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1 year 9 months...time is speeding by

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by , 07-04-2010 at 01:51 PM (18670 Views)
Wow I've just read my previous blogs and I'm really pleased that I wrote them, it's great remembering all the different things that were happening, how quickly every happened towards the end of our time in England and how strange it was adjusting to life in New Zealand. I'd almost forgotten how our plans/dreams for our life in New Zealand changed alongside the economic climate which was was and still is a great influence on how we live our lives.

Before we left England we planed to come to New Zealand and spent the first six months chilling out by the beach and spending quality time getting reacquainted with my family and having the kids really enjoy some quality time with their dad while he wasn't working. We were going to have a lifestyle block and live the 'good life' renaming ourselves Barbara and Tom, OK maybe not going to the extreme of changing our names but I'm sure you know what I mean.

The six month holiday soon changed when my hubby discovered that he was bored senseless staying at home, we struggled to get used to living in a rental house that we couldn't do anything to, because for the previously 4 years we'd lived and breathed property renovation. The upshot of it was that my hubby found a fixed term contract at a local company, not his ideal job but one that would hopefully provide a stepping stone to a career job within the short period of time. This didn't prove to be the case as we found that the company had a 'time-served' policy where every new starter was required to start at the bottom and work your way up every single step above you as and when something became available and there was nobody around you who had been there longer. Add to this a good helping of hiring kiwis before foreigners and a workplace that seems to be hijacked by the union.....gee do I sound has a happy ending ....taking into consideration what was going on with the credit crunch and job market we decided that my hubby had better find a permanent position sooner rather than later. So the great jo search began, we were looking at jobs anywhere between Northland and the Waikato and decided we'd move to wherever the job took us.

Now while this was all going on we came to the conclusion that we didn't want to be on a lifestyle block, it was a heck of a lot of work, would require us to be in the countryside when it turns out surprisingly that i've turned into a bit of a towny and prefer to be close to the supermarket and have as little commute to schools/work as possible, but ideally would still be living the kiwi dream on the traditional 1/4 acre section.

The great news is that my hubby found a great job, he enjoys it and the salary isn't half bad either. We've relocated to Auckland, which initially wasn't ideal as i've grown up with the typical kiwk dislike for Auckland, and in fact when I was ready to move away from Northland I moved to Brisbane rather than Auckland.....but you know what? I love it here I put a pin in the map where my hubby's work is and looked for a rental house within a 5km radius, so now he has a 2 minute commute, so even though he's working slightly longer hours he's saving time on the commute and isn't losing time with the kids.

It turns out the area that I picked to find a rental house house is a really lovely area, the schools are great and my daughter started at the local kindergarten a matter of weeks after we moved in. My son is now at the same kindy and my daughter has moved on to the local primary school and has completed her first two terms and is loving it. The local beaches are beautiful, there are great parks and we're really close to the ferry that goes into the CBD and over to Waiheke Island.

The downside is that we're still renting, we put our money in a 2 year bond in England, because the exchange rate was rubbish when we moved over, well the money comes out of it's bond in a few months and the exchange rate is at an all time low and the property market in the area we live is fairly buoyant. So we can't afford to move the money from England, and we can't afford to buy in this area without a huge deposit and a huge mortgage to go along with it. Oh and our rental house and absolutely freezing in winter, there's no insulation, double glazing or any form of heating......brrrr chilly. We're on a 600m2 section too so the kiwi 1/4 acre dream has had to be modified at the moment too. I've resorted to buying a pair of sheep skin slippers (do you remember the Ugg boot debate a while ago) and I couldn't do without them, add to them lots and lots of layers of clothes, hot water bottles and has many heaters and the wiring will cope with and we'll survive.

So nearly 2 years after the move am I pleased that we've done it? Definitely The positives far outway the negatives for us, yes we're living in the city on a tiny section instead of our lifestyle block, but spending three months in the country changed our minds about the whole lifestyle block thing (well at least until I've finished with the school run anyway), my hubby has a job that is better than what he had in England which means we can cope with the fact that the cost of living is far higher then we envisaged it to be. The kids are loving it here, we're out in the parks/beaches at every opportunity and maybe, just maybe, one day the exchange rate will go in our favour, or the properties prices in our area will crash, or I'll get that lucky lotto ticket. Until any of that happens we're really enjoying our lives and the journey we've been on to get here.

We're going back to England for a holiday towards the end of the year and am looking forward to seeing friends and family again.

We went camping over the Easter weekend, up to Goat Island which is a marine reserve, and were speaking to some other English people in the local cafe, they didn't believe that I was a kiwi, were convinced that I was from Lancashire and found it quite amusing to rib my hubby that he (as a Yorkshire-man) had married someone from Lancashire. So I guess I'm still classed as a foreigner, but I don't notice it in my day to day life because the area we live in has a high population of immigrants, mainly English/South Africans and Asians, so I fit right in.

Right thats it from me for now, I'll try not to leave it so long between logging on next time, I'd forgotten how valuable this website was to me when I was going through the immigration process, it was so helpful and entertaining, and today I've really enjoyed getting back on it and reading other peoples stories.

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  1. MotherBear's Avatar
    Great to catch up on your news Gina and to know that you have settled well, despite taking the long route to where you are now . Thanks for taking the time to post.

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