Shari & Robert “The Journey”

Ever since I graduated from High school, I wanted to hit the road and be a “free spirit”. I dreamed of exploring new places and creating new life experiences. I traveled America, Hawaii, Mexico, Fiji, Canada, Singapore, the length of Australia and eventually New Zealand.  I was a vagabond, a gypsy with her house on her back. My family used to tease me that I would never settle down or make a commitment.  I was the “black sheep” bending the roles, avoiding authority and structure.  I was used to changing jobs, universities, homes, states and countries.  When I called home, my life had a new twist.  I was the adventurous thrill seeker with the unpredictable future. Throughout my twenties and thirties, I often left with my backpack and little money looking for greener pastures. I wouldn’t know where I would sleep the night.

However at age 39, all that changed!! An intuitive friend suggested that on my way to Australia, I check out New Zealand. I told her I knew little about the country and I was in a hurry to visit Sydney.  I had connections set up.  My friend wouldn’t let me off the hook. I knew no one in New Zealand, had no contacts for work or accommodation, but thought I would wing it and see.  Upon arrival, I met some people out in West Auckland who invited me to a 5 rhythms dance class.  By the end of the night, I had lodging, a sleeping bag, pillow and some new friends. Everything appeared to fall into place.

I started exploring Titirangi village.  Occasionally I would stop by this little herbal dispensary on Atkinson Road and look at the ranges of supplements, ointments and herbs. I met the receptionist Helen. She had this feeling I needed to meet the herbalist and naturopath Robert Newby.  Would I join her for tea? I didn’t think anything of this and often said no.  After a couple of weeks in Titirangi, I started to get my reoccurring headaches and thought I would see a naturopath. I booked a session with a practitioner from the North shore, but within a week, I was told by four separate people to not keep the appointment, but to see Robert in Titirangi instead.  Ironically it was the same clinic I had been visiting with the friendly receptionist.

At the time of my appointment, Robert came out to greet me. I was floored by his attractiveness and energy and asked him right then and there if he was my beloved partner. I have never asked a professional or anyone, within the first ten minutes, if they are meant to be my husband. But the words fell from my mouth as if they had a life of their own.  We looked into each other’s eyes and there was a strong remembrance leading to the heart.  We were taken back by the clarity of knowing of each other. I felt an immediate ease as if I had known him forever. We started chatting and began trading sessions. He treated my headaches and I offered counseling support. As it turned out, His receptionist confessed that she knew Robert and I were supposed to be together even before we met.  Even friends later admitted we were meant to be together.  I was haunted by the intensity and depth of the connection. 

Just a week before I met Robert at his dispensary, he put out a prayer to the universe for his beloved partner. He knew as I had we wouldn’t meet our partners until 40.  Both of us sensed they would come from across the water or be from a different culture. From an early age, Robert and I felt we had to wait until later in life to have a long -term committed relationship. We never married and spent many years on our own. It was like we were waiting to find each other.  Though Robert and I had other relationships, there was a missing link.

I was shocked by this newfound revelation of “true love”. I was simply passing though on my way to Australia. I had never considered making a permanent life change away from America. I went through the tidal wave of emotion. After all, I was the Vagabond. I didn’t know about the concept of Commitment, creating roots and settling down. I decided to travel the south island and Australia to see if I still needed to relocate there. I also went back to America for healing with my family and to be sure that I wanted to make my life in New Zealand.  Robert haunted me.  I constantly thought about him, writing poetry, ringing him on the phone, and missing him terribly. It was like an invisible thread seamed us together, a magnetic pull that was bigger than the both of us.

Robert was torn up inside. He knew I was the one and had to find me. One night he packed a bag and flew down to Nelson to meet me. I had been busy in Nelson counseling clients.  When he got off the plane, I ran into his arms.  I couldn’t let go. We went back to the place I was staying and immediately went to bed. The next morning, my host knocked on the door and I introduced Robert as my naturopath. We all laughed as I realized that maybe we were now on less formal terms! Robert and I spent 10 days together, soaking in warm pools, lying on the beach, listening to live music and poetry readings, cooking delicious meals, writing our own poetry and talking non-stop. The connection was boundless as if the angels were watching. It felt like home.

