Ava’s biography

Living in The Netherlands and nearing her fifties, major challenges changed Ava’s outlook on life. She wanted to travel, explore, and discover. She needed to challenge herself and why go slow when you can go full throttle? Ava chose the furthest place on earth to explore: New Zealand.

Planning to stay for a sabbatical, life threw her a curveball. In love with her newfound Kiwi partner she decided to stay. With a suitcase each and living out of three boxes stamped Kitchen, Bathroom and Other, they house-sat at numerous places for more than a year in the beautiful Bay of Islands.

Enjoying feeding the 30-something pigs with a taste for grapefruits, teaching an aquaphobe Newfoundland dog how to swim and boiling eggs on candlelight when the electricity went out for 48 hours during the ‘Once-in-a-Hundred-Year-Flood,’ they nearly got swept away when crossing the ford, but they stayed afloat and danced in the rain.

Eventually life caught up with them. Combining working in Auckland with renovating an old Murphy school bus – parked on their newly purchased section 4 hours driving north – they thought life was busy until they bought a 30 square meter cottage that was merely a shell and had it shipped to the site.

Ten years – and lots of elbow grease later – it has become a beautiful tiny house and is now their permanent home. The bus, waiting to be done up, serves as Ava’s office. A gypsy by heart it kindles her imagination. When the sun shines and the wind isn’t too fierce – so that the tarpaulin can be lifted without taking to the sky – she writes there.

Looking over the incredibly green hills and admiring the shimmer of water on the horizon, Ava watches the harriers as she conjures up yet another story feeling deep in her bones that life is an adventure.