Derek Sivers

I’ve moved from New Zealand to Oxford England

2019-03-08

I almost never cry, but I cried a lot last month, leaving New Zealand. I’ve never loved and felt so connected to a place before. It wasn’t simple sadness that made me cry, but overflowing appreciation. I’d been feeling it for years, almost every day, amazed at not just the nature but the people and way of life. Knowing I was leaving made me re-play all my memories from my last six years. Most of that time spent playing in the wilderness with my kid. The memories are so overwhelmingly wonderful that seeing them all together like that made me sob with appreciation. They’ve been the happiest years of my life. Leaving felt like tearing a child from its mother.

So why did I leave?

I believe moving is good for the mind. I like seeing the world from different perspectives. I usually get where I’m going by leaving where I've been.

I’ve been on a semi-sabbatical for the last six years, and ready to make a change. I felt like being in the middle of things again, but a different middle than before.

I’ve never really lived in Europe. I have a list of places in Europe that I’m curious to get to know — places I've learned about but have never visited. The list has 51 places on it already.

Munich would have been a more practical travel hub, but Oxford has a wonderful charm to it. A search of my diary showed I’ve been thinking about moving to Oxford since 2007. Whenever I visited, it always felt just right. So I finally did it. I moved to Oxford England a month ago today, with everything I own in three suitcases. (My kid had another two suitcases, and one of them was just Lego.) I’m now a legal resident, and plan to stay here for many years.

The locals think I’m crazy for leaving the paradise of New Zealand for this. But while New Zealand has a physical beauty that’s more visceral, Oxford has an intellectual beauty that I was craving.

So here I am. And I’ll be all around Europe often, getting to know it well. Email me if you want to meet up anywhere in Europe, or invite me to any events.

Oxford photo by Tejvan Pettinger.