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Old Jan 18th 2016, 1:45 am   #1
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Default 8 months in Auckland...

It's just come around to our 8 month mark in Auckland - we really wanted to emigrate to Canada, I have since being a child, but my husband and I found our qualification not valid there... and through a friend got offered jobs in the same company here in Auckland so thought we'd escape working for the NHS as we were so knackered, and have a bit of an adventure.

Feel grateful for the opportunity and that we have done it, but miss home (and owning a nice home) horribly. We are renting our house out in Yorkshire and keeping our options open.

While I think the North Shore and its beaches can be lovely at times, and I've made a couple of good friends, this just doesn't feel like home (i don't know if it ever will). I also used to be quite bubbly and confident in the UK and feel like I spend every day 'pretending' to be ok and its like the whole experience has decimated my old personality. My husband on the other hand has really progressed his skills at work and seems to be a lot more happy and confident. I worry that he hasn't really made many friends though.
I don't enjoy work very much at all and spend hours considering what else I can do with my qualification but don't really know after spending 8 years doing the same thing since leaving uni.

I made friends very easily in the UK and saw friends all the time, yet have only really clicked with a couple of people here and think its probably down to feeling low and insecure here, but it is painfully lonely sometimes.

We've applied for residency in the hope that if i carry on with the 'pretending to be ok' charade, that after a few more months it will become true, but its been tough. I wonder if we need to get down to the south island and see how we feel there before throwing in the towel and heading home - has anyone experienced queenstown compared to auckland?
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Old Jan 18th 2016, 3:16 am   #2
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Default Re: 8 months in Auckland...

Only experienced Queenstown as a visitor and I remember having a nice time. It's hellishly touristy and as such didn't seem to have much fabric to it. It didn't seem to have much about it.

Auckland, IMO is a place to visit not a place to live. Even then the visits are only to see the out-laws. Irrespective of the hoopla and the froth regarding the housing market and the infrastructure. I can't help but think, 'yeah, it's a town'. I've heard it said on more than one occasion that it's got no heart. It's got it's central areas and it's busy districts but no heart.

I've experienced just about everything you mentioned in your post.

I've noticed when reading this thread and others regarding other countries is that it doesn't get any better.

Not last year, not this year, not next year. I'm sometimes at how many years people have left it before returning to Britain e.g. 40 years in one case. OK, one could be sceptical and suggest they have returned to Britain to access the NHS.

I ask myself, why am I expecting it to get any better ? What am I waiting for ? For it to feel better ? For someone to tell me it's ok now ?

I had a random conversation with an acquaintance in the supermarket in late December last year. She's from Germany. I said how do you get on with Christmas in the summer ? She said, 'it's not Christmas'. She's been here in NZ 27 years.

My point is that, I understand, it's never ending. This feeling of disconnect. This feeling of not really being here.
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Old Jan 18th 2016, 7:04 am   #3
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Default Re: 8 months in Auckland...

I hear it all the time and had a similar conversation Snap Shot with someone today who has been here decades and still calls England 'home' - its a multitude of little things that get to people and they linger just under the surface ready to pounce when you least expect it.

But the stoic keep calm and carry on mentality gets us through until the situation becomes normalised; the issues and things that bother us wax and they wane and sometimes feel better than others. We get placated by the other nagging doubts and chatter in our mind that says 'give it time', 'it's only been x amount of time', 'we must stay longer', try harder blah, blah blah.

Before you know it ten years have passed and thoughts of packing it all up and starting all over again somewhere else seem equally difficult and insurmountable.
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Old Jan 18th 2016, 7:44 am   #4
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Default Re: 8 months in Auckland...

I hear what you are saying and can personally sympathise as I also find things in NZ not to my taste and unfortunately like you the OH likes it as do the kids - but what do they know

My unhappiness and health got so bad that I have had to go to the Dr and am now on antidepressants just to get through the day. Its not the case for me that I miss friends/family, and I know that sounds odd but the things I miss and have trouble getting over is the structured way of life in the UK. I really don't have a "she'll be alright" attitude.
But I have come to the conclusion after being here since 2012 that we just cannot afford to go back to the UK. It would mean starting all over again with a hell of a lot less funds than we bought with us with the exchange rate. So my initially thoughts and agreement with MrF to try it for 5yrs and take it from there seem now to be unrealistic and naive. We had enough money back in the UK initially but things come up, having to move from one area to another - money needed there, me eldest had a near fatal bike accident in the UK so funds were spent there.

