"How did you come to be here?"
At ARUHE "How did you come to be here?" is the most common question I'm asked
ARUHE is at Whanarua Bay, in a stunningly beautiful coastal region of the North Island in New Zealand. It’s over an hours drive from the nearest supermarket, and restaurants, which open only during the Summer months, are a half hours drive away.
In New Zealand, we refer to this as “living in the wopwops”. It means that I live in a sparsely populated part of the country. In my case I’m lucky to have Wifi but many areas in the wopwops do not. I don’t have mobile phone connectivity and I can live without that. I do have a landline.
As a host, I’m in the middle of my second Summer season at ARUHE (www.aruhe.nz) Holiday Home and B & B, and the question I am most asked by my guests is
“What brought you here?”
So here is a short story.
I purchased the land here with my partner in 1989 and in 1998 we built our house, which we used as a private holiday home, or bach, as we call them here, until such time as we could retire here. We called the property, and the house, Motuaruhe. It is the old name for the two small bays that form Whanarua Bay and some surrounding farmland.
Unfortunately, or fortunately as it turned out, the Universe had other plans and three months before we were due to retire here my partner informed me of an undisclosed and serious love affair. A year later the property, known as Motuaruhe, went on the market and 7 years later when it had still not sold, I bought it.
By then I had become a super annuitant and now had what the bank considered a legitimate income. They would give me a mortgage……for 30 years, no less. I was over the moon with joy. My ex dropped the price and I signed the documents with excitement and fear plucking at my heart strings.
Motuaruhe hadn’t been inhabited for eight years and needed lots of attention. I set to work; hard work doesn’t frighten me – it was taking a risk on my own and spending all that money that frightened me. What if it all went belly-up?
As I couldn't move in immediately I began to put some plans into action. A tree needed to be removed so that guests had a place to park. Furniture, a BBQ, outdoor furniture and linen all needed to be purchased. Expensive electrical repairs were required. A website need to be created and listings need to be organized. I had never created a website before. It was all very scary...and often, incredibly frustrating. Admittedly I made a few mistakes. I can live with that. Who doesn’t make mistakes? It’s how we learn.
Setting up a B & B had been a long held dream but I had never envisaged doing it on my own. I knew I had to get past that fear and to start believing in myself.
By the time Kuskus, my adorable wee dog, and I had waved goodbye to my first three sets of guests I knew I had done the right thing and that all those doubts and fears could now be chucked in the bin. I was going to be OK.
The view from Motuaruhe