Finally an update

Old Jun 17th 2013, 4:25 pm
  #31  
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Default Re: Finally an update

I can't offer any help as I'm in the position of not even visited yet but I wanted to say thanks for your thread and the update. We live in quite a rural and, dare I say it, parochial area of the UK so we're hoping it won't be any worse out in NZ. Your honesty is good and your messages help me think about the things that husband and I need to consider too.

I really hope you can settle where your heart feels at home.
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Old Jun 18th 2013, 2:18 am
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Default Re: Finally an update

Originally Posted by jmh
I remember when my mum was over staying with me in London and on the BBC news they called someone black and there was a sharp intake of breath. She tells me that Maori kids at her school will call someone black as an insult.

Depending on your job, you might meet more outward looking people once you start work again. I meet some really interesting people in my line of work, some of the expats from England, South Africa, India, China. Because of the immigration requirements many of them are really smart. Many are kiwi too though. Most of my clients are in good jobs, and many have travelled. It probably helps being in a city though.

Give it time, I'm sure you will settle in to it. There is nowhere quite like London, the good and the bad. You've gone from one extreme to the other.
Yes, have definitely gone from one extreme to the other. For the first time in my life I now understand how people cannot stand living rurally. Not that we do here, but the thought of not being able to pop to the shop or having people around fills me with dread. I think after living in the UK (where your home is your castle) I now use this as my retreat. I am perfectly fine with my own company (fat chance with two kids). Maybe I'm coming down from over-stimulation!
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Old Jun 18th 2013, 2:27 am
  #33  
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Default Re: Finally an update

Originally Posted by Hazelnut
I can't offer any help as I'm in the position of not even visited yet but I wanted to say thanks for your thread and the update. We live in quite a rural and, dare I say it, parochial area of the UK so we're hoping it won't be any worse out in NZ. Your honesty is good and your messages help me think about the things that husband and I need to consider too.

I really hope you can settle where your heart feels at home.
Thanks Hazelnut. Good luck to you too, just read your thread.

I don't mean to put anyone off, or encourage anyone to move across the world. Just telling how I find it and what my experiences are. As others have said, emigrating is not easy and it's a long, hard slog. I didn't technically emigrate to the UK but I made a pretty good life there, in some ways it was harder to come home. I love NZ so much, but it doesn't really feel like home to me at the moment. The worrying part, is I am ok with that!
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Old Jun 18th 2013, 6:23 am
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Default Re: Finally an update

Originally Posted by dannigirl
The worrying part, is I am ok with that!
You are not putting anyone off. You are expressing yourself and your own thoughts in an extremely honest & open way. Not damning and not praising. These types of posts are worth their weight in platinum IMVHO. Not because you are unsettled but because it candidly shows how unsettling a re-location can be, for the good and for the bad. Just as with Bourbon Biscuit's posts on this subject.

What can anyone write to you . You've moved your family across the world for something you felt would be better than it was.

Even had you moved UK counties you may have felt the same.

You give it time love. ( I am sure you will ) It is very early days yet & I hope you have maybe family and pals around you all.

Expats normally say 2 years . I'm not sure on this. It is a person by person basis IMO.

So. Love each day and at some point who knows, you may suddenly realise you have adjusted, overcome and assimilated. That your own family is settled and supremely happy , in which case, you have done the best.
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Old Jun 18th 2013, 8:57 am
  #35  
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Default Re: Finally an update

Originally Posted by BEVS
You are not putting anyone off. You are expressing yourself and your own thoughts in an extremely honest & open way. Not damning and not praising. These types of posts are worth their weight in platinum IMVHO.
I'd echo that. What your posts have done is help those of thinking of taking the plunge to look at NZ with 'living here eyes' rather than 'tourist eyes' and that's invaluable.
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Old Jun 18th 2013, 10:30 am
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Default Re: Finally an update

Originally Posted by BEVS
You are not putting anyone off. You are expressing yourself and your own thoughts in an extremely honest & open way. Not damning and not praising. These types of posts are worth their weight in platinum IMVHO. Not because you are unsettled but because it candidly shows how unsettling a re-location can be, for the good and for the bad. Just as with Bourbon Biscuit's posts on this subject.

