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this forum scares me!!

this forum scares me!!

Old Jun 29th 2011, 9:37 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: this forum scares me!!

Originally Posted by Kiwilass View Post
You and I keep butting heads on this. I guess you and I are two classic examples of the kiwi expat: the one who wants to go home/is kiwi to their core, and the one who doesn't really/is unsure.

When I left things were actually going rather well for me in NZ. I was working for a bank, had just been promoted and had been offered training in Hawaii, all paid for by said bank. NOnetheless it was not enough to make me stay because i had been really, really bored for a long time. I wanted to try something new.

On the other hand, my sister has stayed and is not the type to go overseas unless it's for a job/man...if you know what I mean.

I guess some of us just have the need to take risks/have an adventure.

OH and I were talking about it AGAIN the other day. He has said he is willing to move if I really want it, but I am not sure. A lot of the 'negative" (I think realistic) posts here highlight the very reasons why I hesitate. It was never really the country per se I struggled with, but rather the mentality of a lot of people as well as the lack of (relatively speaking) opportunities. I'm just waiting for someone to jump on me for saying that, but it has to be said: in some industries there really aren't a lot of opportunities in NZ, it's just too small a place. I also worry about becoming trapped because I am not a spring chook any more.
He he I think we will continue to butt heads on this! Your description of us is so right though!

My family is the same, two siblings have pretty much stayed in NZ (apart from holidays) and my brother and I have both lived and worked out of NZ for long periods in the UK/US.

Some of the feedback on here gives me the wobbles too...but then I think of staying in the UK for the rest of my life and I am on that plane!!!!

I totally get the small minded thing too, but you must get that in Canada too hey. I meet people who have lived in London all their life and have hardly ever been to the West End (maybe 2 or 3 times in their life!!!) and they live in the same city. Some people have never been to the seaside!
I do remember being frustrated by small minded people in NZ, but I get that here too - unfortunately my job means I do meet the unfortunates in life.

I totally agree that there are limited opportunities, but I think as long as you know that you kind of have to accept it. NZ is never going to be a country of 20 million people, so there will always be limitations in certain jobs.

PS you are never too old! My sonographer at the hospital yesterday was a mature kiwi woman who was doing a locum post for the summer. Made me seriously depressed though, she thought I was British!!!

I think you need a trip home, not a move home!
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Old Jun 29th 2011, 9:42 pm
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Default Re: this forum scares me!!

Originally Posted by dannigirl View Post
He he I think we will continue to butt heads on this! Your description of us is so right though!

My family is the same, two siblings have pretty much stayed in NZ (apart from holidays) and my brother and I have both lived and worked out of NZ for long periods in the UK/US.

Some of the feedback on here gives me the wobbles too...but then I think of staying in the UK for the rest of my life and I am on that plane!!!!

I totally get the small minded thing too, but you must get that in Canada too hey. I meet people who have lived in London all their life and have hardly ever been to the West End (maybe 2 or 3 times in their life!!!) and they live in the same city. Some people have never been to the seaside!
I do remember being frustrated by small minded people in NZ, but I get that here too - unfortunately my job means I do meet the unfortunates in life.

I totally agree that there are limited opportunities, but I think as long as you know that you kind of have to accept it. NZ is never going to be a country of 20 million people, so there will always be limitations in certain jobs.

PS you are never too old! My sonographer at the hospital yesterday was a mature kiwi woman who was doing a locum post for the summer. Made me seriously depressed though, she thought I was British!!!

I think you need a trip home, not a move home!
I think you're right.
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Old Jun 29th 2011, 10:23 pm
  #18  
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Default Re: this forum scares me!!

Originally Posted by Kiwilass View Post
You and I keep butting heads on this. I guess you and I are two classic examples of the kiwi expat: the one who wants to go home/is kiwi to their core, and the one who doesn't really/is unsure.

When I left things were actually going rather well for me in NZ. I was working for a bank, had just been promoted and had been offered training in Hawaii, all paid for by said bank. NOnetheless it was not enough to make me stay because i had been really, really bored for a long time. I wanted to try something new.

On the other hand, my sister has stayed and is not the type to go overseas unless it's for a job/man...if you know what I mean.

I guess some of us just have the need to take risks/have an adventure.

