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Hello from the roller coaster.

Hello from the roller coaster.

Old Aug 1st 2013, 3:29 pm
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Default Hello from the roller coaster.

Hello BE folks, I thought I would say Hi and tell a little of our emigration story.
It began almost 3 years ago when my OH got offered a really good job in NZ. We had never been to NZ but as we were empty nesters whose only child was already here and both our remaining parents had died within 6 weeks of each other we just decided to go for it. We had 3 and a half months to sell 2 houses, a rundown one in France, which entailed quite a few trips over on the ferry, and our main home, on which we lost 50 thousand pounds in the property slump. We also had to do the usual "emigration stress" dance of visas/medicals selling, getting rid of, quotes, cleaning, packing and sorting out for our 2 cats and 2 dogs to travel also. And the final last steps of the goodbyes. My Oh left first, one month before me and as well as starting his job he also viewed many properties and bought a house which completed, by the skin of our ground down teeth, on the day I flew out of Birmingham airport.

Our animals arrived, (the cats were rather dehydrated and a tad feral by then), just 3 days after me and we all heaved a sigh of relief that we were finally here. Our container arrived just 6 weeks later and it was great having all our familiar stuff at last. The dogs were in heaven with the amount of exercise they were having, the lakes, the coast, the mountains, we went everywhere we could and were loving it. We were also able to play tennis on the court on our development in mid winter and it was great. We loved the space, the lack of queues, the scenery, OH's 25 mins to work rather than 4 hours travelling in UK and our wonderful hot tub which we bought with the house.

I had really been looking forward to my first Christmas in the summer and our first Christmas Eve here we spent floating down the Hutt river in a blow up dinghy with our 2 dogs, which took us nearly five hours as the river in some places was quite low and we spent Christmas night on Waikanae beach watching the sunset whilst dressed as santa, which was wonderful if rather hot and sweaty.

But of course, we then had to build our new lives and after a few months in the grumbles start. You know, the high cost of living, especially white goods and upright vacuum cleaners,(I need to point out that I love upright vacuum cleaners and I can't wait for them to bite the dust so I can get another one, but that's a different story) no central heating, awful driving, lack of choice, difficulty meeting people/socialising, no bloody Christmas turkeys and no M and S ready meals, ridiculous I know but I found myself hungering for a stilton and beef pie to just bung into the oven after a long day. It's at this time that you realise that day to day life is the same wherever you are and it's hard starting over in a new country.

Life was going along ok, I hadn't settled that well but it was ok.

Then suddenly my sister died and this coincided with leaving my voluntary job at the local school. The kids were great but let's just say that I was feeling rather isolated. This was our second Christmas here and homesickness struck me like a ton of bricks. I was unprepared for the force of this thing. I was homesick for the familiar and whilst decorating the tree I started crying and said to myself, oh get a grip. But it was an awful yearning for things I had taken for granted. The wonderful turkey dinners, mince pies, mulled wine, frosty, crisp winter mornings, coal fires, freezing my arse off watching my child ride his new bike around and around and yes somehow through an alchemy of perception all my past Christmasses had warped to a Hollywood production of a Dickensian novel. I would have given my left kidney to walk into Boots at Fosse Park, Leicestershire to get a buy one get one free anything, or to meander round M and S and buy a ready to cook full Christmas dinner. And don't get me started on their treacle tart.
And I would have rugby tackled Dan Carter himself if I could have found anywhere selling the wonderful Estee Lauder Christmas gift in the Southern hemisphere. It was also a culture shock having Christmas in the summer, every year.!!! For God's sake my baubles were blinding me twinkling in the fierce Kiwi sunshine.

I suddenly felt so homesick for the UK that I couldn't wait to get of NZ. I began to hate living here and I felt so out of place that I started going on expat sites to reinforce my idea that NZ was a 'bad place' and horror of horrors I started looking at houses to buy in the UK. This feeling went on for about 3 months and I was salivating at the thought of the plane taking off from Wellington with me on it. My OH and I talked about moving back and we decided that we would do it within 3 years. So we looked for a lifestyle property for the time we would remain here, as we wanted some land for us and the dogs and found the perfect one. 3 acres and beautiful scenery just within our price range. Our first house was lovely but it had no real outdoor space and we missed having a garden. We have been in this house 3 months now and during the buying and selling process and moving in here something else was happening, I started to feel settled, in fact I started to feel contented and happy and it's bloody marvellous. I am watching a couple of ducks and a pukeko running away with the bread I have thrown out for the sparrows and yellow hammers. The 160 year old oak trees are budding and the host of camelias are coming to full bloom whilst the mist gently rolls over the mountains and the brook happily gurgles on it's way. Our neighbours, 4 horses, are waiting at the fence for their apples, the cats are curled up by the log burner, which isn't really needed today, in the middle of winter and the dogs are waiting to run around the paddock with me hot on their heels. We would never have been able to get a property like this in the Uk within our budget and it's a little piece of heaven.

I never believed after the homesickness bout that I would ever feel that NZ was a place I would be happy but I am. We found the right property for us and it has made all the difference. To all BE'ers who are about to undergo or are undergoing the 'emigration stress' dance just be kind to yourselves. It really is a challenging time and you'll need all your reserves to find your feet when you get here. And to all BE'ers who are struggling here, try and give it a little time. I know my OH has a very well paid job but our first Christmas here we had the princely sum of $23.00 in the bank after paying all the huge expense of moving here and it took us quite some time to get back on our feet financially. It was scary.