What can anyone write to you . You've moved your family across the world for something you felt would be better than it was.

Even had you moved UK counties you may have felt the same.

You give it time love. ( I am sure you will ) It is very early days yet & I hope you have maybe family and pals around you all.

Expats normally say 2 years . I'm not sure on this. It is a person by person basis IMO.

So. Love each day and at some point who knows, you may suddenly realise you have adjusted, overcome and assimilated. That your own family is settled and supremely happy , in which case, you have done the best.
Thanks BEVS.

Not sure if I felt it would be "better" here, I know what the downsides are, there are plenty, but also so many upsides. It came down to having to give it a go - homesickness etc all building up. Having children in a foreign country, stresses and strains of life. I probably did have rose tinted glasses on about certain things. I did find myself comparing a lot in the UK, there are certainly grim parts here, it's easy to forget those. Those are the things you don't see on holiday.

I can't describe it, it's just a feeling. Too much to put into one post, but it is me that has changed - not NZ. There isn't anything wrong with our life right now. There is nothing wrong with NZ, in that it is not perfect, nor is it awful for us. There are little annoyances and gripes but you get that everywhere. We have a good life and and are truly trying to make it all work. Maybe we needed to come here to realise what we had in the UK. We miss family terribly and I think that life would have to be pretty "perfect" here to make up for that. I don't have the same relationship with my family, we are close but it's a different kind of relationship.

Friends have been amazing and understanding and let me sound off, otherwise I would probably be a basket case.

Onwards and upwards. Need to stop thinking and enjoy this blizzard like snow that seems to coming our way
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Old Jun 18th 2013, 2:52 pm
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Default Re: Finally an update

Originally Posted by dannigirl

I can't describe it, it's just a feeling.
Poor dannigirl, I really feel for you

Everything you are feeling is totally normal and not necessarily an indication that NZ won't work out for you longer term. I know you know you are suffering from culture shock and its resultant stresses, but I think even when people know this is what they are experiencing they can sometimes still not see the extent to which their current experiences and thinking are attributable to the phenomenon. The comparing, the re-evaluating (and yearning for) what you had, the flighty unsettled feeling ... all culture shock/normal post-emigrating experiences but all so exhausting! Also, it's normal when you first arrive to draw conclusions about people and places based on really small and bias samples- we can't survive socially without making and using stereotypes and at the moment your head is working overtime to make sense of your new social context- however the unsettled feelings you have will be subtly altering your perception so that you form less positive stereotypes more readily (sadly we all do anyway). All perfectly normal but not very helpful to feeling OK with the choice you've made or becoming settled.

I wonder, given you have friends and family (t)here, if it might be possible to save yourself some angst by deciding mentally that you are there for a sort of OE to reconnect with your first culture and just see how it feels for X amount of time. Two years is commonly bandied about and is sensible but even after a year a lot of the rawness should have settled down and allow you to make a more balanced and informed assessment of life there. Just a thought and might not be practical for you.

In the meantime, have some cyber hugs cos in the words of a fellow expat chum of mine, emigrating is A Big Deal.
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Old Jun 19th 2013, 12:56 am
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Default Re: Finally an update

Originally Posted by dannigirl
Time for another bit of an update.

So.....it's not so much of what we miss in the UK. We do miss loads, supermarkets, shopping!, family, I miss our family holidays to West Wales, tolerance and diversity of the UK. What we don't miss is the media negativity telling you how deep up the creek the UK is, sensational reporting of crime (daily mailesque type journalism which is rife).

