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7 months in and loving it!

7 months in and loving it!

Old Jul 31st 2011, 10:16 am
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Smile Re: 7 months in and loving it!

Originally Posted by Luckybird
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.
This post was sooo helpful we are awaiting an answer regarding a job and are ready to go asap to Havelock North any advice on the area please.
I have read the houses (newish) have heaters and air con units to prevent damp is this correct, I worry if one is asthmatic will the damp be a problem.?
You have posted a great story and we are sooo looking foward to our new life.
Thank u
Aly
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Old Jul 31st 2011, 6:57 pm
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Default Re: 7 months in and loving it!

Originally Posted by alyj
we are awaiting an answer regarding a job and are ready to go asap to Havelock North any advice on the area please.
I have read the houses (newish) have heaters and air con units to prevent damp is this correct, I worry if one is asthmatic will the damp be a problem.?
Hi Aly,

You are most welcome, glad you liked the post and hope the answer to the job comes asap , it's nerve-racking awaiting an answer so got everything crossed for you (ouch )

Havelock North is a lovely place to live and very popular, and although prices on average are higher than Hastings for example, there is lots of choice dependent on your finances/number of bedrooms needed/areas. Havelock has a great shopping centre and bars/cafe's/restaurants and has a very good choice of early childhood settings/schools if needed.

Havelock is pretty central for access to the beach, Napier and Hastings and the countryside in Hawke's Bay is breathtaking, lot's to do and see and the weather in the region is brilliant. HB has seasons like the UK but a milder version of winter, really cold frosty mornings and nights and beautiful warm sunny days, although it does have its share of rain!!! when it rains here...it really rains!!!

Houses do have heat pumps/air con units which does help with the damp and hot weather, however, not many houses (if any) have double glazing so you need to be aware that the windows steam up easily and mould can develop really quickly (it becomes part of the chores to wipe down the frames etc, but Hubby is getting really good at it!) I would make sure when viewing houses that you find out about the heating as a lot do depend on log fires and plug in warmers and hopefully you can choose wisely for those with asthma

Good luck with your planning and if you need anything just private message me and I will do my best to help you and if I don't know the forum is excellent at providing you with answers and advice
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Old Jul 31st 2011, 7:22 pm
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Smile Anyone like to meet up in Dunedin?

We have been in Dunedin since end of March, I work full-time and although everyone at work is friendly, they are only colleagues. We are a couple in our forties with two children, age 15 and 10.

We would really like to meet up with other ex-pats living in Dunedin, so if anybody out there would be interested in meeting up please send a reply or message me.

Or if anyone has any ideas about places to go, groups to join in Dunedin, please let me know.

We do like NZ but to be honest we haven't really settled in properly as the kiwi's we do meet all seem to have their own social set up, be it family or friends, and do not feel the need to meet new people, in my experience so far.
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Old Aug 2nd 2011, 2:39 pm
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Default Re: Anyone like to meet up in Dunedin?

Excellent update, thank you for taking the time to post.
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Old Aug 2nd 2011, 11:47 pm
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Default Re: Anyone like to meet up in Dunedin?

I am a Hawkes Bay girl and obtained my degree at EIT so it is fantastic to hear lovely things about home!!

I reckon Haumoana is the best place to live in the Bay and thoroughly recommend to anyone, if you can get a place there and dont mind a 20 minute drive to work then go to Hams. Awesome lifestyle.

We lived in a wee shack right across from the beach and the OH got himself a motorbike and used it to go fishing over by cape kidnappers every night.

Whenever I remember the lifestyle we had out there, I always wonder why the hell we ever moved (we moved to Welly from there), but as is often the case, we followed the money.

Anyway, great to hear nice things about the Bay. I lived there for most of my life and it is a fantastic place.
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Old Aug 3rd 2011, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: Anyone like to meet up in Dunedin?

Originally Posted by bananalana
I am a Hawkes Bay girl and obtained my degree at EIT so it is fantastic to hear lovely things about home!!

I reckon Haumoana is the best place to live in the Bay and thoroughly recommend to anyone, if you can get a place there and dont mind a 20 minute drive to work then go to Hams. Awesome lifestyle.

We lived in a wee shack right across from the beach and the OH got himself a motorbike and used it to go fishing over by cape kidnappers every night.

Whenever I remember the lifestyle we had out there, I always wonder why the hell we ever moved (we moved to Welly from there), but as is often the case, we followed the money.

Anyway, great to hear nice things about the Bay. I lived there for most of my life and it is a fantastic place.
Glad to oblige Bananalana and have to agree Haumoana is gorgeous we did look at a place there but not enough bedrooms so moved to a house on the beach at Westshore however, not had much chance to fish off the beach yet!!! hubby offered to buy me a sea-fishing rod for my birthday .....I think he may be hoping I will say yes and give it to him

Hope Welly is treating you well, and I can see why you moved moneywise it's not the best paid place to work that's for sure , however, as you say the lifestyle is awesome and if you pop back to the bay give us a shout, the fridge is always well stocked and we would love hearing more about the bay
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Old Aug 3rd 2011, 7:35 pm
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Default Re: Anyone like to meet up in Dunedin?

