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A four year mistake

A four year mistake

Old Jan 18th 2023, 11:51 pm
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Default A four year mistake

Hey everyone, hope you are all well. Three years ago we returned to the UK with our tails firmly between our legs. My wife and I travelled to New Zealand 15 years ago, we had 4 weeks there, first week on the north island and 3 on the south and we loved it, we really loved exploring the South Island and found the further south and west we went the more beautiful it was. It was a fabulous holiday.

After being in our jobs for over a decade in the UK we really wanted a change of scenery and some exciting adventure. We had seen and explored everywhere within 50 miles of where we lived and just wanted a change. We both thought back to NZ, we loved it there. We made the decision let’s go for it if I could secure employment before going.

I applied for a job as a teacher in Timaru and was offered the position at the start of the new term. I accepted it and it was such a surreal feeling. There was a lot to sort out, we put our home up for sale and had a quick sale, we quit our jobs, did a lot of research on what we needed to do, we said emotional goodbyes to family and friends knowing we were unlikely to see them for many years at a time. We intended to stay out in NZ long term, it felt right.

Arriving in New Zealand we were excited but apprehensive of course with the new start. We rented a small home which was basic but the joy of arriving and feeling this was the start was amazing.

I soon started my new job but my wife struggled to find work in finance, she spent months home alone. She did eventually find part time work but it wasn’t using the expertise she had in previous jobs. My new job as a teacher took up almost every hour of the day with marking and preparing lessons after work. We would try on some weekday evenings to go out and see our new surroundings but it was kind of soulless and not much happening. Weekends in Autumn and winter were really drab and there was so little happening in terms of entertainment, places to go indoors and live events.

Weekends were nice in the Spring and summer months, we would aim every weekend to get out and explore but as you know the South Island is huge, we were a long way from the more scenic areas of the south and west which we loved first time.

It became apparent quite early on that we had made a mistake, this is not how we thought it would be. I felt somewhat ashamed that we made this huge deal of emigrating to New Zealand, everyone was saying how exciting, how jealous they were, what a great thing to do. But after one year we wished we had just relocated to another part of England to experience a new area and new things to do. We had spent a huge amount of our savings to relocate to NZ and we were miserable, the only good thing was that we had each other.

After 3 years of really just trying to stick it out we knew we had to move back to England. I was applying for jobs in England which appealed. After a few months of trying I managed to get a new job in the south of England. We couldn’t wait to get back.

We are so much happier now we are back in England, we were foolish in not realising how beautiful Britain was, how much is happening here and the importance of being able to see family and friends a few times a year.

We have often thought were we naive making the move like we did? Were we fooled by the videos of why to move to NZ? Did we fail in not making the experience more happy and fulfilling? Did we just move to the wrong area where there wasn’t a lot to see or do? The statistics say around 7000 Brits move to NZ each year. We wonder how others experiences are/were, what are they doing different to love life there.

Final point, one thing I would say to anyone reading and having ideas of going to move out to NZ after enjoying holidays there, there is an enormous difference between being somewhere on holiday and living a working life in a place.

All the best everyone, hope everyone has a happy 2023.
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Old Jan 19th 2023, 12:43 am
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Default Re: A four year mistake

There's no shame in trying something new. Most are not brave enough to even try

I moved to oz in 1991, lasted a year and went home. I knew it wasn't for me, but I knew I'd migrate again at some point in the future. Seventeen years later I arrived in NZ. It's worked out well for me, but as you have found, it's not for everyone.
Good luck with your future plans
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Old Jan 19th 2023, 1:47 am
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Default Re: A four year mistake

Shame it's not worked out, I'm a big fan of rural NZ (well non main centres of NZ). I noticed you wished you'd have tried a different area of the UK before moving to NZ - I hope you don't regret doing that in NZ too, the South Island is a bit hit n miss. I've only spent say 2hrs in Timaru ever so I can't judge it at all so wont but with a finance job and a teaching job couple, I'd have secured the finance role first with the teaching role to follow.

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Old Jan 19th 2023, 4:52 am
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Default Re: A four year mistake

Originally Posted by Timmy Chch View Post
I'd have secured the finance role first with the teaching role to follow.
Shoulda, woulda, coulda...!!