At the end of the trip, I asked Robert if he could bring my suitcase back to Auckland. I still had work to do. At that moment, he knew I was going to move in with him even though that had not been discussed. A few days later, I flew back to Auckland and moved in to his little old bach and magic garden at Cornwallis.   After I arrived, Robert and I were standing on the edge of Cornwallis Wharf and saw a short edge of a rainbow. We automatically raised our arms together pointing to that single colored pillar and started to paint the rest of the rainbow with the invisible stroke of our paintbrush. As we moved our joined hands across the sky, the rainbow filled in its color to complete the half circle. It was like we painted the rainbow ourselves. It felt like alchemy reinforcing the correctness of our relationship.

This relationship had huge ramifications for me. I had to make a choice to create a new life outside America leaving family, friends, and the life I had known.  I applied for residency and citizenship. Miracles happened. I qualified as an intuitive reader with no way to verify my professional status except with the testimonials of 70 doctors, psychiatrist, counselors and holistic practitioners. I even got a letter from the prime minister’s assistant. I represented myself with no professional backing or sponsorship with a company. I had minimal money and no relatives in the country.  I had only myself.  At one point, I didn’t have enough points to qualify for Residency, but then the rules changed and I qualified. With every obstacle, a new door opened, pushing me forward. Miracles occurred at every step. I was meant to be in New Zealand.  After five years, I got my citizenship.

It’s been nine years since I first arrived in New Zealand. It’s been quite a journey adjusting to a new country and culture, making new friends and living so far away from home.  I have struggled to put down my “vagabond shoes” to make a life with Robert. Commitment was something I ran from. I didn’t understand the concept of home, stability or creating stable roots. I was the runner always searching for the adrenalin rush of the new place, experience and people.  However I learned that with the right person, you could still carry those wings by deepening the connection, building new dreams together, and having a travel companion, rather than doing everything on my own.  Life has a deeper plan, a divine directive that goes beyond conscious awareness and intention.  What is called for is a deeper faith and surrender to the opportunities presenting the greatest growth and learning.  We have pictures of what our life should look like, but yet the unexpected occurs and miracles happen.  As quoted by John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans.”  When I saw Robert’s face, my life changed.  I knew he was my beloved partner and we were meant to walk together.

People who meet us say we look alike. We resonate the same. We fit.  Even now, though we have our challenges with our cultural differences, finances and building our house, Robert and I feel that same spark. I still want to hug him and sit next to him. He still is my favorite person in the world. In my 48 years, it is the only connection that has made sense.  We have a telepathic connection.  We understand each other without words.  Spiritually we share the same map.  We can “read” each other’s clients with no explanation. Both being kinesthetic, inwardly feeling and intuitive, we assimilate the world in the same way.  We speak the same language.

Without Robert, the world would be a different place and I wouldn’t have an anchor. Probably I would be sitting on that park bench in Dunedin or Byron Bay, looking for an invisible phantom that could hold me at my core, still waiting and alone. I am so grateful. I listened to my friend and trusted the guidance that lead me to Robert.  I took the leap of faith, went out on a limb, even when nothing made sense. I realized the importance of taking a risk in order to love.  I let go of what I thought my life should be and allowed my life to open the way it was meant to. This is the happiest I have ever been.  I found my greener pasture when I stopped running and listened to my heart.



This article is copyright to Shari Rhodes and is provided solely for personal use.. These articles may not be reproduced without the permission of the author. Please contact Shari Rhodes if you wish to make commercial use of her writing.

Shari Rhodes has been an international Intuitive Reader for the past 30 years. She is currently a citizen of both the United States and New Zealand. Shari’s purpose is to support people to grow and move forward in a positive direction with greater clarity, self-empowerment and self-confidence. She offers readings, workshops and public talks. She is available for sessions in person or over the phone at (027) 6295469 You can email Shari at, or visit her website at

Robert Newby is a Medical Herbalist, Naturopath and Clinical Iridologist.
He has managed his own busy practice for the past 21 years,
Titirangi Herbal Dispensary. Email: