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Kerre McIvor- Exit strategy

Kerre McIvor ponders hers tendency to wander- and its flow-on effects.

It had to happen. And really I’m partly to blame. I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel the world through my job, and was able to take my daughter on many occasions.

When Kate was 11, I was sent to Europe to film a TV show and she came too, along with my mum, who acted as a nanny. It was a fabulous trip.

The three of us travelled well together, and Kate got to walk the streets of many of the world’s most beautiful cities.

I’m sure the catalyst for her love of art was our visit to the Tate Modern in London. Mum and I scratched our heads, as we tried to understand the significance of lights going on and off (an installation by Martin Creed called, funnily enough, The Lights Going On and Off), and tried not to snigger at the film of the naked man dancing in a room with a purple dinosaur on the windowsill (Sam Taylor Wood’s Brontosaurus).

Kate was in raptures, seeing colours, dimensions and representations beyond us mere mortals.

When Kate and I travelled to New York, I had to restrict her to one art gallery a day. Usually, it’s parents dragging kids around MoMA and the Guggenheim, but not in our case.

Kate would take me along to a gallery in the morning, then I would insist on shopping or sightseeing in the afternoon. Still, there’s nothing like having your own personal art critic to give you a deeper appreciation of the work you’re seeing, so I was glad to have her with me.

She came to London and Paris for my marathons, and enjoyed her own trips around Asia and the Pacific with friends. So, I guess it was inevitable the time would come when she would want to go off and do a proper OE. Not just a short visit, not just a holiday.

She rang me last month – excited, nervous and resolute – and said she and her husband had set a date to leave the country. No more talking about it, no more waiting until they had a bit more money in the bank. It was now or never. They either took off and headed into the unknown, or they bought a house, settled down in the suburbs and started a family.

Personally, if it had been put to the vote, I’d have gone for the latter. But, of course, it’s nothing to do with me.  They have to make their own decisions and, leaving aside my own selfish desires, I think it’s the best thing they can do.

They have brilliant jobs here and employment in London is uncertain at best. Of course, it’s going to be tough to leave behind their families and friends and arrive in a city with only each other to lean on. But being young is about taking risks. It’s about chances and opportunities and falling flat on your face, and success beyond your wildest dreams. The world is their oyster, so why shouldn’t they have an adventure, before mortgages,  babies and sleepless nights rob them

of the energy to brave the unknown?

My friends are a little concerned as to how I’ll react once I see Kate and Ranko walk through the departures gate later this year. Given my spectacular meltdown after their wedding, their concern is justified. But you have only one life.

And I’d rather a life filled with experiences good and bad, of highs and lows, of adventures and wild rides, than one of quiet certainty.

When Kerre returns to New Zealand, listen to her on Newstalk ZB, Monday to Thursday, 8pm to midnight.

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