I have felt so alienated here at times and I wanted to get the hell out, but now I'm happy and it's bloody marvellous. Some will settle here and some will not and that's just as it should be. We are all different so we will all have different experiences of being here, but I bet a lot of people have had the colly wobbles, and homesickness which leaves you unsettled and ready to sell your grandmother for a ticket out. But we have begun to 'get to know people' and I reckon even the mitre 10 people know us by name now with the amount of time we've spent there. Nz ain't utopia, nowhere is, but it's a fantastically beautiful country and it has a lot to offer. Whether it's right for you or wrong for you only you can tell. Whatever your story of coming here it will be a roller coaster, you just have to strap in tightly, it will be a bumpy ride. Good luck.
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Old Aug 1st 2013, 7:16 pm
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Default Re: Hello from the roller coaster.

what a fantastic post having ping ponged as OH first didn't settle I can relate to your story
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Old Aug 1st 2013, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: Hello from the roller coaster.

great story glad you got where you wanted to be in the end
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Old Aug 1st 2013, 7:36 pm
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Default Re: Hello from the roller coaster.

Hello and welcome. What a roller coaster! Glad you found your slice of real estate that makes you happy.

Please keep in touch!
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Old Aug 1st 2013, 8:20 pm
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Default Re: Hello from the roller coaster.

Homsickness is a biatch isn't it ? Glad you've got a house to call home. I didn't realise how much home was our anchor point until we didn't have one. On 2nd September we will have been in our home for 2 years. I almost can't believe it as I too, would have, 'sold my own Grandmother' to fund our return to Britain at one stage.

The last piece of my jigsaw might be arriving shortly

Job interview yesterday. Another unrelated job interview today. Another separate job interview next Wednesday.

Place your bets.....................

If I get the full picture, I'll be better able to appraise the situation.

Last edited by Snap Shot; Aug 1st 2013 at 8:24 pm.
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Old Aug 2nd 2013, 7:58 pm
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Default Re: Hello from the roller coaster.

Hello and welcome. What a great post! We are coming over in September and its cheered me up no end after reading a lot of posts from people who wonder if they have done the right thing. Hope it continues for you.
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Old Aug 4th 2013, 10:13 am
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Default Re: Hello from the roller coaster.

So pleased everything has worked out for you. Sounds like you have a great lifestyle now. All the best for the future. Xxx
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Old Aug 5th 2013, 1:06 am
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Default Re: Hello from the roller coaster.

That's great news and encouraging that spots of the clean and green are a real thing.
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Old Aug 5th 2013, 1:44 pm
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Default Re: Hello from the roller coaster.

Originally Posted by Snap Shot
Homsickness is a biatch isn't it ? Glad you've got a house to call home. I didn't realise how much home was our anchor point until we didn't have one. On 2nd September we will have been in our home for 2 years. I almost can't believe it as I too, would have, 'sold my own Grandmother' to fund our return to Britain at one stage.

The last piece of my jigsaw might be arriving shortly

Job interview yesterday. Another unrelated job interview today. Another separate job interview next Wednesday.

Place your bets.....................

If I get the full picture, I'll be better able to appraise the situation.
Hope you got/get the job.
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Old Aug 6th 2013, 5:21 pm
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Default Re: Hello from the roller coaster.

Originally Posted by britsinnz
Hope you got/get the job.
Thank you
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Old Aug 6th 2013, 7:15 pm
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Default Re: Hello from the roller coaster.

Yes. I do hope you get the job. It would be well deserved.
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Old Aug 6th 2013, 8:52 pm
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Default Re: Hello from the roller coaster.

Thank you all. I'll find out next week what the outcome is.

Anyway,
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Old Aug 18th 2013, 12:27 pm
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Default Re: Hello from the roller coaster.

Lovely post....can relate to many things you have said....

Life events I would have thought are the most common reason for homesickness....I know for me that has been the case in the last 8yrs......

I am not sure what the reason is this time though....whatever it is, its dragging on this time, I wish the reason would surface or bugger off to where it came from....
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Old Aug 18th 2013, 1:02 pm
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Default Re: Hello from the roller coaster.

Originally Posted by pixiewink

Life events I would have thought are the most common reason for homesickness....I know for me that has been the case in the last 8yrs......

I am not sure what the reason is this time though....whatever it is, its dragging on this time, I wish the reason would surface or bugger off to where it came from....
It's crap, ain't it when homesickness lingers sooooo long. It's a bit like the earthquakes, it leaves you shaken and unsettled. For me, the homesickness hooked into several huge losses I had experienced and it was like they all caught up with me at the same time. But this time I faced them. Homesickness is another loss, but when it sneaks up on me now I just say what is it I miss? Hope you get through, or just go and beat the crap out of a big pillow. It's great 'therapy'.
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Old Aug 18th 2013, 2:12 pm
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Default Re: Hello from the roller coaster.

Originally Posted by Snap Shot
The last piece of my jigsaw might be arriving shortly

Job interview yesterday. Another unrelated job interview today. Another separate job interview next Wednesday.

Place your bets.....................
I got turned down for one job which was part-time, 20 hours a week, because I was advised that the person I would be working for was difficult and the interviewer didn't like my conflict resolution skills. I might just have dodged a bullet there.

I got turned down for another job, which was also part-time, 30 hours a week as the successful candidate had a more relevant background for the job than I did. OK, fair play.

The other job I got interviewed for with 12 hours notice of the interview taking place. They phoned at 3pm one day, apologising for the short notice but asking me to come to the interview at 3pm the next day, which I did. To date I haven't heard back from them from three weeks ago. I assume it's a no, then. No loss, would have been a long drive there and back.

So, for Friday week when I have an interview scheduled for a different organisation.
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