it’s a small world after all

If you’ve ever been to Disney World with little kids, the song “it’s a small world” is permanently etched in your memory.  As the Disney site tells it:

As you sail the Seven Seaways, “it’s a small world” is lovingly sung by the children of the world in their native languages—including French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and English. Despite the change in language, the Sherman Brothers came to the conclusion that a single musical theme was the way to bring the song together, thus reinforcing the attraction’s larger message of cultural unity and harmony.

Cultural unity and harmony. We like that.


According to Google, we moved 8,529 miles or 13,725 kilometers from our home in Tennessee to our home in New Zealand. The distance around the world is about 24,900 miles–so we moved more than 1/3 and less than 1/2 of the way around the world. Small world? Hmm.

Last night, at Lindy Mason’s suggestion, we drove to The Old Lodge in Hokitika–the nearest town to Greymouth–to hear “The Company,” an Australian bluegrass band. We were babysitting for little Eve, so we prepped her for bed (just like our parents put us in jammies to go to the drive-in theaters when we were kids) and off we went.

Being from Tennessee, a home place and hotbed for bluegrass music, our expectations were low. And then they began to play…


Wonderful! Be sure to listen to some of their music on their website. They are incredible…and little Eve even did well at the concert despite the post-bedtime start (shhhh, don’t tell Liz and Jerry!).

We especially liked when they sang “Nashville Cats,” harking back to our Tennessee roots.

Nashville cats, play clean as country water
Nashville cats, play wild as mountain dew
Nashville cats, been playin’ since they’s babies
Nashville cats, get work before they’re two

We are constantly reminded about how small this world is. Nashville sounds on the West Coast of a land 8529 miles away.

it’s a small world.

Before moving to New Zealand, we found places to stay through Airbnb when we traveled, but we had never hosted in our US home. Since being in New Zealand (and buying a perfect house to have guests), we’ve been hosting other people in our home as well as traveling using Airbnb.

Greymouth is at the perfect crossroads for West Coast travelers. To the north are the Great Coast Road, Punakaiki, and Cape Foulwind. To the east is Arthur’s Pass, the route of the Tranzalpine Railway. And to the south are Hokitika (and its gorge), Okarito, and glacier country (Franz Josef and Fox). Greymouth is a hidden gem…and a lot of people from a lot of places have managed to find us in the short time since we began hosting in July 2016. We’re even having repeats.

Shanghai, Mumbai, South Korea, Iran, Denmark, Tanzania, Chicago, Singapore, Sydney, Toronto, Milan, Aukland, Dunedin, Boulder, Paris, London, Berlin, Xi’an, New York, Boston, Christchurch, Munich, Hamburg, Zurich, Hong Kong, Atlanta, Brisbane, Wellington, Taiwan, Beijing, New Caledonia, Perth, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Knoxville, San Diego, Denver, Juno, Salt Lake, Guangzhou, Tokyo, Hainan, Finland, Grenoble, Malaysia, Botswana, South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, … and the list goes on.


We’ve hosted a variety of groups ranging from three generations of the same family to five students to singles to couples to mother and child, straight and gay, old and young, short and tall, elders, babies and teens.

It has been quite an adventure: cultural unity and harmony.  it’s a small world.


11 thoughts on “it’s a small world after all

  1. Your articles are so well written and you seem to be having such A great time. I can’t imagine having people from all over the world coming to your house in such large numbers.
    I wish we could come to your bed-and-breakfast for a few nights but Dean and I can’t even get out to Tellico Village anymore. He just turned 91 although he looks more like 75 and I will soon be turning 86. We found it difficult to drive from Tellico Village to your office in Knoxville. So, we move to Knoxville and you moved to New Zealand. I think that tells us something.


  2. That’s so awesome! I hope to get that way in the next year! Looks like you and your guests have a lot of fun! Glad to see the fur babies with you too!


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