NZ is a beautiful place, we live in a nice area now, but it lacks the standards of living we had built up in the UK. Work is hard to come by, although we can manage on MrF wage as we did do for a few years in the UK but in the UK we also could of save on that one wage. We also didn't have to worry about the standard of housing in the UK as we do here.

I have some lovely friends here, mostly expats through BE but who wants to hear about someone going on about not liking the place that lots of them love. I do say to them that we have come from different backgrounds from the UK and it might be better for them it just isn't for me.
I now believe that I have to put myself out there, try and find a hobby (what I have no idea) and try to broaden the social aspects of our lives, again like you most of the people we know we know because I met up with people.

Pretending is not going to help you, you need to voice your feelings, believe me I know, if you don't you will end up a wreck. firstly speak to you husband - I didn't and it got really bad that I frightened myself which made me decide to see the Dr who told me I must tell my husband as it would bring some relief and also enable my husband to see signs of me having bad days and helping out.

please feel free to PM me if you ever want to open up or discuss the matter or just a general chit chat.
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Old Jan 19th 2016, 1:07 am   #5
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Default Re: 8 months in Auckland...

I hear you too. Been here 9 years tomorrow and I have times of feeling settled and other times of feeling really lonely and disconnected. It doesn't help that my closest friend has just left to go and live in Australia.
I have some lovely friends here but none like I had in the UK who would just pop round for a cuppa or a glass of wine. It's all meeting up for a coffee somewhere, never anything impromptu. And some of my favourite people here don't live close by.

It struck me this morning that if anything ever happened to me, no-one would find me for weeks. Neither of my brothers have ever phoned me since I've been here. I rarely get any phone calls or texts, unless someone wants me to do something for them or to borrow something off me. Husband used to be happy here but even he is becoming disillusioned now, so I'm hoping that there may be a chance of escape in the not too distant future.

Sorry I'm feeling a lot maudlin just lately. Feel free to PM me too. Mrs F, sorry you are on the 'happy pills', me too but I'm never convinced they really help because the underlying cause is that lack of belonging feeling. I just feel on the outskirts of lots of groups of friends. I don't feel that I fit in and that I'm not being myself with others. Not working doesn't do any good for my self-esteem either.
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Old Jan 19th 2016, 11:47 am   #6
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Default Re: 8 months in Auckland...

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I But I have come to the conclusion after being here since 2012 that we just cannot afford to go back to the UK. It would mean starting all over again with a hell of a lot less funds than we bought with us with the exchange rate. .
It's still never too late to move to the UK and maybe cheaper areas in the UK might be an option for you that you haven't considered before. For me Ireland was the perfect solution, as I like space, great scenery, but wanted to be close to the UK/Europe. Yes, it doesn't sound that exciting for most Brits, but you can have the same lifestyle and are close to family. New Zealand is beautiful, but really is the end of the world.
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Old Jan 19th 2016, 8:20 pm   #7
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Default Re: 8 months in Auckland...

if it was just me and MrF then I wouldn't have a problem starting all over again, but the kids need to be considered. being that bit older now makes education a bit of a minefield.
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Old Jan 20th 2016, 8:48 am   #8
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Default Re: 8 months in Auckland...

I understand completely where you are coming from. I've been in Auckland 16 months and it feels like every day I plaster on the fake smile and the fake happiness and just get on with things. It's so exhausting. Every day I desperately just want to go home to a normal life instead of being in this place.

But I've agreed to stay till residency, one year of depression left.

As for Queenstown, we've just come back from our tour of the South Island and while it is lovely (really, really lovely), it was seriously overcrowded with tourists. The roads were backed up with traffic and the number of people on the streets were reminiscent of London. Very, very busy.
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Old Jan 20th 2016, 8:52 am   #9
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Default Re: 8 months in Auckland...

