we seek the absolute everywhere and only ever find things ~ novalis

Hello, my name is Ana.

I left the Philippines when I was eight. I was a pretty lonely child, always wandering around by myself. There used to be a store at the end of the street with iron bars across the windows. I would walk over and buy a pack of corn chips for a couple of cents. The school I went to was across the road from some slums. It had a big, gnarly, haunted tree out the back and tiled floors. They made us speak English.

I didn't know we were leaving the country until the day my dog, Mitsubishi, was packed off to a relative, my nanny was crying, and we were driving away from the house. We landed in Auckland, New Zealand and the air was so icy. I was astounded that bars of chocolate were $1. I thought that must have been cheap because everything in the Philippines was sold for prices with more than one number.

Now, I live in Wellington, New Zealand. I live in an apartment located in the heart of the city with my husband, my son, and our dog. I love Wellington. I love the crazy sunsets, the hazy light over the harbour, the laidback cafes, and the ridiculously good coffee. I love that, in less than twenty minutes, you can walk to the beach, or hike up a mountain, or sunbathe in a grassy park. I love that no matter how far you go, you can never really escape the sea.