I wasn’t looking forward to returning to Christchurch.
This was the city that I knew best in New Zealand. It’s where I’d escape to as a teenager and where I went to university. It’s where I had my first real job and where I bought my first house. Many of my old friends and co-workers still live there. If anywhere in the country felt like home, surely this had to be it.
Except it didn’t, and it wasn’t.
The massive earthquake on Feb 22, 2011 severely damaged much of the inner city and eastern suburbs. Now, almost two years to the day since the earth roared in Christchurch, I was finally coming back. I’d come up with many excuses during that time as to why I hadn’t already returned. It didn’t fit with my plans, or I didn’t have enough annual leave, or I was on the other side of the world.
All of those things were true, but they weren’t the real reason.
I just didn’t want to see it with my own eyes.