I think what is getting to us the most is how small it is here and yes I will use that word - insular. I find some attitudes here intolerable, some people are very ignorant. Yes, you get that in the UK but there are some very dumb, ignorant people here I.e the lady in the post office talking about people with "slitty eyes".
I get a bit tired of "the Asian" comments. People seem to think they are out to take over Auckland, as if no other race or culture of people have made any money off property development! I had a job interview and it did not go down well when I described my work with black Caribbean families. "Black" is an offensive word here, I get that but it is the accepted term in the UK. I would hope someone would know this, I was asked by the tangata whenua representative if I had worked with white Caribbean families in London (in a bit of a sarcastic tone) I think I realised then that I might not get that job.

We love the beaches, playgrounds and things for kids to do here but we both feel like we need a bit more. It's all easy here but you do realise pretty quickly that without the extra population you don't quite get as many amenities and services as you do in the UK. There are fab beaches to visit here, but hardly any nice cafes to relax and unwind after (at the beach). We basically have to live in town because there are certain areas that have great views but no amenities I.e Brighton. No nice cafe, average shop/dairy, no pub, but great beaches!
It all just feels a bit meh (and it pains me to say that! It truly does!)

We went to Queenstown and it was beautiful scenically but I think I felt for the first time that it was just okay and that there were plenty of places in the world that are just as beautiful. Yes, sitting at the top of the gondola is spectacular but not something you do every day. Central Otago felt quite barren and a bit dead.

Maybe it is me having to get used to not having heaving crowds (even though Queenstown was heaving and claustrophobic) but it feels very empty here. I'm sure I am experiencing all sorts of reverse culture but I am not sure there is enough for us here. I finally get what Brits complain about. Insular, parochial, a lack of sophistication in some ways...so hard to describe without coming across as snobbish but it just feels small and a bit boring (I can't believe I am saying this) I have given up listening to most talk back because it is so rubbish.

I know we must give it time to settle and we are trying to do lots of things to settle. We have met some great new friends but it's not easy to break back into kiwi circles. I have had a couple of awkward, no-one talking to me experiences at a parenting centre. We are not too bothered about socialising too much as we have two small kids so by the time we fit in family and our kids there isn't too much time left but a bit of a choice would be good.
Do I want to settle, yes as life would be much easier here, but having been away do I want to settle for an easy life. I now understand how people can become so frustrated with life here. I also get why people love it here, just that maybe it's not for us in the long term.

Who knows but we both feel unsettled enough to be talking about going back to the UK. Better to do it quickly we feel, as then too much will have changed there. We don't want to become ping-pongs and not be able to settle anywhere!

who knows watch this space!
Interesting read dannigirl...its great to read a post that says it as it is..& congratulate you on being open with your OH as that is very important!!!

I wish i had read such posts before we came....we have been here 8 years in Oct...& have been through a few ups and downs with home sickness..

Similar to yourself after arrival..thought that was natural after all the stress & strains of emigrating with 3 small kids......then about 4 years later when my mum in the uk died...again understandable...

However we have both been battling the latest bowt of homesickness for about 5 months now....and would be selling up and on that plane home in a flash...

Except for our kids are now 8 years older, 1 in his last year of college, 1 started NCEA 1 & 1 due to start college in Jan next year.....Keep thinking are they are at the wrong age to be winging them all the way back to the UK?

My head says wait for them to finish school...but...then they probably won't want to come with us!!! Heart says they are well grounded kids and will be fine....it would be a new adventure

My eldest would go "home" without a blink, he says....the other two...both girls are not so sure....

You will work out whats right for you and yours....

I have enjoyed my NZ adventure, but i miss family, home, historical places, familiar things, openminded people & holiday options........I thought those feelings would go away but they are still very much with me nearly 8 years on....

Good luck with the snow!!!! Looks like it will miss us in Ashvegas....
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Old Jun 26th 2013, 8:30 pm
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Default Re: Finally an update

Thanks for the updates dannigirl. They have been so helpful. I am anticipating our move "home" after being in the UK since 1997. Although I have been back many times - like you say, it was a holiday/visit and quite different from living there. The ups and downs of your feelings and experiences seem to mirror my hopes and concerns. I have been trying to anticipate and plan everything before we return, but what I have learned from you is that you just have to take the leap because you just don't know how it will turn out until you experience it. So, thanks for the "heads up".