OH and I were talking about it AGAIN the other day. He has said he is willing to move if I really want it, but I am not sure. A lot of the 'negative" (I think realistic) posts here highlight the very reasons why I hesitate. It was never really the country per se I struggled with, but rather the mentality of a lot of people as well as the lack of (relatively speaking) opportunities. I'm just waiting for someone to jump on me for saying that, but it has to be said: in some industries there really aren't a lot of opportunities in NZ, it's just too small a place. I also worry about becoming trapped because I am not a spring chook any more and the lower living standard is a reality. I didn't really 'get' it until I came to North America, but now I do. I certainly don't begrudge anyone moving there or who loves it or whatever, but I do get tired of people trying to shut down those of us who have something to say that's not 100% unicorn & rainbows, or trying to claim that only disatisfied people come on BE, etc. etc. blah blah. You can love a country and still see it's faults. That last comment not directed at anyone in particular!
I don't think anyone will jump on you for saying Nz has a lack of or less opportunities, that is a fact, small, limited country with small population means less opportunities than a larger country with a bigger economy and bigger population.

And young people do not leave NZ because it is shite, its not. It is just small and limited for some. It is because those that leave have an eagerness to see more, do more and to live beyond these insular shores. Nought wrong with that, and nothing wrong with your sister's contrasting view of being a wee bit of a home girl. NZ will satiate the needs of some of its folk but not all of them.

I fully expect my kids to forge new lives elsewhere. It would be great if they all find a future in NZ but unlikely. I want my kids to strive for the best and a small country like NZ aint always gonna deliver.
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Old Jun 29th 2011, 10:41 pm
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Default Re: this forum scares me!!

Originally Posted by Genesis View Post
I don't think anyone will jump on you for saying Nz has a lack of or less opportunities, that is a fact, small, limited country with small population means less opportunities than a larger country with a bigger economy and bigger population.

And young people do not leave NZ because it is shite, its not. It is just small and limited for some. It is because those that leave have an eagerness to see more, do more and to live beyond these insular shores. Nought wrong with that, and nothing wrong with your sister's contrasting view of being a wee bit of a home girl. NZ will satiate the needs of some of its folk but not all of them.

I fully expect my kids to forge new lives elsewhere. It would be great if they all find a future in NZ but unlikely. I want my kids to strive for the best and a small country like NZ aint always gonna deliver.
YEs, and she (sister) has done very well there and is very happy. Sometimes I envy those who are just happy wherever they are. I seem to have been born with the itchy foot!
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Old Jun 29th 2011, 11:01 pm
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Default Re: this forum scares me!!

Originally Posted by Kiwilass View Post
YEs, and she (sister) has done very well there and is very happy. Sometimes I envy those who are just happy wherever they are. I seem to have been born with the itchy foot!
Me too..very envious indeed! I have an older sister who is C55years and as an adult has ONLY been abroad once..to the South of France when she was about 20. Never ever left the UK since. She is very content. Whilst I am now content (to a degree!!) it took 45 years to get here!!!
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Old Jun 29th 2011, 11:22 pm
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Default Re: this forum scares me!!

Hi Kerig

Firstly, we are all different. Basically, one mans sh*t is another mans shinola.

Woodpigeon and Kiwilass have both made some great comments already which sum it up.

If you have read my recent post about our experiences, whilst being true for “us”, another person could equally have a totally different take on the subjects that I have touched on. There is a all too common and much repeated pattern to dismiss a lot of what you read however, but, much of which would fall into your “doesn’t really matter” basket.

TV, Radio, bad drivers, poor choice of… everything etc, may not matter much. I would however, think carefully about money, living standards and so forth. What I mean is do your homework, consider how much money you will be bringing over, take a look at housing costs/rent etc. Just do as much research as you can.

You did say that you are looking to move for a few years, so maybe you aren’t looking to build a life here, in which case what’s the worst that can happen? If you don’t like it, go home sooner than later, that’s all. One last thing I will say, and I don’t think many would disagree here, NZ as a backpacker would be nothing like actually living and working here permanently.
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Old Jun 30th 2011, 12:12 am
  #22  
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Default Re: this forum scares me!!

Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
You did say that you are looking to move for a few years, so maybe you aren’t looking to build a life here, in which case what’s the worst that can happen? If you don’t like it, go home sooner than later, that’s all. One last thing I will say, and I don’t think many would disagree here, NZ as a backpacker would be nothing like actually living and working here permanently.
This will be absolutely fine for you, if you are not 'burning all boats' and selling up in UK - just giving it a try. Teaching maybe gives you more flexibility than other professions to do this especially if you have no kids yet.
As I was told by a Kiwi in UK 'as a posting for my OH' 'you can have a ball' - it's true you can.
My kids' school has had quite a few UK teachers, in the 4 years I have been here 75% have returned to UK and 25% appear to be staying. I think distance, isolation and low salaries have been their reasons or in the case of a couple one likes it and the other doesn't.

If you are well paid it certainly makes life much much easier...but even then it seems a bit Groundhog Day to me after x years.
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Old Jun 30th 2011, 2:52 am
  #23  
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Default Re: this forum scares me!!

