Viewport width =

One Ocean – Home and Away


It was two hours before my flight and already I was an emotional wreck. My reality was that I was leaving home, leaving my family and friends and the life I had known for the past 17 years, to live and study in New Zealand. Eventually, it was time for me to say goodbye to my family. Reminiscing now, I wonder if they heard the panic in my voice. With my back turned to them, it took all I had not to burst into tears. Staring into the pitch black of the night sky, I had never felt more alone.

25 years ago, my mom lived the exact same experience: Like me, she flew away from our tiny island in Samoa. I imagine her staring out into the infinite blues of the ocean and sky in fear and excitement of the unknown. Unlike me, she was the first of her brothers and sisters to go to university. That meant that, with the hope and pride of her family placed on her shoulders, there was the weight of expectations and the pressure to succeed.

40 years ago, my grandmother traversed oceans from our corner of the world to study in London. In her field of study, she was in pursuit of the highest honour one could attain, becoming a Pasifika pioneer in the medical profession. She remembers this privilege as one of the hardest times of her life as a mother. I imagine her lying awake at night, thinking of my grandfather and her four children, thousands of miles away.

In the loneliness I faced leaving my home, I found an unexpected connection to the experiences and sacrifices of my mom and mama before me. I realise that we lived different versions of the same life, experiencing the same feelings and facing similar hardships. Now when I think about what I’m going through, I smile, because I know that I could never face it alone.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent posts

  1. Beyond Pink and Blue
  2. It is Enough: Reflections on Pride
  3. In the Mirror: Queer, Brown and Catholic
  4. “Representation”: Victoria Rhodes-Carlin Is Running For Greater Wellington Regional Council
  5. The Community Without A Home: Queer Homeslessness in Aotearoa
  6. Pasifika Queer in Review
  7. The National Queer in Review
  8. Māori Queer in Review
  9. LGBTQI Project Report Update
  10. International Queer in Review

Editor's Pick

Burnt Honey

: First tutorial of the year. When I open the door, I underestimate my strength, thinking it to be all used up in my journey here. It swings open violently and I trip into the room where awkward gazes greet me. Frozen, my legs are lead and I’m stuck on display for too long. My ov

Do you know how to read? Sign up to our Newsletter!

* indicates required