Then and Now: a look at my life in 2008 vs. 2018

Life is so crazy right now, but even though I am beyond busy I have had a lot of time to think. Probably because I’m spending a lot of time sitting in my car during last minute house showings and Mi Amor has been traveling a lot.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how life changes. Particularly, how crazy mine is from just 10 years ago (and even more wild, 20 years…of course!). I thought it would be fun to do a little comparison between circa 2008 and the present. (Thanks, This is Us).

A view of Waiheke Island

First, let’s start off with a little background of where I was in 2008 – you can read a little more about my current season here. In August of 2007, I graduated college and ran off to New Zealand to live for a year. I lived in Auckland for 5 months, starting off at a hostel in a historic house and eventually renting a room in a house with 4 other Kiwis. A really good friend of mine, Mah, was among the who’s-who of Auckland and I led a very VIP-club kind of life.

Forever in my heart, Aloe Tree.

Then: 11pm and it was time to hit the club.
Now: 8pm and BabyCoolJ is in bed and I am DONE.

Then: I lived in hostels.
Now: I carry hand sanitizer spray and wipes with me at all times (and use them often.)

Then: Never waiting in line to get into a club.
Now: Waiting in line to pickup my kiddo from childcare at church.

At the end of January 2008, I decided I needed to be a real backpacker and stop living in luxury so I set off for the South Island. I lived and worked in the middle of nowhere (like, 45 minute boat ride from a fishing village OR 5 day hike…) at an overnight camp & resort called Furneaux Lodge. We (a bunch of backpackers) lived, worked, ate and did everyone together. It was a great experience!

Then: Our boss would pass out free shots & swigs from a bottle for every birthday, farewell and good fishing trip.
Now: My current boss is a toddler, who throws his water at me when angry.

Staff drinks #TrueStory

Then: I paid a flatmate $20 to clean so I wouldn’t have to (rotating cleaning schedule was part of the gig).
Now: I clean boogers. And a booty because my toddler is in diapers. Plus dishes, laundry, toilets and more. Can’t pay anyone $20 to do any of that here!

After leaving Furneaux Lodge I lived in a decked-out-van for 3-weeks with a girl from Holland as we road tripped the South Island together. We city-hopped and bar-hopped, and took in lots of local sights along the way.

Our Juicy van rental – bed, cooking range and all.

Then: We tried to find a place to shower every 2 or 3 days…sometimes 4.
Now: Despite having a toddler and a traveling husband, I get to shower daily!

Then: During a stop in Queenstown, we hit up a bar that made cocktails in teapots. Delicious and only $5 a pot.
Now: I couldn’t tell you where to find drink specials around town, or even what bar to go to!

Then: My favorite tee read, “Mexicana.”
Now: My favorite tee reads, “Motherhood is the toughest hood there is.”

My last official destination was Kaikoura, in New Zealand’s South Island. I worked and lived at a resort with $1,000 a night tree houses, and lived in a house with someone who became a good friend of mine and we still keep in touch. Life was so good for those last 3 months before I left and made my way back to Auckland before coming back to the U.S..

That time I swam with 500 wild dolphins in Kaikoura, NZ (and it was 10° F)

Then: I road tripped the North Island alone for nearly 2 weeks.
Now: I won’t even road trip back home with my toddler….6 hours alone with him in the car terrifies me!

Then: I spent months saving money to go skydiving, it was the best $500 I had ever spent!
Now: I spend months saving up just so I can go get a massage and enjoy some me-time.

The fastest $500 I ever spent

I made it back to the states, along with my bad habits of cursing like a Kiwi, rolling my own cigarettes and drinking like I was a backpacker. Things didn’t change much for me until years later, but I will share that in another post when I tell you about my testimony! Stay tuned.

But, my favorite then & now of 2018 is…

Then: At the end of 2008 I met my future husband, who happened to be a local rapper.
Now: I rap “Itsy Bitsy Spider” by Basho with BabyCoolJ all the time.

What’s one of your favorite memories from 2008?





A look at one backpacker turned mama's life then and now - 2008 vs. 2018 |

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