Kiwilass and Dannigirl, I would love for us to meet up for a drink and chew the fat. I think we'd get along fine.

My experience is more like Dannigirl's. I left NZ to do my OE, intending to return after a couple of years. Marriage and other stuff meant that I stayed in the UK longer than I planned (24 years! ). Having lived in London I met a lot of kiwis and most were expecting to return home at some point. Interestingly, the ones who weren't tended to be from small town NZ and so I guess they had a lot more to escape from. I personally would find it hard to live in a one horse town in any country, so I can understand those who find it a bit quiet. To me the biggest thing London has to offer is good jobs/salaries and a quick and easy gateway to some lovely European destinations. While these are high on your priority list I would stay put and enjoy the travel opportunities.

My main reason for returning home is to connect back in with my family. My grandmother, whom I was close to, died a couple of years ago and I was unable to go back for the funeral. My cousin, who was bridesmaid at my wedding, got married and I could get back for it. My mother was seriously ill 10 years ago and I didn't go back then either (I'm ashamed of this because I should have made more effort ). I was getting fed up with seeing all the family get-togethers on facebook and not being there. My first 10 years away this was OK, but I have found as I get older this bothers me more.

Anyway, my advice to potential expats would be:

Consider the option of moving to a different part of the UK before you go through the trauma of moving to another country (especially if they are taking kids with you). The UK is a fab place, the British people are friendly once you get out of London, and travel opportunities are good. You will probably take a drop in salary, but you will if you come to NZ so no loss/gain there. It's hard to imagine how much you will miss family once you leave. And once your children grow, you may find both them and your grandchildren living too far away for you to see them. My parents have to travel to the UK every year to see their only grandchildren (by my brother who still lives there) and there will come a time when they can't do the trip any more. And my aunt has one adult child in France and two in NZ. You open a can or worms once you start the expat way of life.

Most of the complaints I see here are really little more than a less than favourable comparison to the UK. So long as you can avoid that trap, you will probably be fine. This idea that NZ is just like the UK 20, 30 or more years ago is ridiculous. It never has been and it never will. It has its own history and its own culture which is different, but not necessarily inferior.

For the record, I was unsure about whether returning home was the right move, and so I have rented out my London home. Initially I was keen to break all ties and return home but letting the house has worked out better than I expected. Even before I left I knew that if I returned to the UK I would move out of London and therefore would not be living there, so I have no emotional attachment to the house anymore. My mortgage is very low so I am paying double the minimum payments but if I deducted the normal costs and payments I would have a monthly income of over £600 before tax (it's a small house). I know the exchange rate is poor but this is still a nice little bit income being tucked away in the bank. I haven't burnt my bridges, but I will be staying here for the foreseeable future.

I like NZ. The people are friendly, and to me it 'feels' nice, whatever that means. Hard to explain. Maybe it is just that it is my home. You'll only be able to make it your home when you can see the good and the bad and love it anyway. Being forced to live somewhere you hate is hard, and if you really are going to be trapped here I would re-consider your options.

Dannigirl, you asked for an update, and I will do one once I have a given it a bit of thought.

To the OP, bear in mind that those who are happily getting on with life are not going to go on about it on a forum.
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Old Jun 30th 2011, 3:09 am
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Default Re: this forum scares me!!

ditto, jmh. I may be coming back for a visit next year, my sis is in Auckland, I'll look you up. So when are you coming back ms Danni?

I pretty much agree with all you said about being an expat. My OH is the child of expats and has talked to me about how resentful he was as a child/teen for being taken away from all his cousins etc. - he comes from a large, close extended family. Of course he's over it more or less now, but there's always this awareness that most of the loved ones are overseas. And now he's got a homesick kiwi wife to contend with. One of the reasons I hesitate is taking my daughter away from her loving grandparents here. Mine are notsogreat, and NZ is pretty far from Canada.

Sigh. Divided heart.
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Old Jun 30th 2011, 8:33 am
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Default Re: this forum scares me!!

Originally Posted by Genesis View Post
To be fair there are very few poster who come over 'very unhappy' with their NZ lives IMO. Very few indeed. Most are content and the ones that are pissed off and want to return are the ones who have issues surrounding making ends meet. One constant refrain on BE is do your sums. Okay a few miss home but I get the feeling those that leave in the main have found balancing the books the tricky bit. You might like to start a thread, 'Why are you leaving NZ??'
I think you're pretty spot on with your view on finances. We massively underestimated and only managed to say afloat because of a private income and 20 years worth of savings.

We've always been able to tighten our belts and go back to basics in order to free up cash, and we knew we were coming to a low wage economy - but unlike anywhere else we've ever lived - it's the basic items which are priced highly so on a low income they become disproportionately expensive.

