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7 months in and loving it!

7 months in and loving it!

Old Jul 15th 2011, 9:23 pm
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Smile 7 months in and loving it!

Thought it was about time I got off my lazy butt, put down my wine glass (well at least for 5 minutes!) and posted a thread about how we have got on so far!

So why did we decide to move to New Zealand?

I had completed my Masters in Educational Studies in September 2009 and decided after all the hard work that I really needed to use it well and this became the springboard for the start to new and exciting opportunities. After much family discussion, googling and map perusal! we decided to 'bite the bullet' and look at emigrating and New Zealand was the place we wanted to go to! I secured a brilliant job as Senior Lecturer teaching Early Childhood Education at EIT in Hawkes Bay in March 2010 and six months later we had our residents visa’s, the house was rented out, the milk cancelled and I had cashed in all of my Nectar points....there was no going back now!

Left rainy Coventry in November 2010 with hubby and two of the three kids (the oldest is in the USA studying) and two days later landed in Auckland, Napier bound. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, saying goodbye to people you love and wondering when you would see them again. It was also even harder when some family members didn't (and still don't if I am honest!!) understand why you would decide to 'up-sticks' and move to the other side of the world. BUT, we knew we were doing it for the right reasons and giving ourselves and the kids the opportunity to experience life in the big outdoors and hopefully a new lifestyle away from the stress and the rat-race that our lives had become.

So 7 months in what do I think now?

Well.....we are so glad we did it!!! It hasn’t been easy at times and although NZ is supposed to be ‘Greener down here!’ the grass didn’t always seem to be greener and we did wonder at times whether we had made the right decision! However, 7 months in and...

Our 18 year old has two part-time jobs and is thoroughly enjoying the 'life-style' whilst saving up for Uni, when asked 'do you want to go back to the UK?' the reply is 'yeah...as if!' which he assures me is teenage speak for ‘very happy, why would I, no thank you'!

Our 14 year old actually loves going to school!! she is so much more confident and happy with herself, doing really well academically, has a great crowd of friends and has seen more of NZ than we have!! To us the kids in NZ ‘seem’ to have more freedom and are more chilled and relaxed, but that may just be Hawkes Bay!

Our oldest came over from the States for a visit and fell in love with the place and the Tui beer!! and now has more choices for his future too after he graduates; USA, NZ, UK or Australia if he decides to take residency.

Hubby after taking on a variety of poorly paid jobs (good jobs in his field were hard to come by!) just to keep the cents coming in now has a fantastic job, working and staying in Wellington in the week, Napier at the weekend and travelling nationally and internationally (or offshore as the Kiwi’s say!). It is not what we thought he would do as the aim was to stay together in Hawkes Bay as a family, however, he is happy (which means I am!!) and his sanity has been restored...I have also discovered that the TV does have other programmes rather than just sport so that’s a bonus!

And as for me?...well, three days after landing I was prepping to teach Summer School for the degree in Early Childhood!! (talk about throwing yourself in at the deep end!) and haven’t stopped teaching since. I now coordinate the degree and love my job, I don’t regret one single second of our decision, great job, great colleagues and great place to work!

In addition, hubby and I now spend more ‘quality’ time together in fact we go out on a ‘date’ every Friday!! ...although he insists it’s just drinks and dinner! We also spend family weekends out discovering Hawkes Bay, walking, going to the beach and jumping into waterfalls...couldn’t have done that Coventry!

So 7 months later what would be my advice?

Go for it!!! Life is too short to think ‘what if?’ better to have tried than not tried at all!

Do your research before you come out, for example Hawkes Bay is one of the worse paid areas in NZ and it is not easy to get a job here, hence hubby being based in Wellington! However, this is offset by the lifestyle in the Bay and we wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, it has it all, beautiful beaches, countryside and vineyards!

Be prepared to ‘knock on doors’ and ‘do the leg work’, it’s not always what you know it’s who you know, so don’t just wait for an advert to appear – ring round and sell yourself!