Originally Posted by Luckybird
Glad to oblige Bananalana and have to agree Haumoana is gorgeous we did look at a place there but not enough bedrooms so moved to a house on the beach at Westshore however, not had much chance to fish off the beach yet!!! hubby offered to buy me a sea-fishing rod for my birthday .....I think he may be hoping I will say yes and give it to him

Hope Welly is treating you well, and I can see why you moved moneywise it's not the best paid place to work that's for sure , however, as you say the lifestyle is awesome and if you pop back to the bay give us a shout, the fridge is always well stocked and we would love hearing more about the bay
LOL, we are no longer in Wellington. We are now in Sydney, and about to move to Brisbane in 3 weeks LOL. we kept following the money but are now moving to Brisbane for a lifestyle change. Unfortunately we wont be living at the beach, but we will have a pool in our new house so thats a start!

Westshore is lovely, we lived there for a couple of years when I was a teenager, good times!

Such a shame you didnt manage a house out at Haumoana, the lifestyle is really nice, even though the beach isnt exactly sexy. It's kind of "lawless" out there almost. Everyone just does their own thing. Sometimes it can take a while before the "locals" find you to be part of the community I reckon LOL. We used to live just a couple of houses away from the dairy and the pub.

If you are going to go surfcasting, head out to cape kidnappers. Park near the caravan park out there then walk along the beach for a bit towards the cape (motorbikes are perfect for going out there). My OH used to go out every night and he would always bring something home, our freezer was always full of fish he caught - lemon shark, snapper, kahawai...even the odd stinger (which are actually quite tasty).

In fact, I will ask him some other good spots so you guys will know where to go. He is from England (hence we joined this site - though not sure why in my name lol), but I think he was meant to be from NZ LOL. He loves fishing (surf casting mostly) and used to do alot of it in NZ...he has only been about 3 times in the 2.5 years we have been in OZ so he misses it but Ill find out some good spots.

Also, if you like swimming, I know some great spots to go where not too many people go in the river. Obviously they change each year as the river does but there is always a good hole somewhere nearby. We spent heaps of time in the river with our daughter and the dogs, beats the public swimming pool anyday and you usually get the place to yourself. We would spend whole days there with picnics.

OK, Im going to stop posting now because NZ is sounding really good right now LOL

Will def take up your offer next time we in the Bay LOL
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Old Aug 3rd 2011, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: Anyone like to meet up in Dunedin?

Originally Posted by bananalana
LOL, we are no longer in Wellington. We are now in Sydney, and about to move to Brisbane in 3 weeks LOL. we kept following the money but are now moving to Brisbane for a lifestyle change. Unfortunately we wont be living at the beach, but we will have a pool in our new house so thats a start!

Westshore is lovely, we lived there for a couple of years when I was a teenager, good times!

Such a shame you didnt manage a house out at Haumoana, the lifestyle is really nice, even though the beach isnt exactly sexy. It's kind of "lawless" out there almost. Everyone just does their own thing. Sometimes it can take a while before the "locals" find you to be part of the community I reckon LOL. We used to live just a couple of houses away from the dairy and the pub.

If you are going to go surfcasting, head out to cape kidnappers. Park near the caravan park out there then walk along the beach for a bit towards the cape (motorbikes are perfect for going out there). My OH used to go out every night and he would always bring something home, our freezer was always full of fish he caught - lemon shark, snapper, kahawai...even the odd stinger (which are actually quite tasty).

In fact, I will ask him some other good spots so you guys will know where to go. He is from England (hence we joined this site - though not sure why in my name lol), but I think he was meant to be from NZ LOL. He loves fishing (surf casting mostly) and used to do alot of it in NZ...he has only been about 3 times in the 2.5 years we have been in OZ so he misses it but Ill find out some good spots.

Also, if you like swimming, I know some great spots to go where not too many people go in the river. Obviously they change each year as the river does but there is always a good hole somewhere nearby. We spent heaps of time in the river with our daughter and the dogs, beats the public swimming pool anyday and you usually get the place to yourself. We would spend whole days there with picnics.

OK, Im going to stop posting now because NZ is sounding really good right now LOL

Will def take up your offer next time we in the Bay LOL
Blimey!! - you have been busy and how brilliant a move to Brisbane , how exciting to have travelled and experienced so many new places.

I will pass on the fishing tips to Hubby..(for him to go to with my rod!!!! ) thank you, although to be fair the nearest he has got to fishing has been Coventry Canal....mind you he did 'catch' a supermarket trolley once I must get him a 'fishing tutor' so if your OH would like a new student let me know then I can taste all those fish yum!

And we love river swimming too, and the kids have discovered the Waterfall near us and love jumping into it from the top - they are far braver than me!! but some tips for other places would be great please as we like to discover new places to spend the day

Thank you for your lovely reply and good luck with your new move, enjoy chilling in the pool and discovering Brisbane and hopefully see you for a nice cold Tui in the bay soon xxx
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Old Oct 27th 2011, 6:32 pm
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Default Re: 7 months in and loving it!

Thanks for that lovely post - we have just arrived in Napier, and although we are really enjoying the locale and lifestyle we feel a bit wobbly too, in that we don't know anyone! Great to hear you have settled in well and your children love it - am hoping for the same with our 10 year old twins. Think I may have posted somewhere else about meeting up with some locals ...
Angela
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Old Oct 28th 2011, 8:51 am
  #25  
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Default Re: 7 months in and loving it!

Love the update - another convert
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