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Old Feb 5th 2017, 7:49 pm   #1
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Default Three years (well, almost)

Well, getting close to three years now and time for another update.

Listlessness and restlessness are starting to set in. Suddenly hit me the past 6 months. Had a few changes in my personal circumstances here - new job, new relationship, new house, all positive stuff, but still feeling very 'meh'. Christchurch was also getting a bit small and samey so upon reflection, we decided to give Wellington a go. Luckily we both work for big companies with offices in Wellington and it made the move a lot easier. While the move have been mostly positive, that restlessness feeling is still there. For both of us. Probably don't help that the weather here has been utter crap the past few months.

I'm about to launch my permanent residency application (cya later travel rules) and then we can sit down and make some decisions. One thing is certain, we'll get out of Wellington sooner rather than later. The move was mostly driven by the girlfriend that had a lifelong dream living here. She's a South Island girl originally with dreams of the big city and she can now tick that off her list. It's not what she expected it to be. However, we're both happy we've done it otherwise she always would've wondered. While it may sound crass, one bright light is that we're both in high paying jobs and addicted to saving so whatever we decide to do in the future, the finances can help grease the wheels.

I've thought about this a lot and part of the restlessness is also gaining a better understanding who I am as a person and what's important to me. I just didn't have the perspective on myself 3 years ago. While the moved undoubtedly helped me grow as a person. From the outside, we had the most charmed life and lifestyle in Christchurch and the same rings true for Wellington, but both places lacks the depth of history and boundless stimulation that even the smallest city in the UK offered. It's not criticism and it's not meant to be intended as such, but there's only so many hiking and biking tracks with views of snowy mountains I can stomach before I start longing for something richer and more meaningful. I don't know if the UK can offer me that, but I'd at least like to give it another go.

While the post might seem negative, it's really only meant to be reflective. We'll probably still be here next year and I'll be updating on '4 years in'. It's almost certain that we'll end up heading back to the UK for a few years as much as it's certain that we'll be back one day. One goal that's been there all along is to buy and pay off a house before we leave, which will allow us a more smooth landing when we head BACK to NZ one day. It's a non negotiable to us that we don't want to feel that we keep starting over as we (potentially) oscillate/ping pong between two places. We're also considering a move to Auckland before making any big decisions about the UK so there's that to look forward to. I want to ensure that I gave it every possible change in every major city before making further considerations.

Not much of an update but there it is. Looking forward reading some updates from other people too
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Old Feb 13th 2017, 8:15 am   #2
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Default Re: Three years (well, almost)

Very interesting reading and good on you for trying new things.
I understand the "there is only so many..." as scenery doesn't put the bread on the table and wears off quicker with the kids who have had enough of going to the beach.

Good luck for the rest of the year and keep us updated
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Old Apr 17th 2017, 5:51 am   #3
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Default Re: Three years (well, almost)

Yea. And the most annoying thing is that I know I will be irritated with the UK again within 6 months of moving back and compare those little annoyances with 'how much better/easier things were back in NZ'. I've taken tremendous stock of myself and life the past 2 months since I wrote the above update and decided to forget about the UK for a while and wholeheartedly throw myself into NZ life. I'm mid 30s, I still have more than 50% of my life ahead to ping pong between two countries

I do think Bill Bryson had a point when he remarked that 'you can never go home again'. Maybe not entirely accurate in some cases, but I know I'll probably always struggle with finding proper roots somewhere
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Old Sep 22nd 2017, 6:22 pm   #4
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Default Re: Three years (well, almost)

I think it is good to reflect, at least you have a realistic view.

We are just about to start our visa process, which will be dependant on having a job offer. Obviously we will go where the job is, however it does appear that this is likely to be either Wellington or Christchurch. We are a family of 4 with the children being 10 and 12. In your opinion, which city would be the better option for cost of living, weather and being family orientated? Are you able to advise on the good areas for each city just so we can look at house prices so we know what to expect?

Thank you for sharing your views.
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Old Sep 24th 2017, 11:30 pm   #5
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Default Re: Three years (well, almost)

It's been really interesting reading your reflective opinions, thank you.


We are almost 9 months in, so some way to go! We're really up and down (and have been since we arrived!) We're a family of 3, our son is almost 15 - he appears to be settling well actually, he struggled a lot in the beginning, but is now making friends and enjoying the different activities that NZ has to offer.


However, my husband and I (51 and 45 respectively) aren't as settled. We love the country and what it has to offer, but are struggling with the lack of health care, the lack of annual leave and sick cover. My husband is working a lot more hours for a lot less money. And as we're getting older, we're considering the "what if" we need time off work due to ill health - how do we manage financially? - if anyone has any suggestions regarding how people cope I would love to hear from you. This is a big concern for us, and a definite driver for returning to the UK, but like above I don't want to regret returning and wishing we'd stayed, as we couldn't afford to Ping-Pong between countries.


Sorry if this all sounds glum, but this is a repeating conversation/concern in our house.


Thanks in advance.
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Old Sep 25th 2017, 6:30 am   #6
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Default Re: Three years (well, almost)

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Originally Posted by MAZ-10 View Post
It's been really interesting reading your reflective opinions, thank you.