The cost of living is not cheap, BUT, I don’t think it’s any better in the UK and if you use seasonal produce and shop wisely and locally you can manage on a budget.
Be prepared for ‘cold and damp’ houses in the winter, a reminder of the days before central heating so make sure you pack your big pants!

Be prepared for really ‘feeling on the other side of the world’, when someone is not well or a problem arises, you do really feel the distance and this can be really hard, so have a emergency plan and hopefully you won’t have to use it.

Also be prepared for feeling ‘guilty’ for leaving people behind in the UK, take the time to remember why you came and if you got what you came for then you made the right choices.

Be prepared for the ‘wobbles’!! we have all had our ‘moments’ although thankfully these have been brief and Skype is a godsend as are regular parcels of Curly Wurlies and Hariboes!

We have felt very welcome and have made some fantastic friends since we have been here, we have discovered that the Kiwi’s are very happy to lend you their ‘trailer’ or their ‘Bach’, tease you when you actually ‘bring a plate’ to a BBQ, advise you about the best ‘type of wood’ to buy for your fire (have been part of a raging discussion regarding pine versus gum!) and where the best places are to see and visit, and there are certainly loads of them!

So 7 months in I can only say absolutely loving it!!! this is of course only our view and maybe other people may have had difference experiences, but, for us we are happy and settled and looking forward to our future here in NZ.
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Old Jul 16th 2011, 4:53 am
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Default Re: 7 months in and loving it!

Lovely post, thank you for it

Glad to hear you're enjoying the adventure
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Old Jul 16th 2011, 5:38 am
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Default Re: 7 months in and loving it!

Thank you for sharing, sounds great x
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Old Jul 16th 2011, 7:04 pm
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Default Re: 7 months in and loving it!

Sounds like you've definitely made the right choice for you and your family!

We've been in Napier since Apr - loving it too! Although looking forward to spring...

Jen x
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Old Jul 17th 2011, 12:35 am
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Old Jul 18th 2011, 6:31 am
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Default Re: 7 months in and loving it!

What a great post, keep having fun & keep having those "date nights!" Good for you
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Old Jul 18th 2011, 7:49 am
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Default Re: 7 months in and loving it!

Originally Posted by florabundi
What a great post, keep having fun & keep having those "date nights!" Good for you
I can't wait to get to Napier : ) 9 days until we start the first leg of the journey, love your update .
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Old Jul 18th 2011, 5:15 pm
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Default Re: 7 months in and loving it!

Loved your update too
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Old Jul 18th 2011, 8:36 pm
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Default Re: 7 months in and loving it!

Thanks Tray and everyone - lets just hope I don't wait as long next time need to round it up to 12 months!! and we will Florabundi can't let him off the hook now!! and good luck Emmabc - have a safe trip and give us a shout when you get here for a drink or or if you need anything xx
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Old Jul 21st 2011, 7:49 am
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Default Re: 7 months in and loving it!

Originally Posted by Luckybird
Thanks Tray and everyone - lets just hope I don't wait as long next time need to round it up to 12 months!! and we will Florabundi can't let him off the hook now!! and good luck Emmabc - have a safe trip and give us a shout when you get here for a drink or or if you need anything xx
Luckybird
Drink sounds good lucky bird, cheers for the support , see you there X
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Old Jul 21st 2011, 10:06 am
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Default Re: 7 months in and loving it!

Safe trip
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Old Jul 23rd 2011, 4:44 pm
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Default Re: 7 months in and loving it!

Glad its worked out for you. Just looking forward to the sun coming back
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Old Jul 23rd 2011, 10:01 pm
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Default Re: 7 months in and loving it!

Me too Perry!! needs to get my shades on and the wellies off!
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Old Jul 24th 2011, 8:51 pm
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Default Re: 7 months in and loving it!

Great update, pleased you are loving the Bay, I had a great upbringing here and can't think of a better place to bring up our wee man
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Old Jul 24th 2011, 10:26 pm
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Default Re: 7 months in and loving it!

Thank you Si and we certainly are loving living here and as you say, it's a great place to bring up children and I am sure your 'wee man' will have say the same thing when he grows up
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