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JMH's return home to NZ

JMH's return home to NZ

Old Sep 10th 2011, 12:28 pm
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Default JMH's return home to NZ

A couple of people (fellow Kiwi's) asked me to update on how my return home has been so here it is.

I arrived back in April. My departure was very stressful even though I was returning home. Took at least a month before I even started to relax. I'm lucky because my family had sorted out free accommodation and my dad loaned me his old banger so I didn't have to worry about getting on my feet.

I wasn't expecting to get work for a few months at least, and had savings to get by on, but I really fell on my feet and got contract work at a good hourly rate starting in May. The employer has turned out to be a real gem, treating me very well. I gained some additional hours so I am making enough to live off. My jobs at the moment involve teaching literacy/numeracy/computer skills in the workplace to people who test at quite low levels. My first group were a bunch of Samoans and I can honestly say it has been a real pleasure to get to know these people and find out about their culture and lifestyle. When I lived here as a young person I never met any PI's so really didn't know much about them. I now have some Tongans and Niuans so am learning even more. Have some Pakeha's too, so a good all round mix. It's been good to meet and talk to real Kiwi's and get a feel for how things are these days. I sound like a Pom so I make a point of using inclusive language and talk a lot about being home and 'we' referring to kiwis (well why wouldn't I?). Luckily one job is near my home town so they know where I live and what school I went to so talking about that makes me a local.

I am investigating getting into professional CV writing which should dovetail nicely into my business (see link in my signature). Talking through the details as we speak.

Anyway, my first reflections after a few short months.

Well the nice thing of course is the weather (I'm in Auckland). Winter has felt more like Autumn in the UK and I have had plenty of days sitting out in the sun trying to get my Vit D up. My flat has double glazing and is under a house so it is quite well insulated, and so easy to heat when it did get cold.

The biggest thing I noticed was how easily I slipped back into my own way of communicating and relating to people. You see this reported a lot over in the MBUK forum here where people say they slip right back into their home culture when they get off the plane. Well it works that way here too. In the UK (where I lived for 24 years) I felt I was acting at fitting in, and I think I did a good job of it, but it was different to how I grew up. I have slipped right back in to the kiwi way very easily. I've even started saying dahta instead of data!

It's been so nice to see family members, and my mum and I are getting on well. I bought a new car too - a Holden Barina Spark - yes a Holden, LOL. We were always a Ford family but my dad didn't seem to upset.

Negatives? Well the cost of living is shocking compared to just a few years back. The strong dollar wipes out any financial benefit of moving to NZ. I have left money in the UK, but will need to bring some over soon if I start this business, and it makes me weep! Gotta invest in my future though. TV is pretty bad, but I have Sky which really helps. I do watch BBC World quite a lot. The ridiculous right hand rule is going next year thank God, and it is true that cars drive too close together. Some of the driving can be quite erratic, although to be fair, these stand out precisely because they are not common. Anyone who had driven down Whitechapel Road in London will have seen worse. Processed food dominates the supermarkets but my local butcher is very good and local fruit and veg shops are good too.

Positives? Obviously the weather in Auckland has been mild this winter, and the sky is generally brighter. I love the way people say hello to you when you pass in the street (this does not happen all over Auckland). Took a bit of getting used to though. Love looking at a sky full of stars. When I do eventually bring my money over and buy a house I will probably be able to buy one that has more space, but to be honest, I could have in the UK if I had moved out of London. Service in shops is much better generally, although quality of clothing is a bit dodgy. Luckily my mum knows the best places to go and when the sales are on.

I guess there are people who are still unsure about whether a trip (back) to NZ is the right move. I think the UK is a pretty good place to live for all sorts of reasons. I would investigate migrating within the UK before moving abroad as far away as NZ, especially if you will miss family. I love NZ, and am very glad I've come back, but I'm not sure it offers the promised land that some think it does. Family counts for a lot, so for me I have come home and it feels good. I'm not sure I would feel the same if I was a migrant so far from home. For me the positives outweigh the negatives and I can see opportunities here, but I can see why people get upset and don't like it. It depends a bit on what you want out of life - unfortunately we often don't know what that is until we have spent a lot of time and effort trying the wrong things. Such is life I suppose.

I will try to report back after a year and see if I have changed my mind.

I know there are a couple of kiwis who are considering moving back home. Let me know if you have any specific questions. I haven't planned this ramble so I have probably missed a lot out.

Thanks for reading!

Jo
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Old Sep 10th 2011, 9:48 pm
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Default Re: JMH's return home to NZ

Wow, what an interesting read. Thank you so much for taking the time to fill us in. Sounds all good so far. Best of luck.
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Old Sep 11th 2011, 2:21 pm
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Default Re: JMH's return home to NZ

What a quality , candid update jmh. An asset to the update forum. Thankyou.

I agree with you about the Samoans . They are lovely people. We nearly ended up living there once upon a time.
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Old Sep 11th 2011, 8:12 pm
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Default Re: JMH's return home to NZ

Originally Posted by jmh
I would investigate migrating within the UK before moving abroad as far away as NZ, especially if you will miss family. I love NZ, and am very glad I've come back, but I'm not sure it offers the promised land that some think it does. Family counts for a lot, so for me I have come home and it feels good. I'm not sure I would feel the same if I was a migrant so far from home.
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Thanks for sharing. In a nutshell I agree 'home is where the heart is' for wider family not just for immediate family.
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Old Sep 11th 2011, 10:05 pm
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Default Re: JMH's return home to NZ

Thank you for the update x a very interesting read
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Old Sep 18th 2011, 9:41 am
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Default Re: JMH's return home to NZ

really enjoyed reading your update, thank you totally agree with you about the positives/negatives.
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Old Oct 8th 2011, 4:23 am
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Default Re: JMH's return home to NZ

Nice update JMH! Wish I'd checked this forum sooner.

Had major homesickness pang for Welly last few days.
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Old Oct 8th 2011, 10:36 am
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