We are almost 9 months in, so some way to go! We're really up and down (and have been since we arrived!) We're a family of 3, our son is almost 15 - he appears to be settling well actually, he struggled a lot in the beginning, but is now making friends and enjoying the different activities that NZ has to offer.


However, my husband and I (51 and 45 respectively) aren't as settled. We love the country and what it has to offer, but are struggling with the lack of health care, the lack of annual leave and sick cover. My husband is working a lot more hours for a lot less money. And as we're getting older, we're considering the "what if" we need time off work due to ill health - how do we manage financially? - if anyone has any suggestions regarding how people cope I would love to hear from you. This is a big concern for us, and a definite driver for returning to the UK, but like above I don't want to regret returning and wishing we'd stayed, as we couldn't afford to Ping-Pong between countries.


Sorry if this all sounds glum, but this is a repeating conversation/concern in our house.


Thanks in advance.
Sorry to hear this, maybe post it as a separate post in general forum and people may come up with some ideas. I do know how you feel, still not home for me after 5 odd years.
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Old Sep 25th 2017, 10:43 pm   #7
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Default Re: Three years (well, almost)

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Originally Posted by Gez_ChCh View Post
but there's only so many hiking and biking tracks with views of snowy mountains I can stomach before I start longing for something richer and more meaningful
So very very true, NZ does start to feel like a prison cell with nice views after the first couple of years are over and it's no longer an adventure. Once you start to go stir crazy there's no turning back, we are humans and not sheep so we need more stimulation than looking at a hill or some grass.

Since moving back to the UK our lives have been about a million times more interesting than the last 5 years in NZ.
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Old Sep 25th 2017, 11:07 pm   #8
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Default Re: Three years (well, almost)

Thanks Barnselymat, I know you were responding to a different issue, but it was good to hear that returning to the UK isn't a bad decision.


What, if anything, is different for you now you're back in the UK? Did you return to the same place or start again somewhere new?


Kind regards
Maz
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Old Sep 25th 2017, 11:17 pm   #9
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Default Re: Three years (well, almost)

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Originally Posted by barnsleymat View Post
So very very true, NZ does start to feel like a prison cell with nice views after the first couple of years are over and it's no longer an adventure. Once you start to go stir crazy there's no turning back, we are humans and not sheep so we need more stimulation than looking at a hill or some grass.

.
I can relate to this post as many will know.
I do not dislike this NZ country at all. What's not to like. I just find the sameness dull .
It isn't that I cannot entertain myself . That I do not get out and about. That I am holed up staring at me toes rather than being with people. That there is somehow something wrong with me as a person. All of that rubbish which is usually peddled if someone says that NZ is not for them.

It is that I find it all very much the same and that sameness does not suit me.

Unfortunately having decided that we would attempt a UK return soon after 13 years here , we have been stymied for the time being by something beyond our control.
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Old Sep 25th 2017, 11:38 pm   #10
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Default Re: Three years (well, almost)

Bevs. I hope whatever has stymied you gets sorted and you find the life you desire.


Best wishes.
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Old Sep 26th 2017, 6:25 pm   #11
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Thanks Barnselymat, I know you were responding to a different issue, but it was good to hear that returning to the UK isn't a bad decision.


What, if anything, is different for you now you're back in the UK? Did you return to the same place or start again somewhere new?


Kind regards
Maz
I'm certainly different, doing 6 years in NZ was the best boot camp ever. Never having money, not having much holiday leave, never going anywhere and living in Dunedin which isn't a very interesting place nor is it anywhere near anywhere interesting makes being back in the UK very sweet indeed and having access to so many wonderful and interesting places. We've moved back to Yorkshire to let our little one be around his family but as I grow my business I think we'll try somewhere else in the uk, we fell in love with Somerset whilst at Glastonbury Festival so that's one option.

Brits take so many things for granted and now we are back we are loving all the things we used to take for granted.

Our lives were seriously dull in Dunedin mainky due to geographical and financial reasons. Never again.
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Old Sep 26th 2017, 8:04 pm   #12
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I'm certainly different, doing 6 years in NZ was the best boot camp ever. Never having money, not having much holiday leave, never going anywhere and living in Dunedin which isn't a very interesting place nor is it anywhere near anywhere interesting makes being back in the UK very sweet indeed and having access to so many wonderful and interesting places. We've moved back to Yorkshire to let our little one be around his family but as I grow my business I think we'll try somewhere else in the uk, we fell in love with Somerset whilst at Glastonbury Festival so that's one option.

Brits take so many things for granted and now we are back we are loving all the things we used to take for granted.

Our lives were seriously dull in Dunedin mainky due to geographical and financial reasons. Never again.


I agree, we do take things for granted and don't realise what we had until it's not there. I certainly miss the work life balance which was better in the UK and we were financially better off.
We were fortunate enough to live in stunning Dorset, so would return there, but have spent many happy times in Somerset, so can see the draw!
Living here in Cambridge is very beautiful but I do miss not being nearer the coast!
We just want to make the right (final) decision for us all!
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Old Sep 26th 2017, 8:36 pm   #13
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We were fortunate enough to live in stunning Dorset
Me too.
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Old Oct 2nd 2017, 9:09 am   #14
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We were fortunate enough to live in stunning Dorset
Same here!!!
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