I think if you can find a way to deal with this then everything else just falls into place.

Something else I've noticed is that within a group of expats, once a couple/family become dissatisfied or unhappy it spreads and seems to unsettle the whole group and the whole thing spirals downwards.

That's not just true of NZ, it's a pattern we've seen in the other countries we've lived in.
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Old Jun 30th 2011, 8:50 am
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Default Re: this forum scares me!!

Please don't be scared it a beautiful amazing place with some wonderful people. We came to New Plymouth 2 years ago and had never been here before but now would not live anywhere else. I also got some bad vibes from the site and thought crap what are we doing, but I am pleased to say we made the right choice. The only thing is to make sure you do not keep comparing things to how they were in the UK, after all if you've come here it's to get away from everthing UK. We are going back to Manchester to see the kids in Sept but to be honest I don't ever want to visit the UK again but the kids cannot get here, so hay hum off we go. Hope this helps x
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Old Jun 30th 2011, 9:35 am
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Default Re: this forum scares me!!

Originally Posted by kerig123 View Post
Wow!

i thought i would check out a forum to gather information, support, guidance, contacts and general advice, but being on here scares the living daylights out of me that im making one holy mother of a mistake!

im moving to nz in sept for a few years, and will hopefully work in a kiwi secondary school, being a teacher. BUT, every message i read makes me dread whether this is a huge huge mistake. I have been to nz before, but only as a backpacker, and i LOVED it.
They do say don't live where you go on holiday! because living somewhere is never the same as holidaying there. We all tend to have romantic notions of our holiday destinations.

Is life in the "real" world NZ so totally different to my experience a few years ago, to the point that on here people seem so genuinly unhappy with their lives there? Dont we move to another country because we want something different from home for a while? we dont want to live in England? So why do we compare everything to the UK and the way things are at home? Just because they are different, doesnt mean its worse? Is it really as bad as a huge amount of people are saying? Am i making a mistake? Or are we just being the "whinging poms" we are so famously referred to? Im rather anxious after being on here, maybe i should go!!
It's a big mistake to compare New Zealand with any country. It won't make a jot of difference to be constantly making the comparison when you're there.

It's far better to compare New Zealand with itself and your place in it.

Can you do the things you want to there?
Do its positives outweigh the negatives?
Do you even know what they are?
How are you going to move on when the times comes?
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Old Jun 30th 2011, 9:37 am
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Default Re: this forum scares me!!

Originally Posted by Genesis View Post
Whilst I am now content (to a degree!!)
Isn't that like being slightly pregnant?
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Old Jun 30th 2011, 9:49 am
  #29  
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Default Re: this forum scares me!!

Originally Posted by kerig123 View Post
Wow!

i thought i would check out a forum to gather information, support, guidance, contacts and general advice, but being on here scares the living daylights out of me that im making one holy mother of a mistake!

im moving to nz in sept for a few years, and will hopefully work in a kiwi secondary school, being a teacher. BUT, every message i read makes me dread whether this is a huge huge mistake. I have been to nz before, but only as a backpacker, and i LOVED it. Is life in the "real" world NZ so totally different to my experience a few years ago, to the point that on here people seem so genuinly unhappy with their lives there? Dont we move to another country because we want something different from home for a while? we dont want to live in England? So why do we compare everything to the UK and the way things are at home? Just because they are different, doesnt mean its worse? Is it really as bad as a huge amount of people are saying? Am i making a mistake? Or are we just being the "whinging poms" we are so famously referred to? Im rather anxious after being on here, maybe i should go!!
)
There are two positives from your post:
- you say you dont want to live in England
- you say you are only coming for a few years

With that attitude you may well enjoy it, for a while at least.
Just make sure you can get out if you need to.
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Old Jun 30th 2011, 9:56 am
  #30  
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Default Re: this forum scares me!!

Gosh, reading some of these posts I must be a minority kiwi I am from a small town and I have returned to a small town but lived some pretty big places in between times. I left for the UK as an experience on a 2 year visa, got sponsored, stayed 10, met and married a yorkshireman, had a son and got an opportunity to take voluntary redundancy which enabled us to move to NZ as a family. It was hard leaving family in the UK but we are fortunate to have family here. Like I said earlier I am happy to be home, its going to take a while to rebuild, form friendships and a new life but like everything else in life its just another challenge in the book. However, being able to relax a bit, not have to deal with long commutes on the M1 and M62 and having the potential to be home before my babies bedtime alone makes it a good choice in my book

Follow your heart but make sure to do your sums too. I have a motto in life of never wanting to get to 70 and saying 'I wish I had' better to have tried than not at all....
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