I know we all suffer from "confirmation bias" which basically means we look for evidence to support our opinions and ignore that which contradicts them. So to begin with we see evidence of how great NZ is - it confirms what we believed. Then experiences start clouding the picture and our beliefs/opinions start to shift. But I hope that you (and me too eventually) will still be able to see the magic that we saw to begin with and always try to confirm the positive too. Take a relationship - in the beginning, if my husband had stopped off on the way home to get fuel and decided to get some flowers from the petrol station, I would have thought it was sweet and evidence of his devotion. With 20 years gone by (and very few flowers or presents of any sort in the intervening time!), I would now know that this follows some prattish behaviour towards me, and just confirms that he is a cheapskate, who doesn't like to go to too much trouble and has never paid attention to the fact that I don't like getting flowers (and have told him many times!) .......So you see - same behaviour, different bias (btw we are happily married still)! And before anyone says that no wonder my husband gets things wrong when I send such mixed messages - let me say again - I told him I don't like getting flowers - and he is as guilty of confirmation bias too! He looks for evidence to prove I am wrong, but he must know objectively that I am always right (or less wrong than him anyway!).
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Old Jun 26th 2013, 11:15 pm
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Default Re: Finally an update

Originally Posted by dannigirl

Who knows but we both feel unsettled enough to be talking about going back to the UK. Better to do it quickly we feel, as then too much will have changed there. We don't want to become ping-pongs and not be able to settle anywhere!

who knows watch this space!
Comin' right back at ya ! Your posts are very interesting. Very well balanced and fair.

It's good to hear from a kiwi returning from Britain to NZ. That's what my husband, a kiwi, and I, a brit have done.

We talk about what would happen should we return to Britain but it will be a few years yet before we make any real plans.
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Old Jun 27th 2013, 12:58 am
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Default Re: Finally an update

Originally Posted by trafford
Thanks for the updates dannigirl. They have been so helpful. I am anticipating our move "home" after being in the UK since 1997. Although I have been back many times - like you say, it was a holiday/visit and quite different from living there. The ups and downs of your feelings and experiences seem to mirror my hopes and concerns. I have been trying to anticipate and plan everything before we return, but what I have learned from you is that you just have to take the leap because you just don't know how it will turn out until you experience it. So, thanks for the "heads up".

I know we all suffer from "confirmation bias" which basically means we look for evidence to support our opinions and ignore that which contradicts them. So to begin with we see evidence of how great NZ is - it confirms what we believed. Then experiences start clouding the picture and our beliefs/opinions start to shift. But I hope that you (and me too eventually) will still be able to see the magic that we saw to begin with and always try to confirm the positive too. Take a relationship - in the beginning, if my husband had stopped off on the way home to get fuel and decided to get some flowers from the petrol station, I would have thought it was sweet and evidence of his devotion. With 20 years gone by (and very few flowers or presents of any sort in the intervening time!), I would now know that this follows some prattish behaviour towards me, and just confirms that he is a cheapskate, who doesn't like to go to too much trouble and has never paid attention to the fact that I don't like getting flowers (and have told him many times!) .......So you see - same behaviour, different bias (btw we are happily married still)! And before anyone says that no wonder my husband gets things wrong when I send such mixed messages - let me say again - I told him I don't like getting flowers - and he is as guilty of confirmation bias too! He looks for evidence to prove I am wrong, but he must know objectively that I am always right (or less wrong than him anyway!).
I thought of you when I was writing my updates! Thing is, we do have to try it. It's not easy but nor is living in another country for the rest of your life. I so totally agree with your confirmation bias. I could totally sell myself anything, easily led me But I do follow my instincts, which usually turn out to be pretty spot on.

The things that worry/concern me are individual to me and my family but there are some of the things that I used to go at when I saw them written down by expats. I now understand them! I think it is more the fundamental things that worry me, things that I'm not sure can be changed here, because I am a different person. There are also some very personal things, which is why I would never want to put anyone off trying this journey. I TOTALLY have my own personal baggage which i won't divulge but certainly influences my perspective.

