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The Story of Two People and a House

I (Beth) and not an impulsive person. Except when it comes to kittens/cats,key lime pie and chocolate. And—apparently—New Zealand and the Marlborough Sounds. Because we bought this home without ever seeing it in person.

We’d never been to St. Omer, either. Google wasn’t much help—St. Omer, France was clearly a place. But St. Omer, NZ?


You get a bit of a flat spot, then up you go! Keep that foot on the gas!

Were we crazy to buy a home we’d never seen—an off-the-grid home, no less!—in a place we’d never been to, that even Google didn’t know much about, and that could only be reached after a 2-day journey of 7,000 miles?

Probably crazy, yes. But in the end, we decided based on a feeling—and an image of sitting there on the porch, looking out over St. Omer Bay. I wanted to be there that very minute.

But I couldn’t be there that very minute, unfortunately. In fact, it would be two years – two years! – before we set foot in our new home.

I’ll be honest. When my partner Terry and I finally got there, scaling the steep, rocky driveway in an overstuffed SUV (more on that driveway later), my first thought was “We made a mistake.”

This was not a place would you could just pop in to check things out. It was OUT THERE. I felt I had no business owning a home that far away.

The payoff

But an hour later, after we’d opened the doors and windows, breathed deeply, sat in the quiet, and explored the grounds, I realized not only did I love it, I didn’t want to leave.


Then there’s the community, who welcomed us immediately. Everyone has a role here. Soon we met mussel farmers, local goats and birds, and the sparky (that’s Kiwi for “electrician”) who took care of our generator and brought us a dozen local eggs.

We were home.

Now it’s your turn!

Terry making friends with the locals