Has already said he found it emotionally and mentally difficult. Suggesting there's more he should have looked at and screwed up with his employment isn't helpful on any level really is it.
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Old Jan 19th 2023, 11:39 am
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Default Re: A four year mistake

You shouldn't beat your self up for having had the courage to give it a go. If you hadn't moved to NZ you would always regret not going to live the dream life you imagined. It didn't work out so you've moved on - we've all made mistakes, have regrets and things we'd do differently if we had our time again - you can't dwell otherwise you'd go mad.
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Old Jan 19th 2023, 12:59 pm
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Default Re: A four year mistake

Originally Posted by MaxiStavros View Post
Hey everyone, hope you are all well. Three years ago we returned to the UK with our tails firmly between our legs. My wife and I travelled to New Zealand 15 years ago, we had 4 weeks there, first week on the north island and 3 on the south and we loved it, we really loved exploring the South Island and found the further south and west we went the more beautiful it was. It was a fabulous holiday.

After being in our jobs for over a decade in the UK we really wanted a change of scenery and some exciting adventure. We had seen and explored everywhere within 50 miles of where we lived and just wanted a change. We both thought back to NZ, we loved it there. We made the decision let’s go for it if I could secure employment before going.

I applied for a job as a teacher in Timaru and was offered the position at the start of the new term. I accepted it and it was such a surreal feeling. There was a lot to sort out, we put our home up for sale and had a quick sale, we quit our jobs, did a lot of research on what we needed to do, we said emotional goodbyes to family and friends knowing we were unlikely to see them for many years at a time. We intended to stay out in NZ long term, it felt right.

Arriving in New Zealand we were excited but apprehensive of course with the new start. We rented a small home which was basic but the joy of arriving and feeling this was the start was amazing.

I soon started my new job but my wife struggled to find work in finance, she spent months home alone. She did eventually find part time work but it wasn’t using the expertise she had in previous jobs. My new job as a teacher took up almost every hour of the day with marking and preparing lessons after work. We would try on some weekday evenings to go out and see our new surroundings but it was kind of soulless and not much happening. Weekends in Autumn and winter were really drab and there was so little happening in terms of entertainment, places to go indoors and live events.

Weekends were nice in the Spring and summer months, we would aim every weekend to get out and explore but as you know the South Island is huge, we were a long way from the more scenic areas of the south and west which we loved first time.

It became apparent quite early on that we had made a mistake, this is not how we thought it would be. I felt somewhat ashamed that we made this huge deal of emigrating to New Zealand, everyone was saying how exciting, how jealous they were, what a great thing to do. But after one year we wished we had just relocated to another part of England to experience a new area and new things to do. We had spent a huge amount of our savings to relocate to NZ and we were miserable, the only good thing was that we had each other.

After 3 years of really just trying to stick it out we knew we had to move back to England. I was applying for jobs in England which appealed. After a few months of trying I managed to get a new job in the south of England. We couldn’t wait to get back.

We are so much happier now we are back in England, we were foolish in not realising how beautiful Britain was, how much is happening here and the importance of being able to see family and friends a few times a year.

We have often thought were we naive making the move like we did? Were we fooled by the videos of why to move to NZ? Did we fail in not making the experience more happy and fulfilling? Did we just move to the wrong area where there wasn’t a lot to see or do? The statistics say around 7000 Brits move to NZ each year. We wonder how others experiences are/were, what are they doing different to love life there.

Final point, one thing I would say to anyone reading and having ideas of going to move out to NZ after enjoying holidays there, there is an enormous difference between being somewhere on holiday and living a working life in a place.

All the best everyone, hope everyone has a happy 2023.
You should never be ashamed of giving something ado in fact pat yourself on the back for trying and anyone who’s says otherwise in my opinion are “mad” take from the experience ie you now know what you like and do not like etc. In my travels I have met and heard lots of stories from people who have travelled, lived abroad (some tales brought a tear to my eye) but the one thing that stood out was that they all had a broader outlook on life. I had my car in the Audi garage a few weeks ago and low and behold a New Zealander was there we got chatting and he loved living in England he had made a song and dance years ago to friends and family about migrating to Australia he lasted 7 miserable years there (his words not mine) trying most states but despite having a good job and lovely homes he just did not like living in Australia so he decided to come to the UK for a break and return home to NZ with his tail between his legs (his words not mine) and he has been here in England ever since (his sister and brother have now joined him) he just says now he feels like everything that was meant to happen did. I also have a friend who is returning from Canada and says she would of done years ago if it were not for the thought of friends and family thinking she was a failure but now knows that is just not true. Good luck for your future and please do not be so hard on yourself.
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Old Jan 19th 2023, 12:59 pm
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Default Re: A four year mistake

I agree with what has been said already and would add that it also has nothing to do with NZ or the UK. Even people who switch jobs or move within the same area might have regrets, same with relationships or the trousers you ordered online and never got to wear. At least it worked out for you now and it's good to hear that people are happy returning.
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Old Jan 19th 2023, 2:04 pm
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Default Re: A four year mistake