In so many ways I wish I could settle here, because I can see the advantages. But I am seeing the UK differently too. Not through nostalgic eyes, but through experience of what it can and can't offer. Number one is a wonderful supportive family in the UK. We didn't take that for granted at all, we just miss them terribly!.

I think I needed to come back and not to sound too "psychological" about it all but to almost grieve for MY old NZ. I have come back as a very different person, as a mum and as a wife. NZ isn't quite living up to what I hoped it would, but I am okay with that. I need different things now and maybe NZ can't offer me those now. What is has done is allowed us time to think about what we really want as a family. If we go back what changes we'll take with us. I would say we are 95% decided to go back, but I sure as hell will enjoy coming back on holiday and connecting our kids with their kiwi roots! (And eating my body weight in pies and ginger crunch!)

Will update on any decisions made...if we go back we'll be back in The UK by December as we have school to consider for our soon to be five year old. We feel guilty enough so I don't want her being mucked around too much I.e starting school here and then again in the UK.

Aaaarrrghhhh
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Old Jun 27th 2013, 1:19 am
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Default Re: Finally an update

Originally Posted by pixiewink
Interesting read dannigirl...its great to read a post that says it as it is..& congratulate you on being open with your OH as that is very important!!!

I wish i had read such posts before we came....we have been here 8 years in Oct...& have been through a few ups and downs with home sickness..

Similar to yourself after arrival..thought that was natural after all the stress & strains of emigrating with 3 small kids......then about 4 years later when my mum in the uk died...again understandable...

However we have both been battling the latest bowt of homesickness for about 5 months now....and would be selling up and on that plane home in a flash...

Except for our kids are now 8 years older, 1 in his last year of college, 1 started NCEA 1 & 1 due to start college in Jan next year.....Keep thinking are they are at the wrong age to be winging them all the way back to the UK?

My head says wait for them to finish school...but...then they probably won't want to come with us!!! Heart says they are well grounded kids and will be fine....it would be a new adventure

My eldest would go "home" without a blink, he says....the other two...both girls are not so sure....

You will work out whats right for you and yours....

I have enjoyed my NZ adventure, but i miss family, home, historical places, familiar things, openminded people & holiday options........I thought those feelings would go away but they are still very much with me nearly 8 years on....

Good luck with the snow!!!! Looks like it will miss us in Ashvegas....
Thanks pixiewink. I will follow your story with interest. We don't want to get to 5/6 years and think the same as you. So hard with kids isn't it.
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Old Jun 27th 2013, 1:22 am
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Default Re: Finally an update

Originally Posted by Snap Shot
Comin' right back at ya ! Your posts are very interesting. Very well balanced and fair.

It's good to hear from a kiwi returning from Britain to NZ. That's what my husband, a kiwi, and I, a brit have done.

We talk about what would happen should we return to Britain but it will be a few years yet before we make any real plans.
I know your story too snap shot! There'll always be one of you/us that is slightly out of their comfort zone. I hope your husband appreciates you!
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Old Jun 27th 2013, 2:21 am
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Default Re: Finally an update

my sister(a kiwi) and her hubby (a kiwi) had big problems coming back from UK to CHch after having her first baby; leaving behind the corporate london highlife and a lifestyle where her neighbours were people like Jude Law. But now she has come to appreciate it more and more back in Nz and no longer compares - it takes a few years though is the point - so maybe if you give it more time you will realise you made the right decision to come to nz. She says her kids are better off here in Nz. Both of them could go back as they have right of abode.
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Last edited by shocked kiwi; Jun 27th 2013 at 2:39 am.
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Old Jun 27th 2013, 4:54 am
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Default Re: Finally an update

Originally Posted by dannigirl
I hope your husband appreciates you!
Of course ! Let's just say, I know what he's like. Me ? I'm a picture of innocence.
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