Sinking into our new ‘JAFA’ lifestyle

“So, you are a JAFA now.” “A JAFA?” Surely our kiwi friend does not mean Jaffa cakes… They are not even sold around here. Seeing Sorin’s bewildered expression, the explanation follows: “Just another f… Auckland-er” “How charming!” we thought. We are yet to discover the real meaning of being a JAFA and why the rest of the country at the Antipodes refers to Auckland-ers as JAFAs. Prejudiced? Envious? Derogatory in any case.


Back in the day we started sharing our story in order to inspire. Whether we are inspiring you, our dear reader, or not is yet to be confirmed. But we are definitely sharing. In this spirit, it is time to share our most fundamental life lessons to date. These are the pillars of our happiness despite unfavourable circumstances at times.

  • Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around” Penelope Cruz (aka Sofia) reckons in the movie ‘Vanilla sky’
  • When the above fails, because circumstances outside of your control, accept it. Do not pretend, just fully accept it with every cell of your being.

We just achieved acceptance. Hopefully, for the sake of our happiness, it is going to be long lasting this time.

We became JAFAs. We’re loving it. The life of an Auckland-er, as we experience it and observe it around us, is beautiful, easy and generally relaxed. It is still life in a city, but nothing as we know it. Much more Pacific chilled. No gum boots. We cannot remember when we’ve last seen these otherwise omnipresent footwear. 

Every now and then we are lucky to come across a nice pair of legs in a fancy pair of shoes in Auckland, New Zealand
In Auckland we are not too far from nature. We stumble upon hedge hogs sunbathing on the pavement or the wondrous pattern hidden by a tree fern trunk!

With every day we are sinking into our new ‘JAFA’ lifestyle, taking advantage of the luxuries of the city life as much as we can. We visit museums. We go to the cinema. We occasionally eat out. We go in discovery trips. We catch up with old friends and make new ones. Life is good again! It always is when you have peace of mind. This is critical to our happiness!

A social moment with fellow Romanians in ‘Little creatures’ – former airplanes hangar in Auckland, New Zealand
A sunset is not as glorious when stuck in traffic, but hey…better than being caught by one of the numerous depressions dancing around New Zealand this time of the year

Every now and then we escape the city aboard Escapade.

Getting out to see new places, ‘sinking’ into the kiwi culture and spending quality time by the fire

We even discussed that if we were to be in New Zealand for years to come, before the Covid is eradicated and borders are long lastingly open again, then so be it. When we are occasionally asked where our home is (between Romania and England), we always answer Mehalah is our home. It is true. When we are aboard Mehalah we are at home. This is what matters most to us and this is why we are still here.

We are positively surprised when friends from Europe and the US tell us that where they are things are pretty much back to normal. We keep our fingers crossed that this normality is long lived and freedom of circulation will come this side of the world too. Although sadly, the odds seem to be against it! The bubble between Australia and New Zealand is a Russian roulette, coming on and off at no notice. Cases seem to have spread again across Australia. After a long Covid free period, Fiji is struggling. We hope the sun will shine again on this side of the street too. 

We hear that the mood on Hatea River, where we spent the last year and where most international cruisers are stuck during Covid is depressed. The excessively wet subtropical climate around Northland in winter does not help either. More boat owners gave up or just put their sailing around the world adventure on hold. They sold their boats. Others stored the boats on the hard and flew home. We, stubborn creatures, are marching on! 

Beautiful Hatea River on a sunny winter day

One day things will get better.

4 thoughts on “Sinking into our new ‘JAFA’ lifestyle”

  1. You guys definitely inspired others by the way you are facing the things that are coming to you with out of control. The way you have learned to accept them and move forward with peace of mind and spirit is definitely a source of inspiration for many people. Enjoy your every day of life wherever you are on this planet.

  2. You 2 are so positive all of the time…loving the blog…can’t wait for the border bw Aus and NZ to open permanently and we can catch up finally x

    1. Hi Cath, we are also so much looking forward to catching up with you across the ditch over a drink or two. It will happen sooner or later! ❤️

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