2 years

Old Feb 6th 2019, 2:20 am
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Default 2 years

Hi, I’ve now been here for just over 2 years. I’ve tried/am trying to settle in, but I just haven’t managed it. I’m here with my wife (a Kiwi) and children. I honestly struggle to find anything that makes it a better place to live than the UK. We weren’t exactly flush with cash in the UK, but I feel like we were rich compared to what we have here. The cost of food is extortionate, and as a foodie I mourn the loss of the vast variety we had in the UK. A great example would be the variety of cheeses. If you want decent French (actually made in France) cheeses here, you are going to pay obscene amounts. Same with decent cured meats and the like. The houses are really badly built and I am DREADING my 3rd winter with no central heating. Believe me, it gets cold here! It’s also just so far away from everything, and this has made me feel incredibly isolated. I’ve ended up on some quite punchy anti depressants, which help a bit, but I can’t help but hope that it’s not too long until we can go back to blightly. Realistically I’d say I’m here for another 3 years or so, so need to desperately adjust my mindset. I think my wife secretly misses blighty as well, even going as far as to say that she felt safer living in Brixton/Tooting than she does here - due to the gangs, dairy robberies, bad drivers, etc.

As a South Londoner I met the other day said to me “It’s just not a bit of me”.
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Old Mar 10th 2019, 1:14 am
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Default Re: 2 years

Hi Welshy

What was the reason that prompted you both to move here originally? Which part of New Zealand are you living. I am from Leeds in the UK. I understand how hard it is to settle, NZ is SO different to the UK, yes we have some history in common but life is here is nothing like what it is in the UK. New Zealand does offer something completely different. You have to realise that the things that matter to brits do not necessarily matter to New Zealanders. In the UK, we like to drive nice cars, we like to focus a lot on our careers, we like the choice of high street shops, television is better, public transport is more accessible, the geographical location is quite amazing, the towns and streets are cute and quaint. The weather is crap, but their is something comforting about the those cold, dark winter nights, the seasons, the easter period, christmas, bonfire night, the smells and choice, the hustle and bustle, the banter between your friends/family...unfortunately all that disappears when you arrive here and whilst when you were in the UK you probably didn't realise how much all those things meant to you, when you have travelled as far as somewhere like NZ...you begin to immerse yourself in a new culture, new smells, new customs, new attitudes, different problems, and if you thought that settling in to a brand new place/country would be a quick process you'll need to accept that come to terms with the fact that it isn't going to replace home and it will never be the same. The question you'll need to process in your head now is accepting your new home, and giving it time. You won't realise it, but the longer you stay here, you'll slowly start without realising it be getting used to new things which you might not appreciate now but when you go back to the UK will make more sense. I went back to the UK for christmas in 2017 alone and it was my first christmas since 2011...it was so bizarre, but do you know what shocked me, it was way boring than i remembered, I remember sitting their wishing I was back in NZ on a beach..I was so surprised, I had waited years for this perfect christmas and it snowed too, but do you know what I didn't really care about the hype anymore, I wished I was back in NZ and was out experiencing the nature and celebrating in a different way which didn't involve been locked up inside with the fire on...you'll have bursts of nostalgia but I dunno, i was surprised that I missed the NZ christmas..maybe its because without realising i had adapted to the new Christmas in NZ without realising. The UK will always be your home and it isn't going anywhere, try not to compare it too much...i've been told before that comparison is the thief of joy. Just accept that, yes new zealand is a shit hole at times, it isn't perfect, it does have new frustrating problems and isn't perfect, people will piss you off, the work place is different, people don't care as much but maybe this isn't all as bad as you think, maybe the british way of life has made us more serious than we need to be. Another thing you'll need to accept is that you do have a partner who is not British, and that you'll both need to accept that you both whilst speaking english come from two very different places, and that your lives together will always include new zealand and the UK...so just accept in your head that this is your life now and its completely ok. You'll always miss the UK, I do now, it just won't go away it is challenging and you'll think your going insane sometimes, its normal. Now your kids are very young, and so you need to also accept that your decisions also impact their life...I personally think, and you may agree, that the lifestyle here for kids is amazing, you'll just do things here that as kids growing up in the Uk we just didn't do...it's a great place, and maybe your kids will return to the UK sometime too. When kids are involved, you'll possibly be now be torn between family in the Uk and NZ and that will be challenging too, but remember kids aren't kids forever, and one day this chapter in your life will end and a new one will begin and so you need to just take a step back, make some plans/goals together as a family and think about where you want to be and how you'll manage. Home will always be there, BUT you will change and you need to understand that this is OK too, life is an interesting journey. I hope some of the above helps, don't worry there will be many others brits in your shoes...new zealand isn't heaven its just another place and i think if you just accept and get used to this it might be easier. Don't pressure yourself so much to settle in, its not going to happen straight away.
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Old Apr 14th 2019, 8:17 pm
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Default Re: 2 years

Hi Welshy

We came back to the UK last year after 11 years in NZ. Like you I decided after 2 years that NZ wasn't for me but for one reason or other we stayed. Although you do 'get used' to living in NZ over time I always knew I would come home. We did get our Citizenship and we have NZ passports. Nearly a year now and absolutely no regrets - we both found work within a matter of days/weeks and my first Christmas back was pure delight. Funnily enough I have just returned back from a holiday to see family and friends and I can honestly say there was absolutely nothing that made me want to go back and live there!

Good Luck with whatever decision you decide to make.
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Old May 7th 2019, 10:54 am
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Default Re: 2 years

Hi Welshy

Where are you in NZ?
I read your post with interest (and trepidation). We're in Tooting (and ex Brixton) and will be making the move to Auckland towards the end of this year - my husband is Kiwi and we are going back for him to help his parents with/take over the family business. We are lucky that from a financial POV, we should be slightly better off (if we sell the bloody house), but I have a whole host of other worries. There are obviously the emotional ties of family and friends, but also:

I work in advertising and, being the wrong side of 45, I don't feel I can start again in a new city in such a young industry. We can afford for me not to work but I don't want it to be forever - I have never not worked and I want my own money to be able to come back to the Uk to see my ailing parents. At the same time I really can't see what I will do there yet.

We will be living in North Shore and, while lovely when we visit, I hear it is quite a soulless place to live. I will miss the hustle and bustle, the comprehensive public transport system, choice of restaurants (Tooting market rocks), the shopping...

The cost of living. I will miss Lidl!!!

In ten years or so, I fully expect my kids to come to the UK and we won't be in a position to follow them.

I am trying to focus on the positives - we can afford a lovely house with a pool, and may even be able to build our dream house, and we have access to a beautiful beach house - but the worry is winning at the moment.

It would be good to hear how you re feeling a couple of months after writing your post.

H
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Old May 18th 2019, 11:56 am
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Default Re: 2 years

Know your pain, anti depressants just numb the problem, 7years and not a week goes by when I don't regret the move. Hasn't worked out for me, UK wasn't working for the OH. I am resigned to the fact that I have to just be, whilst the kids are at the age they are. I don't like the me here and don't like the shell of a person I am now. sucks really
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