It's comforting to hear I'm not alone in feeling like this - feel a bit less mental!
Why are you staying til your residency is through- my husband thought about us doing that too just to keep the door open.
However he's pretty much agreed we can head back home this summer providing there's jobs, hoorah!
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Old Jan 20th 2016, 10:01 am   #10
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Default Re: 8 months in Auckland...

my agreement was 5 years to get the kids citizenship, just seemed like a good idea and not to long a time
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Old Jan 20th 2016, 8:27 pm   #11
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Default Re: 8 months in Auckland...

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It's comforting to hear I'm not alone in feeling like this - feel a bit less mental!
Why are you staying til your residency is through- my husband thought about us doing that too just to keep the door open.
However he's pretty much agreed we can head back home this summer providing there's jobs, hoorah!
Well husband really loves it here so he wants to keep the door open just in case I change my mind and decide to stay. Plus we spent so much money coming over here it feels wasteful to not get something out of it.

At least that's what I keep telling myself as I plaster on my happy face for the day.

Also congrats on getting your hubby to agree to going back. I am very envious.
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Old Jan 21st 2016, 1:31 am   #12
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Default Re: 8 months in Auckland...

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we spent so much money coming over here it feels wasteful to not get something out of it.

At least that's what I keep telling myself as I plaster on my happy face for the day.
I agree with you on both points. Or, to put it another way, I'm comin' right back atcha !
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Old Jan 24th 2016, 7:58 pm   #13
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Default Re: 8 months in Auckland...

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if it was just me and MrF then I wouldn't have a problem starting all over again, but the kids need to be considered. being that bit older now makes education a bit of a minefield.
I understand what you say, but I think people worry unnecessarily about the effect on their kids. Perhaps they wont want to live in NZ anyway? Careerwise, they would no doubt be better off in the UK. we can all criticise tne UK , just as everywhere else, but to me, it and its people have character; they have far more ob opportunties than in NZ; Europe on their doorstep, etc. To me, NZ lacks soul; in general , its people have ittle interest in anything that's going on in the world, and there has to be a reason why its young people, get up and shoot off to somewhere else, as soon as they can.
Returning to the UK and starting over again, would be no fun at all, but its temporary. You need to think long term, and at least you know , if all goes wrong, you wouldnt be without a roof over your head, food in your stomach, and the NHS, which with all its faults, is still a wonderful service and free. My kids have grown up now, but we made sure they had a UK education in their back pockets, and the ability to stay or leave. Once educated in NZ, their opportunities are very restricted.
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Old Jan 25th 2016, 2:01 am   #14
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Default Re: 8 months in Auckland...

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To me, NZ lacks soul; in general , its people have ittle interest in anything that's going on in the world,

Rubbish, it's got as much soul as anywhere else and the same interest in the rest of the world - don't you watch/listen/read the news?

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and there has to be a reason why its young people, get up and shoot off to somewhere else, as soon as they can.
They go to travel, and to avoid their student loans, same as all the UK kids here in NZ and Oz!


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Once educated in NZ, their opportunities are very restricted.
Crap - every industry in the UK has its share of kiwi educated workers at all levels, it's a highly regarded education system.
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Old Jan 25th 2016, 6:50 pm   #15
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Rubbish, it's got as much soul as anywhere else and the same interest in the rest of the world - don't you watch/listen/read the news?



They go to travel, and to avoid their student loans, same as all the UK kids here in NZ and Oz!




Crap - every industry in the UK has its share of kiwi educated workers at all levels, it's a highly regarded education system.

Sorry you didnt like to read my opinion, but you need to remember that each has his own ideas . You are obviously sold on NZ, and good luck to you. My daughter and her family also love it there, for their own reasons, but for me, one week a year is sufficient.
To comment that NZ has as much soul as anywhere else, is very exaggerated.
You made me laugh when you asked if I read newspapers etc, as without the internet while I'm there, I'd have no way of knowing what's happening anywhere else. The NZ press and TV news are a joke!
You seem to have misunderstood my point about education. Quite right that there are kiwi educated workers in the UK. That was my point: they have very limited opportunities in NZ so have to go elsewhere, whereas those educated in the UK, dont need to leave home country to find a suitable job. That's not the fault of NZ education; it's just a matter of the size of the economy.
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