Tadaima - I'm home Christchurch


TADAIMA!!! written above - means I’m home.

Is what we felt like yelling when my fiancée and I got off the plane at Christchurch International Airport. After 4 years in rural Japan we were finally back home.

‘Tadaima’ basically means ‘I’m home!’ and it’s what EVERY Japanese person yells as soon as they come home, and often their partner or parents replies with ‘Okaeri!’ which means ‘welcome home!’.

We left for Japan a few months after both the earthquakes in Christchurch and Japan. The March 11 quake made it pretty clear that wherever you go, mother nature will do what she likes. So my fiancée and I decided to fulfill our childhood dreams and pursue a life in Japan.

Mariko sensei and I bringing Christmas spirit at the high school I taught English at.

Mariko sensei and I bringing Christmas spirit at the high school I taught English at.

Fast forward 4 years, I’m bowing when I speak on the phone, can converse at a preschool level, and I’ll never be able to wear shoes inside again.

It’s time to go home.

Nek minute, we’re getting off a plane in Chch, feeling a little nervous, but confident in our decision to move home, be around family and friends and get involved in the city we want to put roots down in.

We’d been so excited to see all the great things happening around the city so we set out to reacquaint ourselves with everything that was going on, and the people making it all happen.

Our first stop was the Ministry of Awesome Coffee and Jam sessions. There we met the wonderful Catarina and she helped us heaps with our idea for a social enterprise.

Not long after that we realized that starting a business… requires $$$, like way more than we had leftover in our savings after travelling and volunteering for half a year!

Which is where BizDojo came crashing into the picture like the Kool-aid man from Family Guy.

I got a call saying that the 3 directors of the company were coming to town to check out what would eventually become the home of a new Bizdojo in Christchurch.

So I offered to pick them up from the airport. (this was my first face to face interview)

Nick was riding shotgun and firing questions at me, while recording my answers on his new GoPro. So intense!

I got the job as community manager, and soon found myself in Wellington training in the arts of BizDojo. Sponging in everything that makes a coworking space really work. Next was Auckland for the staff retreat and for copious amounts of cheese and some bonding in a Yert.

Now I’m back in Chch, on the ground, meeting all the amazing people that make this city such a great place to come back home to. And helping to get BizDojo Christchurch off the ground.

More soon.

Street art in Christchurch by artist Wongi.

Street art in Christchurch by artist Wongi.