Hey look at it this way- when you are old and grey and sitting drinking wine on your porch one day, you wont have any regrets about "what if we had tried to live in NZ"- you will have achieved it and its a life experience. Don't look upon it as a failure.
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Old Jan 19th 2023, 11:34 pm
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Default Re: A four year mistake

Originally Posted by shelley748 View Post
Hey look at it this way- when you are old and grey and sitting drinking wine on your porch one day, you wont have any regrets about "what if we had tried to live in NZ"- you will have achieved it and its a life experience. Don't look upon it as a failure.
Totally agree with this. You never know unless you give it a go. Enjoy being back home 😊
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Old Jan 20th 2023, 6:02 am
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Default Re: A four year mistake

You arrived. You tried and it did not fit.

Be glad you tried. Many don't have the courage .

all the best.
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Old Jan 21st 2023, 1:00 am
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Default Re: A four year mistake

Many thanks for all the positive messages. I agree that to have experienced life in a far away country is something to feel proud of, so many people spend their whole life in the town they were born and fail to see and explore this amazing world we live in.
I’m disappointed with how it went and I feel a lot may be down to the place we moved to. There are many places in England I would not enjoy living. I feel had we experienced NZ life in a more vibrant place with plenty of things to do and see we would have enjoyed it infinitely times more. Maybe Auckland would have been the place, it’s vibrant and it’s a beautiful area with nice beaches all around, islands and forests. I think that’s the mistake we made because NZ is a great country but we really didn’t get to live our life there in an exciting place to live.
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Old Jan 21st 2023, 12:27 pm
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Default Re: A four year mistake

As other posters have said at least you gave it a go and now you know it's not for you and are settled and happy where you currently are. I must add however that Timaru in New Zealand wouldn't be among the most desirable places to live. The South Island is already sparsely populated never mind going to a very small city like that. You may have it enjoyed it more in a bigger city like Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, Tauranga etc and perhaps somewhere much warmer and sunnier for more consistent weather.

I do find it funny though that New Zealand has tried to maintain such a strong image of being a perfect place to live with little to no problem's that it's become Mythical. Tell someone back home your moving to OZ and they just shrug their shoulders. Tell them your moving to NZ and they make it clear how jealous you are your moving to some otherworldly paradise. Over the past few years New Zealand has went from being a relatively easy place to get by to a very difficult place especially if your middle class. Cost of living is very high, wages are relatively low and house prices even in the smaller cities are disgraceful.
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Old Jan 22nd 2023, 8:01 pm
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Default Re: A four year mistake

Life is all about choices. You gave it a crack and you decided that NZ was not for you. At least you tried.
For me it was almost certainly the town that you were in that was probably the deal breaker. Timaru is a grim, miserable town IMO even on a nice sunny day. It gets progressively worse along that east coast the further south you go (with the exception of Dunedin). Oamaru is right up there, along with Gore and Invercargill as one of the worst places I have ever visited - and I been to Doncaster and Rotherham!! If every town in NZ was like Oamaru, Gore or Invercargill - I would not even have unpacked the suitcase and told the taxi driver to take me straight back to the airport.
Important to remember that there is no such place as the perfect place to live.
Good luck with your future endeavours.
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Old Jan 24th 2023, 3:38 am
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Default Re: A four year mistake

Invercargill is a lovely place (in the summer).

It is hard when you have to have a job before you migrate because the offer of a job dictates where you move to.

New Zealand isn't the dream destination it used to be even 5 years ago.

For those who say just move in the UK, perhaps treat a move to a town in NZ as the first step to choosing a final location.
Settle in and then apply for jobs everywhere.
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Old Jan 24th 2023, 6:59 am
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Default Re: A four year mistake

Originally Posted by LittleGreyCat View Post
Invercargill is a lovely place (in the summer).

It is hard when you have to have a job before you migrate because the offer of a job dictates where you move to.

New Zealand isn't the dream destination it used to be even 5 years ago.

For those who say just move in the UK, perhaps treat a move to a town in NZ as the first step to choosing a final location.
Settle in and then apply for jobs everywhere.
Invergiggle is a town on the up. There's a lot of development going on there. It is however at the arse end of the country, a long long way from everywhere else.

NZ has changed a lot in the past 5 years and not for the better. Covid aside. look how many new people there are on here, looking to migrate. There's almost no one. There's nothing here for young families, nothing here for people chasing a career, most have now figured out the 100% pure New Zealand tag line is nothing more than a marketing ploy.

I've moved around NZ a wee bit and it took me 8 years to find a place I could settle.
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