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Thread: Your experiences moving to NZ

  1. #1
    SuziQ's Avatar
    SuziQ is offline Junior Member
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    Question Your experiences moving to NZ

    Thanks to Ace for this suggestion.

    For starters:- Do you miss home? How did you find the move? Do you think you have changed since moving to NZ? Has it been a positive experience for you? Is the culture here different to what you expected?

    If you have any more suggestions or comments then please post them here.

    Ta
    SuziQ

  2. #2
    Ace's Avatar
    Ace
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    There are certain aspects of my old home that I occassionally miss, but for the most part I would say no, I don't really miss it that much. I came from Silicon Valley, where I had lived since 1979. It has become so polluted, crowded, ugly and uptight that I really started to hate it there. Sure, the shopping is better there, but there's a lot more to life than good shopping.

    The move was way, way more work than I originally anticipated. I've moved 20 or more times in my life, so I thought I had some idea what to expect. But moving overseas is just entirely different. Plus my family and I are pack-rats, so we had (ok, still have) much more junk than most. It would be different if I was in my early twenties, when everything I owned would fit inside a VW bug.

    One of the biggest stresses for the move was deciding what to take and what to leave behind (give away or sell). We are very attached to our stuff, so making those kinds of decisions in rapid-fire mode, and for a period that extended into many months, was not fun. What's worse is that the process isn't over yet.... Having to sell our house -- a custom home that we designed and built in 1996 -- was also unpleasant for me. I really liked that house, and had built it with the idea in mind of never moving.

    I do miss being able to see my family. Especially my sister and her two kids. We didn't see each that often, but we never went more than 6 or 9 months between visits. I'm still hopeful that she'll be able to come visit me. Fortunately, I set up very low-cost way to call the US from NZ, so we're able to keep in touch by phone and email.

    Yes, I would say that I've changed since moving. My priorities in life are different now. I make time for the things that are really important to me, rather than being completely focused on work (which is the Silicon Valley Way). I spend time every day enjoying the beauty of the area, sometimes sitting for hours just looking out the window. I'm much more relaxed and happy than I was before the move.

    In typical Silicon Valley style, I had originally planned to spend most of my time working on a bunch of fun computer-based projects. It seemed like that would be an enjoyable way to live my life. After getting here, that part of my life just doesn't seem important any more. My interests are moving in different directions that I never anticipated before moving.

    Yes, the experience has been very positive so far. Difficult and stressful in stretches, but positive and well worth the effort. It's given me a different perspective on both life in general, and also life in the US (what a bunch of messed-up folks we are).

    It's difficult to fully anticipate what the culture will be like, so yes, it's different than what I expected. I'm still in the process of fully figuring it out. Although I love the people here, I've found it to be difficult to make new friends (any ideas you might have on good places to meet people would be welcome). Most of my surprises have been on the positive side, though. I think my core values are much more in line with a typical Kiwi than they are with a typical American.

  3. #3
    keeweegal's Avatar
    keeweegal is offline Kosher Kiwi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace View Post
    Fortunately, I set up very low-cost way to call the US from NZ, so we're able to keep in touch by phone and email.
    Sorry to hijack your thread, SuziQ

    Ace - can u let me know what this is? We have almost daily calls to the US (still in the UK & we have it sorted it for here, but would like to know what's available in NZ).

    Thank u

    Sal
    Inside me is a skinny woman crying to get out but I can usually shut her up with cake!

  4. #4
    Ace's Avatar
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    I use two different solutions. One is Skype. I've found it works best for outgoing calls. Since it's run through my PC, it does take a little more effort than a plain telephone handset to use, but the voice quality has been fine, and calls are very cheap. PC-to-PC calls using Skype are free worldwide.

    The solution I prefer is Vonage. I signed up for an account before I left the US, and had my old home phone number assigned to my new Vonage account. I then took the Vonage hardware with me to NZ, hooked it up to my DSL line along with a phone handset that I bought locally, and it works great. I have the unlimited monthly plan, so there are no per-minute costs to the US. Calls to the UK are also free, I think. Other VOIP / Internet-based systems should be able to provide similar functionality.

    One side-benefit of this setup is that my friends in the US can call me cheaply too, using the same home phone number that we've had for almost 20 yrs. I still get calls from people I haven't spoken to in a while, asking if I'd like to come by -- when I explain that I'm actually in NZ, most are very surprised and confused....

  5. #5
    KiwiHopeful's Avatar
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    You could also buy a Skype In number, which allows people to call a local number and reach you. The annual fee is relatively low compared to what Int'l rates.
    EOI Submitted: July 20, 2006
    EOI Selected: August 2, 2006
    ITA Received: October 12, 2006
    ITA Submitted: February 2, 2007
    Migrant Levy Paid & Visas Shipped: June 6, 2007
    Arrived in NZ: July 26th, 2007
    Leaving NZ: June 1st, 2008

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